Muskingum County was critical in the time of the Underground Railroad–and now there is a monument marking that history.
At the Stone Academy’s 200th Anniversary festivities, a historical marker was dedicated, highlighting the importance of the building in the underground railroad and racial tensions in the area.
“The most significant part of it is that it was the beginning of the Underground Railroad at least in Ohio,” said keynote speaker Henry Burke. “The people that started the Underground Railroad along the Muskingum River, were probably early settlers in Ohio who brought the anti-slavery mindset and by and large set the tone with dominated Ohio and the other states that formed from the Northwest Territory.”
Director of the Pioneer and Historical Society Jim Geyer says many important figures came lived and spoke in the Stone Academy, including a famous abolishinist.
“At one point, Theodore Weld, the noted abolisionist speaker, was speaking on the second floor,” said Geyer. “A mob broke into the building, took him outside and began to stone him. Had it not been for the Putnam residents, who knows what would have happened.”
The marker is one of seven in the Muskingum Valley Corridor of the Underground Railroad.
Tomorrow the celebration continues–the building will be open for tours starting at 1 p.m.