PRESS RELEASE - Underground Railroad Tour

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UPPER DARBY BRINGS HISTORY INTO THE PRESENT WITH NEW UNDERGROUND RAILROAD WALKING TOUR


Upper Darby, PA, February 2021 - Mayor Barbarann Keffer is pleased to announce the first iteration of the Upper Darby Underground Railroad Walking Tour, which was researched and spearheaded by the Upper Darby Historic Commission at her request. A self-guided walking tour that features seven local spots of interest along the Underground Railroad, it was created to highlight both the local history of the Underground Railroad and early American life in Delaware County.

“It is wonderful to see this project come to fruition,” Mayor Keffer said. “We are proud of our rich local history in Upper Darby, and our connection to the Underground Railroad is an important part of the struggle for equity in the United States. Everyone in Upper Darby knows Garrett Road, but they probably don’t know that Thomas Garrett was Harriet Tubman’s right hand man on the Underground Railroad. It is long past time that we promote, celebrate, and reckon with our great history. This is a multi-faceted project to begin that process that members of the Historic Commission will continue to flesh out with an audio component, signage, and more in the years to come.”

The announcement of the Underground Railroad Walking Tour coincides with Upper Darby’s celebration of Black History Month. “This honors the legacy of local residents who were active in the anti-slavery movement, as well as those who gained their freedom through the Underground Railroad,” Mayor Keffer added. “In a community as diverse as Upper Darby, it is critically important that we acknowledge and reckon with America’s sin of slavery. By learning from our history, we have the opportunity to create a future that addresses the long-standing systemic inequities that plague our nation. My administration is intent on fostering a community based on compassion, mutual respect, and equality for all people.”

The Upper Darby Underground Railroad Walking Tour spans 4.5 miles and can be completed in approximately 90 minutes, depending on how much time is spent at each location.

The seven stops are:

  • Garrett Houses/Thornfield; 3218 Garrett Road
  • Riverview House (now Holy Child Academy); 475 Shadeland Avenue
  • Riverview Farm/Museum at Arlington Cemetery, 2900 State Road
  • Hoodland/Sellers Library; 76 S. State Road
  • Former location of Howard House (now Pica's); 7803 West Chester Pike
  • Sellers Hall; 150 Hampden Road
  • Friends Cemetery; 236 Powell Lane

A downloadable guide with details about each stop on the Tour is available on the township website at www.upperdarby.org. Everyone who takes the Tour is encouraged to post their pictures on social media with the hashtag #UDURWalk.

Upper Darby is Pennsylvania’s sixth-largest municipality. Elected in 2019, Mayor Barbarann Keffer has focused her efforts on reform, revitalization, and reinvestment into Upper Darby. Mayor Keffer is also working to make the community more inclusive and grow it as a forward-looking regional leader for families and businesses.