Nelson T. Gant House
Nelson T. Gant as one of Zanesville’s most prominent African American citizens. Born into slavery on the Woodburn Estate of John Nixon of Loudoun County, Virginia on May 10, 1821, Nelson was given is freedom by the provisions of his master’s will in September 1845. However, Gant’s wife Anna Maria Hughes, remained the property of Miss CAE Jane Russell of Leesburg who refused to release her from bondage.
Twelve months after receiving his freedom, Nelson crossed the Ohio River and eventually arrived in Zanesville. Abolitionists in Putnam and friends in Virginia collected enough money to help Gant buy his wife’s freedom in February 1847.
The Gants made Zanesville their permanent home in 1850. Gant worked for Theodore Convers, during which time he bought this land for his home and farm. After Convers died, Gant made his living as a farmer and gardener of specialty vegetables. Although Nelson was a quiet man, oral tradition claims that he often hid slaves in his vegetable wagon to assist them from one safe house to another.
Nelson as quite industrious-he even sold “find strawberries and cream”
In the old slave tradition, Nelson would host community picnics on July 5th in “Gant’s Grove,” which he later sold to Townsend Brick to make into public park- one of the first integrated parks in the state. The Municipal Stadium now stands on the grounds that used to be Gant Park.
Nelson T. Gant died July 14, 1905 a well-respected citizen and a millionaire.
Erected by This marker was funded by Ohio Department of Transportation, District 5.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Abolition & Underground RR • African Americans. A significant historical month for this entry is February 1847.
Location. 39° 56.722′ N, 82° 1.858′ W. Marker is in Zanesville, Ohio, in Muskingum County. Marker is on West Pike (U.S. 40), on the right
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Nelson T. Gant House (here, next to this marker); Y-Bridge (approx. 0.9 miles away); a different marker also named Y-Bridge (approx. one mile away); a different marker also named Y-Bridge (approx. one mile away); Muskingum County Medal of Honor Memorial (approx. 1.1 miles away); Muskingum County Vietnam War Memorial (approx. 1.1 miles away); The Bicentennial Legacy Monument (approx. 1.1 miles away); Muskingum County Iraqi Conflicts Memorial (approx. 1.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Zanesville.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on June 30, 2011, by Charles T. Harrell of Woodford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 744 times since then and 38 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on June 30, 2011, by Charles T. Harrell of Woodford, Virginia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.