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Monday, 29 September 2008 00:57


West side of statue in Downtown Plaza - the story on the plaque is of significance to the UGRR in Jacksonville.

The UGRR Committee is a young sub-committee of the Morgan County Historical Society that was organized in 2003 by Art Wilson and Abby Templin. In less than six months of its formation, the Committee identified Woodlawn Farm as a UGRR site with great potential for education and local tourism. On December 29, 2003 the Committee, with the assistance of the Morgan County Historical Society purchased Woodlawn Farm 5 miles east of town. The UGRR Committee plans to develop this property into a living history museum which will not only celebrate the courage of those involved in the UGRR but will also demonstrate what life was like on a farm in the middle of the 19th century.

In addition to this ambitious and laudable project, the Committee also co-hosted with Illinois College a statewide conference last spring through the Freedom Trails Tourism Bureau called "Lamps of Knowledge, Lights to Freedom." The Conference involved a morning of underground railroad symposia including four Illinois colleges, tours of Jacksonville UGRR sites in the afternoon, and a campground celebration at Woodlawn Farm in the evening where the history of the 1840's and 50's was reenacted in song, dance, food, and storytelling.

Tours are conducted at the Farm and throughout Jacksonville as requested. Meetings are held on the second Thursday of each month at 5:30 at Woodlawn Farm. The Committee welcomes all who would help us tell and relive the story. You may call 217 243-3755 for more information.

MISSION STATEMENT: The purpose of the Underground Railroad Cultural and Educational Committee is to provide research & educational opportunities on the history of the Underground Railroad in Morgan County.