About

The Gammon House

The Gammon House is one of only three existing Ohio “stops” on the Underground Railroad owned by a free person of color.

You’re Welcome to Visit

Open House – the first Saturday of every month from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

This pattern represented a “Log Cabin” and showed enslaved people where safe houses, or “stations,” were located. 

The Gammon House was built in 1850 — the same year that the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 imposed six months’ imprisonment and a massive $1,000 fine on any person aiding a runaway slave by providing food or shelter.

The Gammon House is one of only three existing Ohio “stops” on the Underground Railroad owned by a free person of color.

Our Story

Since 1850

The Gammon Family

George and Sarah (Bradley) Gammon displayed extreme courage and bravery. They were free persons of color who risked imprisonment, enormous fines and ostracism by their neighbors to help others become free. They raised seven children at 620 S. Piqua Place. George’s parents were free people of color and charter members of St. Paul’s African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church of Urbana, which also was active in helping slaves on their journey to freedom.

The eldest Gammon son, Charles, enlisted in the 54th Massachusetts Regiment along with five other Springfield men. He gave his life in the assault on James Island in the South Carolina. The effort of these brave soldiers is movingly told in the film, “Glory,” showing that Blacks were willing to sacrifice their lives for freedom which many did not have.

 

Part of Ohio Historic Sites

Across Ohio, there are 15 major historic sites that showcase the Underground Railroad Trail.

Recently, the Ohio Department of Development and Tourism Ohio launched a new statewide trail map on Ohio.org to help people learn about the historic network.

The sites spread far and wide, but if you look closely at No. 7, you’ll see what was once a safe house standing alone in between Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati.

“The Gammons have a very special story,” said Gammon House President Dale Henry as he stood outside of the house.

Since 1998, Henry has worked to preserve the Gammon House and share the story.

“We’re so grateful and really appreciative that we were finally recognized as being on the main line of the Underground Railroad in Ohio. As you may or may not know, there were like 23 different routes through Ohio from the Ohio River to Canada through Ohio,” said Henry.

Both sides of Henry’s family go back more than 100 years in Springfield. He can tell you just about everything you need to know about the house and its owners, George and Sarah.

“George Gammon was born on a reservation in Sandusky and Sarah was born in Chillicothe as a member of the Bradley family. So, they had a strong family connection here in Springfield and they were people who were well known in the community,” said Henry.