2015 Underground Railroad Days
Press Release 7/16/2015
Underground Railroad Days 2015 a Great Weekend
The sixth annual Underground Railroad Days, sponsored by the Village of Vandalia, Michigan and the Underground Railroad Society of Cass County was held July 10,11 and 12 and by all counts was a great success.
Underground Railroad Society
of Cass County, Michigan
Friday was “Opening Night” at Ross Beatty High School. Cassopolis Sam Adams Elementary Michigan History Day State winners presented their 10 minute play “The Legacy of Nathan and Pamela Thomas” and perennial favorites Dr. Von and Fran Washington continued their saga of the Conner family of Vandalia and their role in the Civil War.
Saturday and Sunday saw many events. Buses were full for guided tours of the 1847 Kentucky Raid sites. Five presentations on Calvin Township, the 102nd Colored Troops, the Nathan Thomas House, Sam Adams Wax Museum, and the History of Slavery and the Underground Railroad were well attended, some standing room only. Entertainment at the Ramptown Cabin featuring local musicians and singers was exceptional, with appreciative audiences. Civil War Soldiers, including the 102nd Colored Troops, enacted their life during wartime, fascinating for young and old. A soul food dinner was served in the Village Hall to rave reviews.
The historic James E. Bonine House hosted over 600 visitors who marveled at the restored front porches and the upstairs library and display rooms. Dowagiac artist Larry Collins’ wood burned art was displayed under the pines. Mary Charlotte Bonine Roberts, who now lives in Bell Florida, visited her childhood home for the third year in a row. She talked with Cathy Wright Jones about growing up in the Bonine House and celebrated her 81st birthday with us there.
The Community Church Service in the park Sunday morning drew over 150 from local congregations and visitors. The combined choir was stirring and the message of unity was inspirational.
Underground Railroad Days is held yearly the second weekend of July.