Historical Adventures: Underground Railroad Part One

For our second adventure Melody and I decided to travel along Lorain County‚Äôs Underground Railroad Tour. We left early on a Wednesday morning, equipped with Visit Lorain County’s On the Trail to Freedom guide, in search of information and new sights. We chose a beautiful day for exploring, it was one of the first sunny days in a few days. Due to unexpected construction, the drive included some creative turns while trying to get to our first location.

The Underground Railroad marker

We started in Oberlin at the Underground Railroad Marker; Garden and First Church. We learned that First Church was the meeting site of the Oberlin Anti-Slavery Society.  From First Church we walked through Tappan Square, which seemed strangely empty, yet peaceful, since Oberlin College is on summer break. Our next stop was the Underground Railroad Sculpture located across from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music. The healing garden, located near the sculpture, contains plants that represent those that were used by slaves on the road to freedom. It was a very pretty setting, I couldn’t help but wish my residence hall at school had such an interesting sculpture in front of it.

Oberlin Heritage Center

Melody and I were told that the Oberlin Heritage Center was the place to go for authentic experiences and celebrate the past, so that was our next stop. There we talked to another Leadership Lorain County intern, Michelle, who showed us a map of the Underground Railroad, and a few other interesting pieces of history located at the Heritage Center. I asked about “hidey-holes” or hidden rooms and they told us that the Bardwell House had one but unfortunately isn’t open to the public. We drove by it on our way back to the visitors center. It looked like a perfectly normal house to me. It would be pretty cool to be the person living in that house now!

Scanning the QR code

From the Oberlin Heritage Center we made our way to the Westwood Cemetery located on Morgan Street.  Once we arrived at the cemetery we walked to the back corner where the majority of the graves are located. Melody scanned the QR code in our handy On the Trail to Freedom guide to help us find the graves. You could also download the trail here. Since I grew up in Oberlin, many of the names I saw walking through the cemetery seemed familiar to me. Quite a few buildings in Oberlin are named after people who are buried in Westwood. We managed to find quite a few graves. It was amazing to see how many remarkable people lived in the same town as me and to learn about their active role in history.

After all that adventure we decided it was time for a cool treat! Cowhaus Creamery is a fantastic artisan hand-spun ice cream shop on East College Street. With such a great vibe and service the ice cream was definitely worth our side trip! Melody sampled a few flavors before deciding on a seasonal cherry sorbet. I stuck with my favorite, strawberry. We paused a moment while enjoying our ice cream to admire the cute cow decor!

We weren’t able to fit the entire tour into one day so stay tuned for part two!


P.S. If you find your adventure is too much for one day…check out our lodging info at www.visitloraincounty.com

posted by lorain at 4:04 pm

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