DUBLIN, Ohio (WCMH) — As Black History Month rolls on, we continue to honor the achievements and struggles of African Americans throughout our nation’s history.
What you may not know is that the City of Dublin has deep ties to the Underground Railroad and several unique landmarks in the city honor the legacies of past trailblazers today.
“If you look closely, you will see a nod to our history and our Underground Railroad history,” said Christine Nardecchia, the director of Outreach and Engagement for the City of Dublin.
Nardecchia is describing The Watch House that sits at the entrance of Coffman Park and the Dublin Community Recreation Center, and the nod Nardecchia is referring to is a reference to the helping hand lent to slaves seeking their freedom in the mid 1800s.
“Throughout history, the Scioto River has been a really important thoroughfare to many cultures, particularly during the time of the underground railroad,” Nardecchia said.
The Dublin Arts Council on Riverside Drive is situated right along the Scioto River, not far from the Dr. Eli Pinney House in historic Dublin. Pinney’s home served as a safe place for slaves along the Underground Railroad.
For years, visitors could still see an opening from the tiny brass pipe he installed in the home, called a listening tube.
“Conductors were able to communicate and those seeking their freedom from the south up through Canada were able to find refuge in his stables and barns behind his home,” Nardecchia said.
Thanks to the efforts of residents and the Dublin Historical Society, city leaders have been able to preserve historical landmarks like the Pinney House and those at Lucy Depp Park not far away.
“That bell was an incredible symbol for ringing that bell when it was safe to come out,” Nardecchia said.
Abraham and Lucy Depp were Black farmers whose home also served as a stop on the Underground Railroad in the nearby town of Shawnee Hills.
“I think it’s a sense of pride, a sense of comfort, and we are a global community of choice here,” Nardecchia said about the city’s commitment to celebrating its diverse history.
In addition, Dublin has two elementary schools named after these families and the legacies they leave behind, and with three weeks left to celebrate Black History Month, city leaders encourage residents to both educate and participate.
“In order for people to thrive and live their best lives, it’s incumbent upon every community partner who facilitates our lifestyles here, to keep that history and vibrancy front and center,” Nardecchia said.
Whether it’s supporting Black-owned businesses, reading a book, or watching a movie or documentary, Dublin officials said there are many ways to participate in Black History Month. For events in Dublin or suggestions on other ways you can participate, visit the City of Dublin’s website.