Information provided by Little Calumet River Underground Railroad Project
CHICAGO, Ill. (September 10, 2023) – Reservations are now being taken for the next “Hike the Freedom Trail” tour. This hike will be special in that it will feature a brief celebration of the one-year anniversary of the installation of the Illinois State Historical marker at the Ton Farm site.
Join the Little Calumet River Underground Railroad Project experts and hear the fascinating and historically accurate story of the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of escaped slaves called “Freedom Seekers” who traveled the Underground Railroad (UGRR) through the south Chicagoland region seeking freedom in the north prior to the U.S. Civil War. They often found refuge and replenishment with local abolitionists such as the Jan Ton family that owned a farm near Beaubien Woods Forest Preserve on the Little Calumet River, which the tour will visit.
Leading this educational outing on the history of the UGRR in the Calumet region are Professor Larry McClellan, foremost authority on the Underground Railroad in Northern Illinois, and Tom Shepherd of the Little Calumet River Underground Railroad Project.
This is a free event, co-sponsored by the Forest Preserves of Cook County and the Calumet Heritage Partnership.
The tour will depart from the Beaubien Woods Boat Launch and will last approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The boat launch is located at approximately 134th Street and the Little Calumet River front.
See this map for additional details about the location: Google Maps
The tour will be partly by bus, and partly by a hike requiring moderate walking. Participants should dress appropriately for the weather.
Pre-registration for this free event is required as seating is limited. Register here.