Harrison Gray Blake

Harrison Gray Blake (1819-1876) lived a much more eventful and left many more memories behind then most. He built the Phoenix Bank the now sits on the beautiful Medina square, he was also a member of Congress and the speaker for the Ohio Legislature. Though one very defining memory that he will forever be ground into Medina history for is his work along the Underground Railroad. Medina was the second to last stop on the Underground Railroad. H.G Blake's home was the last stop in Medina before the slaves traveled to Oberlin and then on to freedom in Canada. He hid the slaves in both his attic and the basement of his families home. Their home was the place that he first showed his daughters the cruelty of slavery when they was taken into the attic of the home and introduced to a slave that have been severely wiped and the wounds disinfected with salt. This was a sight what would stay with them both for the rest of there life. Blake was a strong believer in equal rights through out all on his life. Due to these beliefs he was seen as a strong candidate for someone that would help end the slave laws. Soon in 1848 he was elected into the Ohio Legislature and led the repel on the laws on slavery. He was awarded from his work on ending the danerous laws on slavery and presented with a silver cup by the Young Whigs of Ohio. To show the towns gratitude for everything he did H.G. Blake Elementary was built in his honor. Through his actions in his life he will forever be remembered as a man who shrived above and beyond for what was right.

Images

Harrison Gray Blake

Harrison Gray Blake

While H. G. Blake was involved with the government, he didn't let it over take him. H.G did show his daughters about the government and also about the things he did for Medina. Blake didn't make his daughters learn about the government and learn about the things that Blake did in the town of Medina. No, his daughters took to it. They wanted to know what their father was doing. They probably wanted to learn about this because they grew up with their father talking about these things while they were children. Image courtesy of Mark J. Stegmaier View File Details Page

H.G. Blake

H.G. Blake

Mr. Blake was a part of many things. Some of the things he was a part of ranged form being in the military to going against the government with his chin held high, to help slaves escape North. H. G. Blake was a man of his word and he did whatever he needed to do to keep to his word. H. G. Blake is a great leader. He did many things that he believed in and sometimes that involved him in sticking up against his friends. he did this just to support the thing he believed in. Image courtesy of Nick Steiner View File Details Page

H. G. Blake - A family man

H. G. Blake - A family man

H. G. Blake was a man that lived through and took part in many events. But this didn't stop H. G. Blake from starting a family. H. G. Blake had a wife that was very loving and stood by his side no matter what happened. H. G. Blake also had two daughters. His daughters knew about the underground railroad system. They helped their parents with it as much as they could. Also, whenever there were slaves in the house, the Blake's would pull their daughters out of school. They did this to keep the traffic level through the front door to a minimum. Image courtesy of Nick Steiner View File Details Page

Placket

Placket

On the side of H. G. Blake's house lies a placket. This placket is on the side of the house to this day. The placket wasn't put on the side of the house when H. G. Blake was there. This is because of what lies on the placket. This plackets says that the Blake family used their home as a stop on the underground railroad system. If this placket was placed on the side of their home while they were living in it, then anybody who supported slavery could get the whole Blake family killed for helping slaves run away. Image courtesy of Nick Steiner View File Details Page

H.G. Blakes House

H.G. Blakes House

As this house sits it seems like any normal house that was biult in the 1840. But no, This house has see the good, the bad, and the hatred. In the house lived H.G. Blake and his family. This family used their house not only as a sacred place, but also as a shelter. This shelter was not for whites or poor people, but run away slaves. In the very rooms of this house slaves have been free. Slaves have treated their open wounds. And slaves have died from the wounds that their owners put there. Image courtesy of Nick Steiner View File Details Page

The Blake's front door

The Blake's front door

A front door, some see the use of a front door as to keep the hot air out and the cold air in. But at the Blake's house, the front door had a more important job to do. The Blake's front door had to keep the secrets, the lies, and the most unfortunate souls in. While it kept the wrong, the Government and the bad out. Most of these unfortunate souls never walked through the Blake's front door. They had to enter through the back door. This had to be done for if anyone were to see a black man, woman, or child enter their house, nothing good would come of it. The Blake's could be killed if they were caught helping runaway slaves. Image courtesy of Nick Steiner View File Details Page

H. G. Blake's shed

H. G. Blake's shed

If you were to walk past the Blake house, you would notice that there is a shed to the left and behind the house. Now even if you were a part of the under ground railroad system, you would know that keeping all the slaves that came to you in your house was a risky business. Because of this, a shed did a great many wonders for the Blake family. Although the shed has windows in the front, the Blake's were able to use the shed in the most illegal way. The Blake's were able to hide slaves and food in their shed. The Blake's were always extra careful to make sure there was nobody snooping around their house when slaves were there. Image courtesy of Nick Steiner View File Details Page

Portrait of H. G. Blake

Portrait of H. G. Blake

In the town of Medina, there were many things that the Blake's did that left their footprint. At the Medina Historical Society, this picture hangs of H. G. Blake. This picture is in tribute to H. G. Blake for his help in the underground railroad system and his help with setting up the main bank of Medina back in the 1800's. Image courtesy of Nick Steiner View File Details Page

Mr. and Mrs. Blake at MHS

Mr. and Mrs. Blake at MHS

In the town of Medina there were many things that the Blake's did that left their foot print in this town. At the Medina Historical Society this picture hangs of the Blake's. This picture is in tribute to Mrs. Blake supporting her husband with everything that he did for the town of Medina. She supported him when he helped start the bank of Medina. She also stepped up and helped him out with hiding the slaves and feeding the slaves for the Under Ground Rail Road system. Image courtesy of Nick Steiner View File Details Page

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Cite this Page:

Kaden Nieves
Nick Steiner , “Harrison Gray Blake ,” Discover Medina, accessed March 26, 2017, http://discovermedina.org/items/show/52.
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