Underground Railroad Site Recognized in Chicago

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Underground Railroad Site Recognized in Chicago (Chicago, IL) — It is a hidden gem of history, tucked away on the far southeast side of Chicago. Over the weekend, on Saturday September 25th, this history was illuminated and finally officially recognized. The Ton Farm, located at 557 E. 134th place now has a plaque from the National Park Service recognizing it as an Underground Railroad site, the first site to earn this type of recognition in Chicago.

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Prairie State College
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Prairie State College

The Ton Farm was run by Dutch immigrants and abolitionists, and their goal was to help those fleeing slavery make it to safely to freedom in points located in the North. This path of safe harbor is home to Chicago’s Finest Marina, the only Black own marina in the city.

Ronald Gaines, a retired sergeant of the Chicago Police Department, owns Chicago’s Finest Marina and is proud of its history.

“I am excited to be part of this important legacy,” said Ronald Gaines. “More people need to know about this stop on the Underground Railroad. It’s important that we document our history, and this is event is a great way to do it.”

Congresswoman Robin Kelly and Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton were among the lawmakers taking part in the ceremony that was standing room only at the historic site.

“For Black people, the Underground Railroad has come to symbolize more than the historic acts of bravery that led to freedom,” said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton. “It symbolizes collective fortitude, what can be accomplished when faced with any challenge, how having the faith to act and the faith to believe conquers all when we do it together.”

Underground Railroad Site Recognized in Chicago

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Monica Gordon for Cook County Commissioner

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