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RACINE – A ceremony was held on Dec. 9 by the City of Racine to dedicate nine new historical markers installed throughout Downtown Racine that commemorate significant locations in the city’s involvement with the Underground Railroad and contribution in the fight to end slavery.

Mayor Cory Mason, Alderwoman Mollie Jones, Racine Heritage Museum Director Chris Paulson, and representatives of the Professional Women’s Network for Service were in attendance at the ceremony and spoke to the importance of recognizing Racine’s history and participation in the Underground Railroad.

Mayor Cory Mason speaks. Photo courtesy City of Racine

“Racine has rich abolitionist history and I [am] grateful for the work we have all done to commemorate the places and people that helped bring slaves to freedom. It is important that future generations know the role our City played in freeing slaves and these historical markers [are] a great reminder of our legacy.”

Mayor Cory Mason

Historical markers have been placed at the following locations:

  • Racine Heritage Museum
  • Monument Square
  • First Presbyterian Church
  • Sixth Street at the corner of Villa
  • Wisconsin Avenue between 5th & 6th Streets [sign has not yet been installed]
  • Southeast corner of Fourth and Main Streets
  • North side of Fourth Street, east of Main Street
  • South side of Root River, east of Main Street Bridge. [Signs had previously been installed here]
  • 826 State St.
  • 1120 Grand Ave., adjacent to St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church
Leaders from around the City of Racine stand together around the Joshua Glover historical marker in Monument Square. – Photo courtesy City of Racine

Representatives Acknowledge Significance

“PWNS stands today in collaboration with the Racine Heritage Museum and the City of Racine in unveiling these ten Racine Underground Railroad Trail Sites. Our purpose is to ensure that Wisconsin citizens and tourists understand the united efforts of people of diverse cultures who fought for the causes of justice and freedom during the Underground Railroad era in the 1850s and 1860s.”

Pauline G. Mitchell, Underground Railroad Project Director with Professional Women’s Network for Service (PWNS)

“We are thrilled to see this project underway. These permanent markers, together, comprise a remarkable educational resource for the community, and a lasting reminder of Racine County’s unique role in a very critical time in our nation’s history. I’m truly grateful for our longstanding partnership with the Professional Women’s Network for Service and our continuing work to preserve and share these stories.”

Chris Paulson, Executive Director of the Racine Heritage Museum

“The Underground Railroad Historical Sites in the City of Racine are the key points in helping Racine area citizens and tourists understand the historical significance of the united efforts of people of different cultures in the cause of justice and freedom during the Underground Railroad era. History is important. Our inner spirit is enhanced when we appreciate the richness of our past. Racine’s Underground Railroad stories need to be learned and appreciated by all. The stories tell about bold, brave, and audacious fugitive slaves, those who helped them and respected the rights of others.”

GeorgAnn Stinson, President of Professional Women’s Network for Service (PWNS)

About the City of Racine

With a population of 78,000, Racine is the fifth-largest municipality in the state of Wisconsin. It is home to manufacturing businesses that enjoy worldwide reputations, SC Johnson, CNH Industrial, Twin Disc, Modine, and In-Sink-Erator among them. Racine is also home to diverse cultures, a thriving downtown, and world-class beaches along the shores of Lake Michigan.