Historic Underground Railroad SiteSide 1Payne Cemetery (1852-1945) is the only remnant of a freed African American community known as Paynes Crossing. Research indicates that the area was involved in the Underground Railroad Movement, and may have been established expressly for this purpose. Paynes Crossing was not a "town" per se, but a system of farmsteads spread out on a rural landscape. The Harpers, Letts, Normans and Stevens were free people of color who were the first to settle the area in the 1830s. By the 1850s, they owned a considerable amount of land here and the tax records indicate that some were rather wealthy ($1,000) personal property. According to the census records for this period, whites are living in black households, and vice versa.Side 2 Most of the families came from Virginia and some even traveled to Ohio together. Some of the men enlisted in the U.S. Colored Troops and fought in the Civil War, and some of the men stayed behind (presumably to conduct Underground Railroad activities). The Payne family, for which the area was named, did not arrive until 1880, which suggests that the settlement may have had another name during the 19th century. By the turn of the century, coal companies had bought up most of the land in the area and the families moved on. The cemetery was restored in 1995 by the Wayne National Forest together with the tireless efforts of many partners from the surrounding region. It was transformed into a notable example of early African American history in rural America.
|Placed By||Wayne National Forest|
|Marker Condition||No reports yet|
|Date Added||Monday, July 27th, 2015 at 10:02am PDT -07:00|
|UTM (WGS84 Datum)||17S E 391944 N 4379882|
|Decimal Degrees||39.56183333, -82.25786667|
|Degrees and Decimal Minutes||N 39° 33.71', W 82° 15.472'|
|Degrees, Minutes and Seconds||39° 33' 42.6" N, 82° 15' 28.32" W|
|Driving Directions||Google Maps|
|Which side of the road?||Marker is on the right when traveling South|
|Closest Postal Address||At or near 11003-11099 OH-595, New Straitsville OH 43766, US|
|Alternative Maps||Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap|
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