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To celebrate Black History Month, the Historical Society will host a bus tour of Jersey County’s Underground Railroad on Wednesday, March 13, from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

We’ll board the bus at the Cheney House and then head south to see the historic Rocky Fork Church in Godfrey, the first stop for many freedom seekers who traveled through Jersey County. Other stops will include the Hamilton Primary School in Otterville, and the site of Josiah White’s cabin.

During the tour, we’ll learn about the county’s earliest settlers and how their origins influenced their views of slavery. We’ll discuss slavery in Illinois and answer the question: Were slaves owned in Jersey County? We’ll also introduce several local men who risked everything to help slaves move northward to gain their freedom.

The tour will end back at the Cheney House where you’ll see where freedom seekers sought shelter during their journey north. We’ll share who we believe may have been responsible for the creation of this stop on the Underground Railroad.

Tickets are $40, and reservations and prepayment are required. Call or text Beth at 618-520-2681 for reservations.

We haven’t offered an Underground Railroad tour in more than 20 years. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about this fascinating chapter of Jersey County history.

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