The Dr. Isaac Fiske House at 263 Pine Street in Fall River, MA, is one of nine new additions from across the country to the National Park Services’ National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.
“The Fiske House is one of several Underground Railroad Sites in Fall River, but none had received the Network to Freedom designation,” Preservation Society President James Soule said. “We at the Preservation Society are excited that the Fiske House is the first in the city to be added to this prestigious Network and we are hopeful it’s not the last.”
The Dr. Isaac Fiske House, built in 1833, was used by Dr. Fiske as a station on the Underground Railroad with freedom seekers passing through the home on their journeys northward. The Fiske House joins more than 700 sites, facilities, and programs throughout the nation already in the Network to Freedom.
“Each addition to the Underground Railroad Network to Freedom centers around a story of hope in the face of hostility and oppression,” said Diane Miller, the Underground Railroad Network to Freedom program manager. “Now in its 25th year, the Underground Railroad Network to Freedom continues to document and expand knowledge related to the Underground Railroad and increase public awareness of the struggle for freedom and equality endured by so many in our country’s history.”
The Preservation Society has spent years conducting research and collaborating with partners like researcher Kenneth Champlin, the Fall River Historical Society, and Roger Williams University Associate Professor of History Charlotte Carrington-Farmer and student researchers Kristen Black and TJ Ward to complete the Fisk House’s Network to Freedom application.
The Preservation Society purchased the Fiske House in 2018 with assistance from a Community Preservation Act grant and has plans to open a public Underground Railroad Museum at the property in the future.
The National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom serves to honor, preserve, and promote the history of resistance to enslavement through escape and flight, which continues to inspire people worldwide. The Network currently represents over 700 locations in 39 states, plus Washington D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Through its mission, the Network to Freedom helps to advance the idea that all human beings embrace the right to self-determination and freedom from oppression.