A former plantation located just east of Bedford, Ky., will be inducted into the National Parks Service’s Underground Railroad Network to Freedom program on Friday.

A dedication ceremony is set for noon Friday at the Bibb Escapes/Gatewood Plantation Site, according to a release from the Oldham County Historical Society. The public also is invited tour the site, help wash artifacts and participate in an architectural dig at the site from 10 a.m. to noon.

Since 2007, the OCHS has been conducting archaeological investigations focusing on the Gatewood site, where Henry Walton Bibb first escaped slaver owners.

According to American National Biography Online, www.anb.org, he was born in 1815 and first owned by David White of Shelby County, who leased him to other plantations throughout the South. He was purchased in 1837 by William Gatewood, who owned Bibb’s slave wife, Malinda, who bore their only surviving child, Mary Frances, there. The Gatewood Plantation was located in Oldham County until Trimble County was established in 1837.

Bibb escaped several times, and was recaptured, usually when trying to free his wife and child from slaveholders. He also was sold many times. Eventually, he was permanently separated from his family.

Bibb went to Canada and became editor of “Voice of the Fugitive,” a biweekly anti-slavery journal. He also wrote his memoir, “Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb, An American Slave,” and lectured about his experience as a slave to abolitionists in the North.

He lived in Sandwich, West Canada, with his second wife, Mary E. Miles, an African-American abolitionist from Boston, who helped him establish a farming colony for fugitives slaves in Canada.

The designation is wonderful, said Nancy Stearns Theiss, executive director of the Oldham County History Center in La Grange, Ky. “The reason we (applied to) the program was because it recognized efforts of enslaved people from Oldham County who contributed to the success of what Oldham County is today.”

On Saturday, also at noon, the History Center will celebrate the induction of the archived holdings of the J.C. Bennett Library in La Grange into the program.

For more information, call the History Center at (502) 222-0826 or visit www.oldhamcountyhistoricalsociety.org.