News release shared by DCNR, 4/17/2024. Photo credit: Susquehanna National Heritage Area

A 19th-century farm and house that played key roles in the Underground Railroad are now permanently protected with help from a DCNR grant.

The Mifflin House and 87-acre farmstead in Hellam Township, York County, had been under threat of demolition and development before The Conservation Fund acquired them in 2022.

DCNR provided more than $2 million from the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund to help the organization purchase the property. The Conservation Fund matched the grant dollar-for-dollar.

At the end of 2023, the organization officially transferred the property to its new long-term owner, the Susquehanna National Heritage Area.

“We are thrilled to welcome the Mifflin House into the Susquehanna National Heritage Area family,” said Mark Platts, President of Susquehanna National Heritage Area. “This acquisition aligns seamlessly with our mission to connect the people and communities of Lancaster and York Counties to one another and to the nation through stories about this nationally important place.”

The Mifflin House was a key stop on the Underground Railroad. It provided a haven for freedom seekers passing through central Pennsylvania. With assistance from the Mifflin family, their fellow Quakers, and other locals, those escaping slavery found a safe place to rest and cross the Susquehanna River on their journeys north.

With acquisition now complete, Susquehanna National Heritage Area will begin a multi-year effort with the community to transform the site into The Susquehanna Discovery Center and Heritage Park.