Waynesville Ohio played an important role in the Underground Railroad movement.
Waynesville was settled by Friends from the Bush River (South Carolina) Quaker Meeting who moved north because of their opposition to slavery. Waynesville is a Quaker community among Quaker communities. Thomas Arnett and Achilles Pugh are two Orthodox Quaker Abolitionists who lived in Waynesville. Waynesville is located along the Little Miami River. Nine miles to the west, Springboro is an established site of Underground Railroad activity. Five miles to the east is Harveysburg.
Established in 1831, the Harveysburg Free Black School was the first free school for African American children in Ohio. To the northeast is Xenia, thus on to Yellow Springs, moving northward and eastward to Lake Erie and Canada. The Museum at the Friends Homes hosts school tours and presentations.