Underground Railroad Society Wins Prize

URSCC board members

In 2010, Brenda became a founding member of a new historical organization in our area, the Underground Railroad Society of Cass County (URSCC). Formed from a group called “Friends of the Bonine House,” its original aim was restoration of the crumbling home and Underground Railroad site built in the 1840s by Quaker and Underground Railroad stationmaster, James E. Bonine.

In the ten years since the purchase of the home and carriage house in December of 2010, the project has grown to include two other properties, and a 19-site driving tour. URSCC’s mission has grown to include reaching out to the community and local schools.

As Cathy LaPointe, officer and board member of URSCC puts it, “The Underground Railroad was well documented in Cass County histories from 1875 and 1882, and an extensive file of news clippings is housed in the Cassopolis Local History Library, but the story was not well known by the local community and was not taught in schools.” URSCC and its local champions set out to change that sad fact. Today local Underground Railroad history is now a part of fifth grade curriculum, often taught to the very descendants of the freedom seekers and abolitionists of that era.

In 2019, URSCC won the 2019 Underground Railroad Free Press Prize for Preservation. For more information, you may read the article in the UGRR Free Press at http://www.urrfreepress.com/index_files/March_2020.pdf In this photo, URSCC board members posed for the article on the front porch of Bonine House. Find out more about URSCC and Bonine House at https://www.urscc.org.