June 3--Portage Lake Center Elementary 4th Grade
Take the UGRR 20-Site Driving Tour!
Underground Railroad Days 2022
Brownsville School #1 20559 Osborn St. Cassopolis
Mrs Hoff's Class
One-Room School To Be Restored by Friends of Brownsville School
Underground Railroad Society of Cass County (URSCC) has recently purchased Brownsville School #1, 20559 Osborn St. in Cassopolis, MI. This Calvin Township one-room schoolhouse was built in the early 1840's, and was integrated from the day it opened, until it closed in 1957, making Brownsville #1 among the longest integrated public school in Michigan, and perhaps the first one. Friends of Brownsville School (FBS) has been formed to carry out this project, chaired by Jennifer Ray, retired Cass District Library Director.
Christmas at the Bonine House 2022
Visitors can tour the Bonine House, Bonine Carriage House and Bogue House June through September, Monday-Friday, 2 pm - 5 pm. Docents will tell you the history of each site. Contact us to arrange private tours.
URSCC Annual Events are:
Cass County UGRR Wax Museum at the Bonine House -- Spring 2022
Underground Railroad Days -- second weekend in July 2022
Christmas at the Bonine House -- first and second weekends in December 2022
We've Come a Long Way!
The Stephen Bogue House at M-60 and Crooked Creek Rd.
Underground Railroad Days 2022 was a happy occasion for over a thousand people who visited Vandalia and participated in the activities. Two years delayed because of Covid, there were smiles everywhere. Glorious weather continued the eleven year streak of no rain during the celebration. The Kentucky Raid guided tours were full, and the Bonine House, Carriage House and Bogue House saw a steady stream of visitors. Musicans at the "Ramptown Cabin" entertained their audience in an intimate setting under the tent, and the blacksmith and spinner demonstrated their skills. Presentations on Cass County and the 102nd USCT in the Civil War,the Kentucky Raid of 1847, and Network to Freedom photos, were well attended. Vendors on the Vandalia Village grounds offered a wonderful variety to shoppers. The Sunday morning community church service on the Vandalia grounds was filled with joyous congregations from several churches in Vandalia and Cassopolis. This unique annual festival draws from the region and the State to celebrate the legacy of the Underground Railroad in the area. See you next year the second weekend of July!
Please give a few minutes to load. Enjoy!
May 31--Sam Adams Elementary 5th Grades, Cassopolis MI
Click on the poster to download a printable version.
Take a Stand! Testify!
Mr. Scott's Class
Mrs. Bonine's Class
Take the URSCC self-guided driving tour of 20 UGRR sites within four miles of Vandalia, MI. Click here or on the image. to view the tour and download a printable map. Maps are also available at the UGRR Historical Marker in MIlo Barnes Park on M-60 in Vandalia. The tour takes about an hour if you don't stop to explore.
Watch our URSCC Powerpoints
"The Underground Railroad in Cass County MI"
"The Bonine House--A Legacy of Freedom"
Tour the Bonine House, Carriage House and Bogue House
2022 Cass County UGRR Wax Museums
Mrs Torbet's Class
Christmas at the Bonine House was delightful, with many visitors (including Santa, Mrs. Claus and Jingles the elf) over two weeks. Our new tradition allows visitors the leisure to explore the Bonine House, enjoy the decorations, and learn about the history of the house. Our docents and members were there to greet hundreds of visitors and spread holiday cheer.
Click on photos to advance them, or just let them advance on their own. Enjoy!
The Kentucky Raid
In 1847 black and white residents of Vandalia and Cassopolis stood up and stopped thirteen slave catchers from taking nine kidnapped slaves back to Kentucky. They showed great courage and determination in stopping what they saw as a grave injustice. Freedom seekers were allowed to testify in court and won.
When we encounter bigotry, intolerance and injustice we must find our own courage to do what is right --
Take a Stand! Testify!
James E Bonine Carriage House M-60 and Calvin Center Road, across M-60 from Bonine House. (Photo is from the back of the building.)
James E. Bonine House corner of M-60 and Penn Rd., Vandalia, MI
Restore the James E. and Sarah Bogue Bonine House as an outstanding example of Victorian domestic architecture. Create an education and community events center in the Bonine House, with a focus on understanding the role local Quakers, Free Black pioneers, and other abolitionists played in the Cass County UGRR and its legacy.
Restore the Bonine Carriage House as a community period farm museum and station on the Underground Railroad.
Restore and interpret the Stephen and Hannah East Bogue House as it looked in the 1830's when they started sheltering freedom seekers in their attic; and demonstrate the story of freedom seeker Perry Sanford and his role in the 1847 Kentucky Slave Raid.
Restore Brownsville School #1 as an example of mid-19th century Michigan prairie public education. Brownsville will be a repository of memorabilia from all the integrated, public, one-room schoolhouses in Cass County.
Create a cultural tourism destination for UGRR and one-room schoolhouse enthusiasts that will bring tourism dollars into the community.
To research and educate about the Underground Railroad legacy in Cass County, Michigan; and to restore four iconic buildings as focal points for telling this story.