Paynes Crossing

Paynes Crossing (HM1M7R)

Location: New Straitsville, OH 43766 Perry County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 33.71', W 82° 15.472'

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Historic Underground Railroad Site

Side 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.
HM NumberHM1M7R
Year Placed1995
Placed ByWayne National Forest
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, July 27th, 2015 at 10:02am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 391944 N 4379882
Decimal Degrees39.56183333, -82.25786667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 33.71', W 82° 15.472'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 33' 42.6" N, 82° 15' 28.32" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)740
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 11003-11099 OH-595, New Straitsville OH 43766, US
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