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The Evolution of an Underground Railroad Historic Site

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Rokeby Museum was designated a National Historic Landmark for its Underground Railroad history in 1997, but it has been open to the public since 1961. How museum staff and volunteers have interpreted that history has changed remarkably during those years. Because Rokeby is one of the best-documented of such sites in the country, it is possible to trace clearly both the historical people and events of the 1830s and 1840s and how members of the family and the community remembered these same people and events and presented them through succeeding generations.

This presentation is based on research in the museum collection and other repositories undertaken as part of the planning for a permanent exhibit on the Underground Railroad to be built in 2006. The exhibit features Simon and Jesse, fugitives from slavery in Maryland and North Carolina who lived and worked with the Robinsons on their farm in 1837. Jane Williamson of the Rokeby Museum presents.

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