The URR Bicycle Route is beginning to inspire cyclists in Ohio. A group of cyclists representing several communities are working together to develop a rail trail that will pass through Mechanicsburg, a small town near the route, and the City of Delaware, located on the URR route. The rail trail will be known as the Addison White Freedom Trail.
The inspirational story of Addison White, a slave who escaped from Kentucky and found refuge in Mechanicsburg in 1856 can be read on a historical marker in the center of town. A short summary of Addison White's story can be read at the following site. http://www.remarkableohio.org/index.cfm?action=search_markers.marker_details&marker_id=1085
. More information about Addison White can be located with a Google Search.
Last night I attended my cycling club's annual Holiday Dinner, where we typically have a short program following our dinner. This year we invited Mr. White's granddaughters, Ms. Charlotte Walker and Ms. Phyllis Booth to join us, along with Ms. Shaun Montgomery, Addison's great, great granddaughter who is a cyclist. Following our meal, Ms. Walker recounted Addison White's remarkable story for our cyclists and their families, a gathering of over 100 people.
Ms. Walker is an engaging speaker and our cyclists had a very enjoyable evening. At the conclusion of her remarks Ms. Walker invited all of us to Mechanicsburg (her home town and a community that she loves) to join them in their Christmas celebration. Ms. Walker explained that she will not be able to join us because she was leaving in the morning to take some dance lessons in Brazil. When I heard this I became convinced that Addison White's spirit lives on in the soul of his granddaughter!
I would also like to mention the contributions of Ms. Sunny Krugh, the director of the Mechanicsburg Public Library, and Ms. Ellen Seward, a Mechanicsburg librarian, who located Addison White's family, and provided information on the role that Mechanicsburg played in the Underground Railroad.
This message was edited by Chuck_Harmon on 12-7-06 @ 7:22 PM