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Woodlawn Farm re-opens for summer 2009 PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 19 June 2009 19:42

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 Historic Woodlawn Farm reopens for tours 

      Woodlawn Farm has an improved appearance this summer as the historic site near Jacksonville reopens for public tours.  

      Renovation work on the 19th century farm house that was completed late last fall included the complete restoration of the first- and second-story windows on the building’s north side – the portion motorists on nearby Interstate 72 can view as they drive past the location. Crews also restored the main entrance to the building and completed a comprehensive tuck-pointing project. 

      Woodlawn Farm was built in the 1840s and reportedly served as a station on the Underground Railroad. Guides in period costume will lead tours of the farm house from 1 to 4 p.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through the end of August. The suggested donation is $3.  

      The structure was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2007 and is operated by the Underground Railroad Committee of the Morgan County Historical Society. 

      Signs directing visitors to Woodlawn Farm are located along Old Route 36 at the intersection with Arnold Road, a short distance east of the Jacksonville Correctional Center. Information regarding group tours is available by calling 243-5938 or the Jacksonville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau at 243-5678.  

      Tour guides will describe the role that original owners Michael and Jane Huffaker played in developing the 19th century farmstead and their efforts in assisting runaway slaves traveling along the Underground Railroad.  

      Efforts continue to completely restore the structure to its original condition. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity provided a $75,000 matching grant in 2007 that made it possible for the owners to replace the roof and complete major structural repairs. Volunteers who staff the site and operate the Underground Railroad Committee are seeking financial assistance to finish restoring all of the building’s windows.  

      The staff of tour guides at Woodlawn Farm for the summer includes Illinois College junior Nicole Clemens of Fairview Heights. She will complete an internship at the site during the summer months. The Underground Railroad Committee operates a Web site at www.woodlawnfarm.com, and can be reached via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .