About The Upper Housatonic Valley African American Heritage Trail


The African American Heritage Trail encompasses 29 Massachusetts and Connecticut towns in the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area, and celebrates African Americans in the region who played pivotal roles in key national and international events, as well as ordinary people of achievement.

Among the key 48 sites a long the trail:

W.E.B. Du Bois boyhood Homesite, a national landmark property in Great Barrington, and the Burghardt homestead where young Du Bois lived for a time.

Col. Ashley House in Sheffield where Elizabeth ‘Mum Bett’ Freeman was enslaved and whose successful suit for liberty set the stage for the abolition of slavery in Massachusetts.

Samuel Harrison House in Pittsfield, home of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment chaplain who protested discriminatory pay practices.

Photo credits: Rev. Harrison: Samuel Harrison Society; Du Bois: Special Collections and Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst; Agrippa Hull: Stockbridge Library Historical Collection; Church Outing: Elizabeth Freeman:© Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston MA USA.