The Onondaga County Historical Association is digging up pieces of the past to show Syracuse's role in the abolitionist movement. 

The center is highlighting a former slave who escaped to freedom from Syracuse in 1839. 

Twenty-four-year-old Harriet Powell's powerful story is shown on the wall, giving people an inside look of her journey, but also the impact she made in the community. 

For the first time ever, the association is displaying the last original reward poster that was sent out to try and capture Powell. 

The executive director says it's a rare artifact that he wants the public to see.

"You don't know where you're going if you don't know where you've been," said Gregg Tripoli, the historical association's executive director. "I think knowing our history instills great pride in who we are, but it also gives us a determination to want to build and leave a legacy that's worthy of that great heritage."

Tripoli says the artifact will only be out for a limited amount of time.