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South Cook Underground Railroad History Promoted

South Cook County residents are developing plans for an educational center to highlight the history of the Underground Railroad in the region.

The Chicago/Calumet Underground Railroad Effort has met with city officials to discuss a proposal to develop the old Jon Ton farm, on the Calumet River near 134th and Drexel, as an educational facility, and to place markers at other sites.

Ton was a Dutch immigrant who, in the days of Illinois’s notorious Black Codes, hid escaped slaves and helped ferry them toward Michigan and Canada.

The Underground Railroad “is an important part of history,” said Peggy Montes of C/CURE. “It’s the story of people who wanted to be free, and of people — black and white — who helped them achieve freedom. To me, it’s a beautiful, inspiring story.”

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Category: history, South Suburbs


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