© 2021 WKSU
Public Radio News for Northeast Ohio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Oberlin Commemmorates its Anti-Slavery History

Oberlin gashouse

An unusual structure in Oberlin is being re-purposed into a learning center for one of the most important stories of heroism and triumph in northern Ohio history. 

The 99th stop on the Underground Railroad was Oberlin. A century and a half later, the Lorain County community is creating a memorial for this last stop on the way to Canada for escaping slaves.

Groundbreaking is Friday.  George Abram of the Friends of the Oberlin Underground Railroad Center says he’s hoping that will bring out even more support for the plan.

“When people are out asking for donations, then you want to know, 'Well, if I donate to this project is my money going to be safe, meaning, is the project going to go or not go?' But, a lot of that hesitancy has been dispelled by progress we’ve made with the building itself.” 

That building is a circular brick structure built after the Civil War to store coal gas, an early form of home heating fuel.