Underground Railroad: A Journey to Freedom
April 3 - December 31
Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays, 12:00 to 4:30 p.m.
The Bellefonte Art Museum for Centre County is pleased to house a permanent exhibit to commemorate the role of our region in the operations of the Underground Railroad. Although several area locations were used by enslaved people seeking freedom, there is no place in the Bellefonte Borough where a visitor might learn about that tragic time in our history. The exhibit contains information about the operations of the Underground Railroad, art work depicting the courage and suffering of the enslaved African Americans and stories about the local citizens who helped and supported them.
The Borough of Bellefonte played a major role in the Underground Railroad, which was a network of people who assisted enslaved African Americans escape slavery. The "railroad" was active in the 19th century and Bellefonte's location was strategic to helping people who were attempting journeys to the Northeast, the Midwest and to Canada. It is reported that the Linn House (home to the Bellefonte Art Museum) was occupied by a Quaker family for a decade before the Civil War. During that time it is believed the Linn House was used to help shelter people trying to escape.
The project contains art works that have been created by several artists and features a permanent installation with vignette sketches by Lino Toyos. Information about the region and the work of the Underground Railroad has been compiled into a pamphlet by Penn State graduate student, Mudiwa Pettus and includes: a historical overview of the Underground Railroad, biographical information about African Americans using the "railroad", and details about local free African Americans and other persons credited with successes in assisting enslaved people.