Who was this man?

Follow the intriguing narrative of 19th-Century Renaissance man William C. Goodridge from slavery to becoming one of the wealthiest African Americans in South Central Pennsylvania—in a world of barber shops, a baldness remedy, and big buildings. 

But why did he risk it all, smuggling slaves to freedom in the Underground Railroad by modifying rail cars in his freight line?

The William C. Goodridge Freedom Center and Museum explore the dichotomy of a man whose public success built a five-story commercial building right in the center of York, but whose most important legacy was built in the shadows.


Why now?

In the current zeitgeist of racial tension, this historic story of this biracial former slave is both deeply important and incredibly timely. America continues to grapple with its past and the implications it has on the future. Race relations dominate headlines and steer the public discourse. Now is the time to tell this story, and the William C. Goodridge Freedom Center and Museum are poised to tell it. 


Explore Our History


The William C. Goodridge Freedom Center and Underground Railroad Museum is located at 123 E. Philadelphia St. in York City, PA.

Hours of operation are Wednesday and Saturday, 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM, every First Friday of the month, 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM and tours by appointment.

To schedule a tour, call Kelly Summerford at (717) 650-1998.

Our tours and programs complement the historic attractions in Gettysburg and serve as a convenient stop between the battlefield and the African-American museums in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C.

York is part of the Pennsylvania Civil War Trails program, and you’ll also want to check out the York County History Centerand Steam into History.



Please donate to help us share this important history.