At Rokeby Museum, a National Historic Landmark and Underground Railroad site, a new permanent exhibit Free & Safe introduces Simon and Jesse – two fugitives from slavery who were sheltered at Rokeby in the 1830s.The exhibit traces their stories from slavery to freedom, introduces the abolitionist Robinson family who called Rokeby home for nearly 200 years, and explores the turbulent decades leading up to the Civil War.
Once a thriving Merino sheep farm, Rokeby retains eight historic farm buildings filled with agricultural artifacts along with old wells, stone walls, and fields. Acres of pastoral landscape invite a leisurely stroll or a hike up the trail. Picnic tables accommodate lunch outdoors.
Designated a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service in recognition of its outstanding history, Rokeby Museum is one of the best-documented Underground Railroad sites in the country. Home of Rowland and Rachel Robinson, devout Quakers and radical abolitionists, they harbored many fugitive slaves at their family home and farm during the 1830s and 1840s. Among the hundreds of letters in the family's correspondence are several that mentions fugitive slaves by name and in some detail.
Rokeby's Free & Safe exhibit was supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities.