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Ohio's Mixed-Race 'Hill Country'

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  • multiracialbookclub
    THE MIXED-RACE HERITAGE OF OHIO S HILL COUNTRY [Photo Courtesy Tom O Grady -- Copyright 2003 All Rights Reserved]
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 16, 2007
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      Photo Courtesy Tom O'Grady -- Copyright 2003 All Rights Reserved



      Historic Sites & Museums

      Photo Courtesy Tom O'Grady -- Copyright 2003 All Rights Reserved

      Natural Heritage

      Photo Courtesy Tom O'Grady -- Copyright 2003 All Rights Reserved

      Scenic Byways

      Photo Courtesy Tom O'Grady -- Copyright 2003 All Rights Reserved

      Underground Railroad

      Photo Courtesy Tom O'Grady -- Copyright 2003 All Rights Reserved

           The Underground Railroad is a story of the
           search for freedom, one of the defining
           aspects of the American experience.

           It was neither a "railroad," nor is it "underground."
           Rather, it is a network of sites, routes and
           events that tell the story of thousands of
           people who escaped chattel slavery, trying,
           against all odds, to reach freedom.
           Ohio 's location bordering the slave-owning
           states of Kentucky and West Virginia
           (formerly a part of Virginia ) make it an
           area rich in Underground Railroad history.
           Ohio's Hill Country Heritage Area is especially
           important in Ohio's Underground Railroad
           history, as many of the communities
           along the Ohio River and farther inland
           provided safety to thousands of people who
           came to be described as 'fugitives' from the
           matrilineal-based system of chattel slavery.
           Appreciation for  Ohio 's Underground Railroad
           history is continuing to grow as communities
           research, preserve and interpret their
           Underground Railroad sites.
           Please join in on a journey to the past where
           individuals risked their lives on a daily basis
           to seek or help others seek freedom.
           This journey will make you stop and think
           about freedom in a different way.
           Over 800 Ohio sites have been documented as
           significant for Underground Railroad history.
           A large number of these are located with
           Ohio 's Hill Country Heritage Area.
           To begin your exploration of the subject,
           we suggest the sites listed below:
      Resources to Explore:
      Emancipation Festival

           Gallia County, Ohio is reportedly the
           only community 
      in the nation that
           has celebrated the Emancipation 
       continuously since 1863.
           The two-day event is held every year on
           the weekend closest to September 22 at
           the Gallia County Fairgrounds in Gallipolis.
           Gallipolis, Ohio   

      Franklin College
           Faculty and students from a little college in
           eastern Ohio played significant roles in the
           period leading up to the Civil War, during
           the War and in the Reconstruction period.
           Among its graduates during this period were
           Civil War generals; five U.S. Senators;
           eight Congressmen; two governors
           and thirty two state legislators.
           The radical Presbyterian roots of the
           college led to its abolitionist teachings.
           The only surviving building, dating from the
           early 20th century, has been converted into
           a museum with exhibits on Abolitionism, the
           Underground Railroad, the Civil War and
           Reconstruction, along with exhibits of local interest.
           The museum is open during limited hours.
           Tours of the museum can be scheduled by
           calling (740) 968-4066 or (740) 968-1042.
           New Athens , Ohio

           John Gee Historical Center
          and Lambert Lands

           The John Gee Historical Center is located

           in a former A.M.E. Church at the corner of
           Second Avenue and Pine Street in Gallipolis.

           It has been turned into a museum
           of African-American culture

      It is open the first and third week of the
      month from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
      and by appointment for groups.
      Other programs are offered throughout the year.
      The Lambert Lands have been recently recognized
      by the installation of a historical marker.
      Located in Morgan Township , these lands
      (265 acres) were purchased by the Lambert
      brothers, who were slaveholders in Virginia .
      They freed those people who were enslaved on
      the property in which the brothers lived and
      gave them the land to be held in common by
      them and their descendents "in perpetuity".
      Unfortunately, the lands were sold for taxes in 1970.
      It is known that many escaping slaves passed through
       this settlement and were helped by its residents.
      The marker documents this important
      aspect of Gallia County history.
      48 Pine Street
      Gallipolis , Ohio 45631    


      Lawrence County Museum
      Lawrence County , located along the Ohio River ,
      has created a self-guided tour Tracks to
      Freedom documenting the county's
      active role in the Underground Railroad.
      Volunteers are working with the Wayne
           National Forest to research Underground

      Railroad sites on Forest Service land.
      The Lawrence County Museum has artifacts that
      belonged to noted Abolitionist Rev. John Rankin,
      who lived his final years in this house
      with his granddaughter and her family.
           ( 740)377-4550
           506 South Sixth Street

      Ironton , Ohio


      Mt. Pleasant Meeting House
      and Historic District
      Founded in 1803, this early 19th century activist
      Quaker community is located just a short distance
      from Wheeling , West Virginia (formerly Virginia )
      where slave auctions were regularly held.
      The historic district, which has been designated
      as a National Historic Landmark, is a remarkably
      intact example of a 19th century community.
      Its residents are still largely Quakers and are proud
      to share their abolitionist history with visitors.
      Group tours of the Quaker Meeting House,
      Burris Store, Tin Shop, Elizabeth House
      Mansion Museum, and Historical Center
      are available by reservation by contacting or .
           (740) 769-2893

      Mount Pleasant , Ohio  

      Network to Freedom Sites
      Clermont County, Ohio has a number of
      documented Underground Railroad sites
      that have been approved for inclusion in the
      National Park Service's Network to Freedom.
      Information about the sites can
      be found on the Park Service website.
      Prospect Place
      Prospect Place, located near the village of Dresden,
      is one of the most impressive mid-19th
      century Italian Villa style homes in Ohio.
      It was built by George Willison Adams, whose father
      left Virginia because of his strong anti-slavery views.
      The home was reported to be a
      stop on the Underground Railroad.
      It is currently being restored by George
      Adams , a descendent of the original owner.
      The home is open for tours on weekends
      and will eventually be a Bed & Breakfast
      welcoming overnight guests.
           Trinway , Ohio


      Putnam Historic District
      The Putnam Historic District, located across
      the Muskingum River from downtown
      Zanesville , is significant for its association with
      Abolitionism and the Underground Railroad.
      The district includes the homes of at least three
      active abolitionists, the Stone Academy where
      two meetings of the Ohio Abolition Society
      were held, and the Putnam Presbyterian
      Church where Frederick Douglas spoke.
      In fact, the first pastor of the Putnam Presbyterian
      Church was William Beecher, brother of Harriet
      Beecher Stow (author of Uncle Tom's Cabin).
      The Stone Academy is operated as a museum by
      Pioneer and Historical Society of Muskingum County.
      A Historic Putnam walking tour brochure is available
      by contacting the Zanesville-Muskingum County
      Visitor's Bureau at (800) 743-2303.
           Zanesville , Ohio

      Rev. John Rankin and

      John Parker Houses
      The Underground Railroad played a major
      role in the history of this beautiful little
      town along the banks of the Ohio River .
      Two of Ohio 's most prominent Underground Railroad
      conductors – vocal abolitionist Reverend John Rankin
      and John Parker (who purchased his freedom) helped
      hundreds of escaping slaves find their way to freedom.
      Both the Rankin House Museum and
      the John Parker Museum are designated
      National Historic Landmarks and have excellent
      interpretive programs on the Underground Railroad.
      What better place to start the journey of
      exploration on the Underground Railroad
      than in this community where the banks
      of Kentucky are visible across the Ohio River .
      In fact, Brown County has joined with
      Washington and Maysville , Kentucky to
      create an Underground Railroad Tour.
      For further information contact the Rankin House
      (937) 392-1627, the Parker House (937) 392-4188
      or the Washington Visitors Center ( Kentucky )
      at (606) 759-7411 for further information.

           6152 Rankin Road 
           Ripley, Ohio 



           330 Front Street

      Ripley, Ohio 

      Ross County Historical

      Society Museum
      Citizens of Ross County and its county seat and
      first state capital Chillicothe were active in the
      Underground Railroad, as several escape routes
      from the Ohio River intersected in the county.
      The Ross County Historical Society has recently
      organized a permanent exhibit on Ross County 's
      contribution to the Underground Railroad effort.
      A visit to this well-preserved historic
      community is always worthwhile.
           45 West Fifth Street

      Chillicothe , Ohio

      Self-Guided Tour of
      Underground Railroad Sites
      Salem , a historic Quaker community,
      was active in both the abolitionist and
      women's suffrage movements.
      A number of buildings in the community
      have been researched and documented
      as Underground Railroad sites.
      The community recently published a
      four-color self-guided tour brochure of
      Underground Railroad sites in Salem .
      After touring the sites, the public is invited to visit
      the Salem Historical Society and Museum and
      Freedom Hall which has interpretive displays
      about Salem 's Underground Railroad history.
      (330) 337-8514
           Salem, Ohio


      Underground Railroad Museum and Tours
      Located along the main street in the small town of
      Flushing, this museum features a fascinating collection
      of publications, memorabilia and artifacts relating
      to slavery and the Underground Railroad in Ohio.
      It has been designated as an official site
      on the National Park Service's National
      Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.
      Curator, John Mattox, also offers group tours of
      the Underground Railroad in Eastern Ohio and
      has a Traveling Trunk program that he takes
      to groups and schools around the state.
      (740) 968-3517
           206 High Street

      Flushing, Ohio 43977

      Belpre Underground Railroad Museum

      (740) 423-7855

      Belpre Historical Society
      Belpre, Ohio

      Wayne National Forest Underground
      Railroad Research Project

      Embree Park

      (740) 962-3200
      Payne Cemetery

      Wilkesville Underground Railroad Site

      Chesterhill Quaker Meeting House

      (740) 962-3200

      West Settlement
      (937) 981-7890

           Greenfield Historical Society

      103 McArthur Way
      Greenfield, Ohio 45123

      Albany Marker and Mural,
      Enterprise Academy
      Cutler Street Markers
           Rt. 555

      Burlington 37 Cemetery Marker


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