William C. Goodridge Freedom Center and Underground Railroad Museum


Image of paper artwork by Golden Venture Refugees
The Golden Venture: 25th Anniversary

June: Golden Venture Anniversary

On the First Friday in June, the Goodridge Freedom Center will revisit the arrival of the Golden Venture on the shores of America 25 years ago, and how several York residents worked hard to secure the freedom of passengers who were detained in the York County prison for four years while seeking asylum. Come hear Jeff Lobach speak about the people involved, and see some of the beautiful paper sculptures the detainees created behind prison walls.

Facebook event and more details

William C. Goodridge

York, PA was home to one of the most active Underground Railroad stationmasters, William C. Goodridge. A prominent African-American businessman in York, Goodridge built the tallest building of its time in York City, and often hosted anti-slavery meetings with noted abolitionists. He owned and operated several businesses with his wife and partner Emily, including a barbershop, a variety store, an employment agency, and a line of railroad cars and associated delivery business. They also owned several properties, one of which they donated to the African-American school. Their eldest son Glenalvin taught at that school, and was also one of the first African-American photographers in the country, operating a Skylit studio in their business center that his younger brothers Wallace and William continued in Saginaw Michigan after relocating there in the early 1860s.

Today the Goodridge home stands as evidence to the drive and ambition necessary for a black family in their time to build the kind of wealth and standing that the Goodridges possessed in the York community, and also as a testament to the extreme humanity William C. Goodridge exhibited through selfless acts as he risked his own life to guide escaping slaves to freedom.

The family home has been dedicated to preserving this legacy, as the William C. Goodridge Freedom Center and Underground Railroad Museum.

123 East Philadelphia St.
York, PA 17401
Contact: Carol Kauffman
(717) 848-3610 Ext 230

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