Archived Story

UGRR Days features freedom play

Published 10:44pm Wednesday, June 13, 2012

“Seven Stops to Freedom,” a play about a journey to freedom on the Underground Railroad, kicks off the Village of Vandalia’s “Underground Railroad Days” at 7:30 p.m. June 22 at Ross Beatty Senior School in Cassopolis.

Fran and Von Washington

The play, written and acted by former WMU theater director, Dr. Von Washington and his wife, Fran, depicts a journey of seven stops on the UGRR from Mississippi to Cass County. The Washingtons formed Washington Productions in 1991 and have created 16 shows, with more than 1,000 performances throughout the world.
Lois Cross-Hart, newly appointed poet laureate of Cass County, will open the evening with her poem “Cass County Brave,” written especially for Underground Railroad Days.
A reception will follow the performance. Tickets are $10 ($5 student) and available at the door or online at
Underground Railroad Days continues from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with activities centered in Milo Barnes Park in Vandalia. The village sponsors a classic car show on Saturday, along with several types of booths, including arts and crafts, yard sale and local food vendors.
The Underground Railroad Society of Cass County sponsors information booths in Milo Barnes Park, as well as presentations in the Village Hall about various aspects of the UGRR in Cass County. the restoration of the Bonine House, Harriet Tubman and the role early Cass County African-American families played in the Underground Railroad.
There are guided tours of several UGRR sites up and down M-60 that tell the story of the “Kentucky Raid” of 1847, a precipitating force in the Civil War. The Bonine House will be open for tours on Saturday and Sunday.
Parking and activities are free of charge; a donation is requested for the guided tours to offset expenses. A complete schedule of events can be found on Call (269) 445-7358 with questions.

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