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Underground Railroad Days July 12-13 in Vandalia

Published 3:18pm Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Village of Vandalia and the Underground Railroad Society of Cass County (URSCC) are co-sponsoring Underground Railroad (UGRR) Days July 12-13.

Underground Railroad Days celebrates the history of the Underground Railroad in the area.

Events will be held Saturday, July 12 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, July 13 from noon to 5 p.m.

URSCC hosts guided tours of UGRR sites, a Cass County Civil War Encampment and UGRR education booths. The “Ramptown cabin” in Milo Barnes Park features continuous entertainment and the historic James E. Bonine House will be open for touring.

The Village of Vandalia hosts a classic car show (Saturday), arts and crafts booths and a soul food dinner.

Presentations in the Vandalia Youth Center include Cass County and the Civil War, African American pioneers in Cass County and Sam Adams School “wax museum.”

Featured speaker Anna-Lisa Cox, noted historian, author and Smithsonian Museum consultant, will speak on the migration of free black families to antebellum southwest Michigan and Cass County on Sunday.

Mary Charlotte Bonine will speak about growing up in the Bonine House at the Bonine House on Saturday.

A complete schedule of events can be found at

Friday night at 7 p.m. is UGRR Days “opening night” at Sam Adams Elementary School in Cassopolis.

Dr. Von and Fran Washington will present a dramatic reading of their play “A River to Cross” about the Underground Railroad. Also featured is the Sam Adams Michigan History Day State championship team, doing their prize-winning play, “The Kentucky Raid In Ten Minutes.”

Parking, admission to all events and presentations are free to the public, but donations are very much appreciated.

For information on booth space and car show entry, call Vandalia Village President Beverly Young at (269) 476-2344. Other questions can be emailed to or call 445-7358.


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