Birmingham cemetery added to National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom

Greenwood Cemetery
Posted at 12:51 PM, Apr 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-05 12:51:58-04

(WXYZ) — A Birmingham cemetery is now listed in the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.

According to a press release, the Birmingham Museum director applied for the national designation of the burial sites of abolitionist Elijah S. Fish and freedom seeker George B. Taylor. Both of the men are buried in the Greenwood Cemetery.

“It was a team approach. Museum staff members and local historians worked hard to uncover the incredible stories of Fish and Taylor,” said Director Leslie Pielack in a press release. “We are excited to see them recognized nationally, and to shed light on their truly remarkable lives.”

The Museum said Fish established the first local Presbyterian Church and helped found the Oakland County Anti-Slavery Society in 1836. Taylor and his wife became the first African Americans to own property in Birmingham in the late 19th century.

A celebration of Greenwood Cemetery’s national recognition is planned for later this year.

The Greenwood Cemetery was reportedly one of 16 additions to the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.

“The freedom seekers and allies highlighted in each Network to Freedom listing remind us of what can be accomplished when people take action against injustice,” said National Program Manager of the Network to Freedom, Diane Miller, in a press release. “Each listing holds a unique part of the Underground Railroad story.”