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Underground Railroad Society

of Cass County, Michigan

 With the opening of our research library upstairs in the Bonine House in 2017, we are happy to say we fulfilled the heart of our mission.  And in 2018 putting much our library on line in searchable format for the world to share is truly a dream come true. 

Six historians donated their Cass County UGRR research to this library:

Mary Anne Bonine, Barbara Cook, Tom Kovalak, Estella Lawson, Veta Tucker and Sondra Ursury.  We have scanned and copied their work and put it in notebooks for easy access.  URSCC Additional Research gathered and compiled by URSCC has also been digitized and placed into notebooks.

These historians form the nucleus of a gathering of materials that tells an amazing story.  We humbly thank them for entrusting their work to us and hope they are pleased with the way we have presented it.  Click on the image below to read about each of these historians.


From our beginning in 2009, the mission of URSCC has been to research and educate the public about the Underground Railroad in Cass County, and to restore the Bonine House and other UGRR buildings as focal points for telling this story.

In addition, three URSCC members deserve special recognition here:

Sara Lawson—has been involved with the Bonine House library since the beginning.  She and her husband Paul, scanned and copied the collection of Estella Lawson, Paul’s mother, and donated it to URSCC in 2012.  Sara became an integral part in determining how the library would be set up and function; and spent three years scanning and copying over 9000 documents that you see on this site. 

Cindy Yawkey—spent untold hours making copies and creating notebooks for individual collections as well as URSCC research .  She was inspired to write and illustrate “They Have My Shoes, I Have My Freedom” and illustrate “Out of Bondage—the Perry Sanford Story” in part from her work in the library. 

Cathy LaPointe—refers to the Bonine House UGRR Research Library as “my heart”.  She  spearheaded and facilitated the creation of the library, gathering Cass County UGRR research and researchers;  and organized the collections. 

Special thanks to Bill Beadenkopf for his technical help and to Lin Pollard, URSCC webmaster, for putting our library on line.

Bonine House UGRR Research Library

Bonine Research Library