The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway runs from the Maryland border in Sandtown, where it connects to the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Scenic Byway of the Maryland Scenic Byways system, north to the Pennsylvania border in Centreville, following DE 10 between the Maryland border and Camden, US 13 between Camden through Dover to Smyrna, DE 15 from the Smyrna area to Middletown, DE 9 from Odessa to Wilmington, and DE 52 from Wilmington to the Pennsylvania border. The byway provides access to sites related to the Underground Railroad, including the Camden Friends Meetinghouse in Camden; Wildcat Manor near Dover; Blackbird State Forest; the Odessa Historic District which includes the Appoquinimink Friends Meetinghouse and Corbit-Sharp House; the New Castle Court House Museum in New Castle; the Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park, the Thomas Garrett House, Old Town Hall, Friends Meetinghouse, and Quaker Hill Historic District in Wilmington; and Centreville Village.
The byway was nominated in 2009 by the Underground Railroad Coalition of Delaware and the National Park Service‘s National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. The byway was designated by 2010. In 2011, focus group meetings were held for the byway’s corridor management plan, which was completed in 2012.
In 2009,Robin Krawitz, Director, Graduate Program in Historic Preservation, Delaware State University wrote a proposal for sites to include in the proposed Byway. This is what the report says about Wildcat and some of the other Hunn residences:
It is an unusually built house with a multitude of irregular spaces and additions. Ancestral home of the Hunn Family (Quakers), this house was part of the land holdings of the Hunn family and is known as a hiding place for escaping slaves. Location: Wildcat Manor is located on a Kent County Government parcel off of Sorghum Mill Road. It has yet to be opened to the public.
Great Geneva was the finer of the two homes built by the Hunn family of Kent County at Forest Landing. Made of brick with Flemish Bond and glazed headers, this house showcases the prosperity of the Hunn Family who built it in ca. 1765. Hunn family members settled in Kent County in the seventeenth century and Jonathan Hunn purchased the tract called Great Geneva from Alexander Humphrey’s in ca. 1765. Members of the Society of Friends, Hunn family members met with other local Quaker families for worship at the Murderkill Friends Meeting House, established near Magnolia, Delaware in ca. 1760. There are several family members buried in the graveyard which is all that survives at the site of this early meeting house.
This home relates to the Underground Railroad in its importance in the life of abolitionist John Hunn. Hunn was most likely born here. Orphaned by the age of three, he was put into the guardianship of Patience Hunn Jenkins, his oldest half-sister and inheritor of this house at the death of her father, and her husband, George Washington Jenkins. John Hunn had been dubbed the “Chief Engineer” of the Underground Railroad in Delaware in William Still’s book, The Underground Railroad. He assisted a great number of freedom seekers, most notably the Hawkins family in 1845. For his participation in this escape, he and Thomas Garrett were convicted and fined in 1848 by the United States District Court. Despite the financial burden of this conviction and other related fines, Hunn continued to be active in the Underground Railroad. His activities eventually left him destitute but he never desisted and during and after the Civil War worked with the Port Royal Relief Committee on St. Helena Island in South Carolina.