Goodridge Freedom Center
The William C. Goodridge Freedom Center and Underground Railroad Museum is a non-profit site on the Pennsylvania Network to Freedom, conveniently located in historic downtown York, PA. The Museum resides in a house that from 1827 to the early 186os was the primary residence of a remarkable family that made multiple important contributions to York’s development as a city, county, and state.
William C. Goodridge was born a slave in MD in 1806, and sold into indentured slavery under a tanner in York at the age of 6. Freed at 16, he sought training as a barber, established his own shop, and went on to become one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the city. He and his wife, Evalina, established a variety store in addition to the barbershop, expanded to own a business center and multiple rental properties, purchased 13 rail cars, established a delivery service to 22 towns between Baltimore and Philadelphia, hired a carpenter to build the first 5-story building in York, and more, all while raising seven children. And they risked it all to be stationmasters on the Underground Railroad.
No visit to the site is complete without looking down into the rough pit under their kitchen where the Goodridge family bravely hid souls seeking freedom from the terrible scourge of slavery before sending them on further along on the Underground Railroad.
The Goodridge Freedom Center will be open every First Friday, from 4 pm to 8 pm. Our program for 2017 includes visiting speakers, historical reenactors, cultural and historical education, an art show and contest on the theme of seeking freedom, and a return of the Christmas Tree display that was such a success last year. Please consider paying the Goodridge Freedom Center a visit. It’s a great place for the whole family to come and experience history.