Local Author to Discuss Underground Railroad in Ohio

Underground Railroad in OhioIn their first collaboration for 2023, the Haines House Underground Railroad Museum (operated by the Alliance Area Preservation Society), and the Alliance Historical Society will present author Kathy Schulz to discuss her new book, The Underground Railroad in Ohio, in the auditorium at Rodman Public Library on Tuesday, February 7 at 6:30 p.m.

The program will take the format of an informal, sit-down conversation with AAPS President Robb Hyde on the auditorium stage. The program is presented in partnership with Rodman Library. The program is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. [REGISTER HERE]

Schulz rightly believes that Ohio was at the heart of it all when it came to the route of enslaved freedom seekers. During a dark time in United States history, thousands of these freedom seekers traveled through Ohio with the help of an anti-slavery underground which was popularly known as the Underground Railroad. The Buckeye State hosted as much as half of all fugitive slave traffic of the antebellum era. A mix of Northern and Southern settlers in the state added drama to a struggle that led to major benefits for the state and the country.

Unfortunately, this epic past was obscured by silence and secrecy and then distorted with misinformation and  folklore -- until now. Schulz accurately details the development and workings of the UGRR with true stories of Addison White, John Parker and others, as well as ties between Allianceā€™s actual railroads and the famed underground network in The Underground Railroad in Ohio.

After the discussion and questions from the audience, the author will sign copies of her book for attendees. Books will be available for sale before and after the program for $20.

Kathy Schulz
Kathy Schulz

Schulz, a retired college librarian, grew up in Columbiana County between Columbiana and New Waterford, on a family farm predating the Civil War and surrounded by Underground Railroad lore. Her birthplace was Salem, the headquarters of the Western Anti-Slavery Society and a majority Quaker town full of abolitionists. She later lived near Springfield, Ohio, on another important freedom seeker route. Kathy regards herself as a ā€œsoldier in the information revolutionā€ during her career at Wittenberg University, though she discovered fascinating information about local anti-slavery activity the old-style way: from yellowed papers in library archives.

Kathy holds a bachelor science in education from Ohio State, an M.L.S. from Kent State, and an M. Hum. from Wright State. Her research skills recently helped her confirm Underground Railroad involvement in one of her ancestor lines in Highland County, Ohio; she suspects it in others. Kathy and her husband currently live in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she stays busy with friends, hobbies, and grandchildren.

Robb Hyde has served as president of the Haines House/AAPS for 10 of its 22 years, and frequently talks about the freedom seekers, abolitionists, and trailblazers of Alliance history in and around the Alliance community. Heā€™s the retired executive director of the Wayne Center for the Arts in Wooster, and previously served as director of marketing & development for the Canton Museum of Art, and the president of the Ohio Museums Association.

Admission is free. Rodman Library is located at 215 East Broadway Street in Alliance, with ample free parking. Auditorium seating is limited, so reservations are required and may be made by phone at 330-821-2665 or online at rodmanlibrary.evanced.info/signup.

The Alliance Area Preservation Society is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of historic structures through education, research and documentation, and welcomes hundreds of visitors every year at the Haines House Underground Railroad Museum, 186 W. Market St. in Alliance. The site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a certified member of the National Park Serviceā€™s Network to Freedom Program.

The Alliance Historical Society is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization which collects, preserves, and organizes historical materials and works with area schools and community organizations to present programs on the history of Alliance, Ohio. The Society owns and operates the Mabel Hartzell Historical Home and the Alliance History Mini Museum, located at 840 N. Park Avenue in Alliance, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.