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2008 Network to Freedom Grants

Portland, Maine; Abyssinian Meeting House; Structural Repair & Stabilization (50,000 )

The grant will replace the missing or damaged hand-hewn roof trusses and purlins in the original roofline.  It will remove 20th century dormers that were added when the meeting house was converted to tenements as well as draw in and stabilize the side walls of the building which are bowed out due to lack of support.  It will also assist with removing the second and third floor plates that were inserted in the 20th century and restore the volume of the original auditorium (which was the sanctuary, and install new roof decking and roof covering to protect the meeting house from weather-related damage


Fountain City, Indiana; Levi Coffin House State Historic Site; Souls Seeking Safety Visitor Center Interpretive Program -Phase II (50,000)

This grant is an applied research project for Phase II of an exhibit coinciding with the opening of the Levi Coffin State Historic Site Visitors Center.  The exhibit objectives focus on creating an interactive experience that compliments the historic home interpretation.  The project will ultimately result in an exhibit that explores the personal stories of the Underground Railroad; recognizes the involvement of Levi and Catharine Coffin in Underground Railroad efforts; iIdentifies freedom seekers who came to the Coffin home for safe passage or to Indiana in search of help; acknowledges the black "conductors" who assisted the runaways; and highlight Underground Railroad activity in Wayne County and around Indiana to tell a more complete story of such efforts in that State.


Jacksonville, Illinois; Illinois College--Beecher Hall; Restoration of Windows (15,000)

This grant will assist Beecher Hall, a National Register of Historic Places site, in their ongoing efforts to maintain this very historic structure by replacing 4 of the 34 windows that are in the most deteriorated state.   It will remove lead based paint, restore the structural integrity and operability of the windows, prevent moisture damage, and preserve Beecher Hall for future generations of visitors to the site.


Eastern shore, Maryland; Choptank River;Interpretive Signage (10,000)

This results of this grant help fabricate and install at least three interpretive signs at key points along the Choptank River in Caroline, Dorchester, and Talbot Counties.  The interpretive signs included in this project are located at key sites closest to where the stories took place and that are accessible to travelers.


Ripley, Ohio; John Rankin House Restoration (50,000 )

This grant is helping in the  restoration and preservation of the Rankin House  to include a new electrical system: replacement of the existing heating system with a heating and air conditioning system; conservation of the collections displayed in the historic house-museum; restoration of historic finishes including conservation of a mural and reproduction of decorative painting; replacement of woodwork that was installed after Rankin owned the property with reproduction woodwork; and restoration of exterior finishes, and other related work. 


Peterboro, New York; Gerrit Smith Estate; Preservation of the Barn on the Gerrit Smith Estate National Historic Landmark (11,925)

This grant is assisting in completing a structural analysis for The Barn on the Gerrit Smith Estate National Historic Landmark to guide the preservation planning objectives and tasks for the preservation and restoration of the Barn and install windows.


Zanesville, Ohio; Nelson T. Gant Homestead; Historical Appearance Enhancement (11,216)

By removing the 20th century additions (i.e., rear kitchen, drive thru and large cooler, east end room, upstairs restroom);  removing the kitchen floor and fixing the roof leaks in the kitchen and restroom thus eliminating further water damage and deterioration, this grant is  improving the facility's appearance back to its historic look.


Maryland; Maryland's Network to Freedom Map & Guide; Map Guide 2nd Edition (21,500)

The first edition of Maryland's Network to Freedom Map & Guide was so successful and important to tourism, a grant was approved to update and print "The Underground Railroad: Maryland's Network to Freedom" map guide.  The second edition of the map guide will include 11 new Network to Freedom sites, programs, and facilities.  The map guide will market the collection of 41 sites, programs, and facilities to heritage tourists.


Eastern shore, Maryland; Finding a Way to Freedom Driving Tour; Tour Provider Training Program for "Harriet Tubman UGRR byway" (21,300)

This educational grant created a training program for tour providers' interest in interpreting the byway.  The training program includes 1) an interpretive plan for 2 important sites along the byway; 2) redesign, editing, and printing of "Finding a Way to Freedom Driving Tour, "network to Freedom Program; 3) establishing a Web presence for the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway community; and 4) training tour guides to give accurate and compelling tours of the byway.


Baltimore, Maryland; Mount Clare Museum House; A Revised Interpretation (6,670)

This grant provided for further research of  the lives of the Carroll family and approximately 200 enslaved persons that served the Carroll Family to provide an accurate interpretation of life on the Georgia Plantation. The completed research will be used in 3-part approach to enhance interpretation through printed materials and signage, the creation of education materials for classroom use, and professional development for staff and volunteers.


Farmington, New York; 1816 Farmington Quaker Meeting House; Restoration (50,000)

This grant will stabilize the 1816 Farmington Quaker Meetinghouse; repair the post and beam frame and original woodwork, relocate the building to a site across the intersection within the Farmington Quaker Crossroads Historic District, and restore the exterior for use as an education and interpretive center.


Annapolis, Maryland; Maryland State Archives; Beneath the UGRR Flight to Freedom: Montgomery County 1830-1860 (50,000)

This grant will allow for documentation and cross referencing of  slave holding landowners, their properties, waterways, and independent structures, such as churches, railroads, and school house with the runaway slave ads and/or case studies in which they are mentioned. and create an electronic repository for public access for this research.  Conduct site visits and attend conferences related to Maryland African American history for additional insight, information and assistance in Montgomery County and surrounding areas.


Edenton, North Carolina; Colonial Park; Educational Website about Harriet Ann Jacobs Passage to Freedom Via the Maritime UGRR (5,547)

This grant helped develop a website, including domain and hosting for 5 years for the Network to Freedom Colonial Park site for the continued historical preservation of the Colonial Park site supporting interpretation and continued preservation of previous research conducted on Harriet Jacobs.  This site weaves Jacobs' story throughout the Maritime Underground Railroad.


Milton, Wisconsin; Milton House; Goodrich Cabin Preservation and Restoration 2008 (44,244)

The NPS grant will provide support for the plaster repairs; floor and stair repair and refinishing; preparation and painting of the interior and exterior of the house museum; lighting and display installation; window and door installation; and completion of the slate roof around the new 3rd floor window. 


Nicholasville, Kentucky; Camp Nelson; Seizing Freedom: Archaeology of Escaped Slaves (22,073)

This grant will begin with archival research, then conduct archaeological survey and test excavation and laboratory analysis of the artifacts.  A report will be created of the archival and archeological investigations followed up by a museum exhibit and public booklet.  This project will document life ways of African American women and children who escaped slavery in 1854 and 1965 to enter Union Army lines at Camp Nelson, Kentucky.


Dover, Tennessee; Fort Donelson National Battlefield; Reflections of the Past: Using Theatre & Graphic Arts to tell the African-American Story at Fort Donelson (12,925)

This grant resulted in a brochure, audiotape tour, MP3 format downloads for the park's website, and a new historical drama to be performed at the battlefield and for schools.  The project focused on the antebellum society in Tennessee and Kentucky, slavery and the UGRR story, and the importance of military forts to the efforts of freedom-seeking slaves. 


Natchez, Mississippi; Forks of the Road Enslavement Market Terminus; Forks of the Roads Interpretive Brochure Full Color (10,000)

This grant developed "Forks of Roads United State's 2nd Largest Southwest "Domestic Slave Trade" Center Brochure."  Ten thousand brochures show and tell how the present three extant enslavement selling markets landscape sites at Forks of Roads speaks to America's "domestic slave trade" destinations from the upper Southeast and Midwest.  It interprets the presence of U.S. Colored Troops at "forks" during Union Army occupation of Natchez.


York, Pennsylvania; William C. Goodridge House; Renovations to the Goodridge Freedom House (50,000)

The NPS grant will provide support for the plaster repairs; floor and stair repair and refinishing; preparation and painting of the interior and exterior of the house museum; lighting and display installation; window and door installation; and completion of the slate roof around the new 3rd floor window. 


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Fair Hill Burial Ground; Carriageway Restoration Project (15,300)

This grant will restore and replace the historic carriageway and entrance drive at Fair Hill Burial Ground


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Quest for Freedom: The UGRR in Philadelphia; The Roots of the UGRR in PA Exhibit (25,000)

This grant will create a portable exhibit for the Independence Visitor Center that graphically illustrates the park theme:  Liberty the Promise and the Paradox.  The exhibit includes approximately 8 panels highlighting the people, institutions, and places that were the Roots of the Underground Railroad in Philadelphia.


Elmira, New York; Park Church; Roof Replacement Project (50,000)

This grant will replace the rubber roof and the gutter system will be reconstructed.  The lower gutter system will be revised, some windows will be repaired, and the drainage system around the building will be redesigned.


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Philadelphia Quest for Freedom: Living History and Performance Based Programs (50,000)

This researched-based grant provided for research and interactive living history programs to tell the story of Philadelphia's role in the Underground Railroad and the abolitionist movement.  Programs will be set in different sites during May-September 2009 and February 2009.


Norfolk, Virginia; Downtown Norfolk Waterfront; Waterways of Freedom: Hampton Roads and the Underground Railroad Symposium (14,447)

The purpose of this grant is to conduct a 1-day symposium on the Underground Railroad Operation in Tidewater, Virginia, focusing on educating the public about the Underground Railroad network in Hampton Roads, Virginia.  Included will be sessions on research tracing descendants, archeological research of maroon communities, and funding for genealogical tracing descendents of Virginia fugitives.


Topeka, Kansas; Constitution Hall—Topeka; "Our Free State Capitol" (3,700 )

This grant provides for an applied research project entitled "Our Free State Capitol" that will present various historical research collected for the restoration and planned historical interpretation of Constitution Hall.  This research will include primary documents, photographs, maps and images, and the record of related actions by the U.S. Congress and military.  The grant-funded project will facilitate the design and production of media including brochures, pocket cards, and a downloadable Internet audiovisual file.


"Our Free State Capitol" will result in publications that cite the roll of the Topeka Constitution, as it relates to the views of "antislavery, abolition, and free-soil," and their coalition "Free State" citizen government and their strong support of the Underground Railroad in Kansas; present specifically how Constitution Hall was used physically for the operation of the Lane Trail to Freedom, including identification of associated conductors, rooms and materials.

The objective is to inform, for education and for heritage tourism, about a largely forgotten historical legacy, the "Topeka Movement."


Staten Island, New York; Sandy Ground Historical Society; Faces of the UGRR (15,000)

The grant will establish a permanent exhibit to present the components of the Underground Railroad with a focus on geography, routes, and functions.  The quilt squares were framed in a custom permanent framing system and each quilt square included a narrative describing the person/items contribution to the Underground Railroad.


Overbrook, Kansas; Clinton Lake Museum; Cataloging UGRR Collection (6,500)

This grant supports cataloging (review, recording, and electronic cataloging) of the museum's extensive collection of UGRR resources, and the development of a museum web site.


Detroit, Michigan; "Flight to Freedom" at 1st Congregational Church; The Station House--Phase 2 (Flight to Freedom and its Legacy) (27,653)

This grant provided for the development of The UGRR Station House—Phase Two, as part of an ADA-accessible version of the Flight to Freedom interpretive program listed in the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.  This project accomplished four objectives.  They are to equip the Station House with experiences that incorporate all five senses (including audio and tactile) that increase the educational and interpretive value, accessibility, quality and professionalism for both the disabled and the general public; develop a Downtown Detroit and Sandwich, Windsor living museum experience accessible for both the disabled and the general public (include Jefferson Avenue circa 1856) in the 2400 square foot area of the Flight to Freedom Tour that currently depicts the Detroit River, and the 2000 square foot Station House; develop curricula, brochures, a website, and other media for both the Station House and the Downtown Detroit/Sandwich, Windsor experiences; and held  a workshop/symposium that highlights not only the history of the UGRR, but its legacy as well.