Juneteenth Celebration at The Gammon House resumes after cancellation last year

Springfield landmark will begin celebration with new event: a 5K run/walk for Freedom.

A local Springfield landmark is once again celebrating Juneteenth after canceling last year’s events due to the pandemic.

The Gammon House, built in 1850 and located at 620 Piqua Place in Springfield, will begin this year’s celebration with a new event: a 5K run/walk for Freedom. The 5K begins at 8 a.m. and the annual FatherFest will follow with food vendors and music from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Gammon house has held Juneteenth celebrations every year since 2004, with few exceptions.

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According to Dale Henry, Gammon House President, the house is a landmark to the African American community.

“It’s one of only three underground railroad safehouses still in existence in Ohio that were owned and operated by a family of color,” Henry said.

George and Sarah Gammon, the original owners of the house in 1850, risked imprisonment and enormous fines for aiding and providing shelter to runaway slaves.

Now, more than 170 years later, the community still gathers at the Gammon House to celebrate holidays such as Juneteenth rich in African American history.

June 19, 1865, marks the day the last slaves in Texas were told of their freedom, two and a half years after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation to free all slaves.

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The Springfield Foundation, one of the event sponsors, is happy to support the celebration and history of the Gammon House.

“We’ve supported them for years. Being a kind of a grassroots organization without any paid staff, they’ve come a long way and we’re just happy to be a part of it,” Ted Vander Roust, executive director of the Springfield Foundation, said. “It’s just so important to be aware of our history and the important role that house and the Gammons played in the history of Springfield.”

Registration for the 5K run/walk ends today: www.runsignup.com/Race/OH/Springfield/GammonHouse5kRunWalkforFreedom.

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