Freetown street to be renamed for Tubman

June 21, 1996|By Alisa Samuels | Alisa Samuels,SUN STAFF

Locust United Methodist Church in Simpsonville will hold a ceremony tomorrow to dedicate a street named for the woman who freed more than 300 slaves through the Underground Railroad.

The stretch of Guilford Road in the Freetown neighborhood from Freetown Road to Cedar Lane has been renamed Harriet Tubman Lane for the abolitionist born into slavery in Dorchester County, who is believed to have been freed in 1849.

In January, Howard County Council voted to change the street's name, and in March the new street signs were installed.

"Harriet Tubman was the Moses of her people," said the Rev. Victor Sawyer, pastor of Locust United Methodist, the county's oldest predominantly black church. "We believe this was one of the areas Harriet Tubman used in the Underground Railroad."

Freetown is a community named for freed blacks who settled in that area of the county after slavery was abolished.

The former Harriet Tubman High School was in the community and served as the only school for county black students from 1946 to 1960. The school building is now used in a Head Start Program.

Tomorrow's ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. and will include a short church service. Local politicians, residents and congregations have been invited.

Pub Date: 6/21/96

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