If you’re looking to visit a piece of American history while you’re in Lake Placid, the John Brown Farm State Historic Site is a great place to start. John Brown’s Farm is a National Historic Landmark and a New York State Historic Site. It is the home and final resting place of one of the conductors of the underground railroad, John Brown.
John Brown was an abolitionist who believed that the only way to overthrow slavery in the United States was through armed insurrection. During the 1856 conflict in Kansas, he commanded forces at multiple battles, including The Battles of Osawatomie and Black Jack. He and his followers led an unsuccessful raid on Harpers Ferry in West Virginia. For this raid he was tried for treason and sentenced to death.
Brown first came to the Lake Placid when he heard of fellow abolitionist Gerrit Smith’s works in New York. He left Kansas to purchase 244 acres of land. This later became known as the Freed Slave Utopian Experiment. Large tracts of land were granted to former slaves to use for farming.
The farm, purchased in 1849 by John Brown and his sons, is perfect preserved and looks just as it did when John Brown and his family occupied it. Period furniture allow you to see exactly how John Brown and his family would have lived in this space. It is reputed to have been one of his favorite places, and shortly before his execution he requested to be buried there.
There are lots of signs around the property and inside the farm to give you context about John Brown and describe the era in which he lived. Learn all about his anti-slavery campaign and his attempt to take over the armory at Harpers Ferry.
Along with preserving a great piece of history the farm has a great deal of hiking trails to be enjoyed. In winter these are converted to cross country ski trails. There are miles and miles of woods and hills to explore at this beautiful site.
This site is a must visit for any fan of civil war era history and anyone wanting to learn more about United States history.