"Friends for Freedom Tour" to include Quaker Meeting House on Underground Railroad Pilgrimage

MOUNT. PLEASANT, Ohio - The Quaker Meeting House State Memorial will be a stop on the annual "Underground Railroad Pilgrimage" in Mount Pleasant, Ohio, on Saturday, August 6, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Sunday, August 7, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

This year, in conjunction with the 150th commemoration of the Civil War, the event is being called "Friends for Freedom." Focusing on properties that were an active part of the Underground Railroad, and now are part of the National Historic Landmark District, the village will share its remarkable role in the history leading up to the Emancipation Proclamation. Within the abolitionist network, rather than being limited to any single home, church or farm, the entire Mount Pleasant community was known as a safe haven.

The Historical Society of Mount Pleasant (HSMP), is the sponsor of the tour. In addition to the Quaker Meeting House, public historic properties on the weekend tour also include: the Harris-Bone Store Log Cabin, 1804 and living quarters, 1835; the Historical Center, 1856; the Tin Shop, 1840; the Burriss Store and Gift Shop, 1895; and the John Gill House, 1835. The Gill House is also known as The Elizabeth House Mansion.

A number of privately owned sites to be included are:

The Maxwell House built following the Civil War, 1870. It is an Italianate style brick house with carved woodwork, dominated by a two-story octagonal bay. The hip roof is bracketed to an elaborate cornice. In recent years the house was the Mount Pleasant Inn. After a few years unoccupied, it has returned to residential use. The house was purchased in February 2010 and countless hours have been spent restoring the home to approach its historic grandeur. Although still a work in progress, visitors will appreciate the fine work on the residence.

The Benjamin Stanton House circa 1830-1840 is an asymmetrical, four bay brick "I" House, with Flemish bond brickwork on the exterior. In 1838, the property's improvements were assessed at $448.00. Today it is home to a fifth and sixth generation Mount Pleasant family.

The Jonathon Updegraff House, 1856, built by Updegraff, a Quaker abolitionist, a Civil War surgeon, and later a U.S. congressman and Ohio State Senator. Only the side porch, referred to as the "outdoor living room" is open on the tour.

The "Secret Garden" of the Petras'. Always new and interesting flowers to see.

Other activities on August 6 and 7 will include:

 Quilt Show in the Quaker Meeting House. Quilts from 1851-2011 will be included and hung from the second floor balcony of the building.

 Civil War display.

 Presentation by Jon Erik Gilot.

 Light lunch will be available at the Elizabeth House Tea Room as well as area restaurants, such as the Farm Restaurant, The Black Sheep Vineyard and Ferda's Garden Center.

Tickets may be purchased on the tour dates that weekend at the Burriss Store, 311 Union Street, Mount Pleasant, OH 43939. Maps will be provided with the purchase of a ticket. Mount Pleasant is located on State Route 150 in Jefferson County.

The Quaker Meeting House is a two-story brick building built in Mount Pleasant in 1814. Capable of holding 2,000 people, the primary room could be divided into two rooms by lowering a wooden partition. When the building was actively used by Quakers, men and women met separately. The Meeting House was used regularly until 1909.

Quaker Meeting House State Memorial is operated by the Historical Society of Mount Pleasant on behalf of the Ohio Historical Society. It is one of 58 sites in the statewide network of the Ohio Historical Society (OHS) operating in 40 counties primarily through management agreements with local groups. OHS is a nonprofit organization that for over 125 years has served as the state's partner in preserving and interpreting Ohio's history, archaeology, natural history and historic places. It holds more than 1.8 million artifacts in its collections. The Ohio Historical Society connects the stories of history to the people of Ohio and the world. The Society is headquartered in the Ohio History Center located at the intersection of I-71 and 17th Avenue in Columbus, OH.