ABOVE PHOTO: Peter Wentz Farmstead (Photo/www.montcopa.org)
NORRISTOWN, Pa. – On May 20, Montgomery County Parks, Trails, and Historic Sites announced that the Peter Wentz Farmstead has been officially recognized by the National Parks Service (NPS) as a “National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program” historic site. The Farmstead will be included on an NPS map of its national collection of 682 historical sites.
The Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program coordinates preservation and education efforts across the U.S. and integrates local historical places, museums, and interpretive programs associated with the Underground Railroad into a mosaic of community, regional and national stories. The NPS has expanded the definition of Underground Railroad to include sites, programs, and locations which illuminate the lives and experiences of enslaved people in America who sought liberation on their own terms.
“I’m glad that these important stories are being told to amplify a more diverse and complete history of our County and to continue the conversation on race and equity,” said Dr. Valerie A. Arkoosh, chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners.
The Wentz Farmstead is being recognized by the program for the documented histories of enslaved people who sought and escaped to freedom from the farm in the 18th century. One of those slaves was Jack, who was captured after his first attempt to escape but eventually gained freedom on his second try. What happened to Jack following the escape is unknown.
“Black history is American history. The recognition of historic architecture such as the Peter Wentz Farmstead and the multisensory experience will help to educate future generations about Black history in our backyard and beyond,” said Kenneth E. Lawrence, vice chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners.
The Wentz Farmstead offers a variety of in-person and virtual programs including hikes, walks, field trips, and Zoom lessons.
To learn more, visit: www.montcopa.org/929/Peter-Wentz-Farmstead.