The Underground Railroad and Freedom Center in Cincinnati is open to the public, bringing to life the culmination of over a decade of work to create an institute dedicated to the history of freedom for slaves. Congress established the monument in 2000 as the national interpretative center for Underground Railroad history. The unique architecture of the building and the exhibits make the Freedom Center a one of a kind cultural destination. The center is a living and learning center, offering lessons and reflections on the ongoing struggle for freedom and highlighting the historic efforts of the Underground Railroad.

The Freedom Center opened with six major inaugural exhibits featuring approximately 500 years of freedom stories from the 1500s to modern day. Exhibits include a two story slave pen that was rescued and preserved for the facility and an educational exhibit for children in grades three to eight that covers the concept of escape and rescue from 1830 to 1861. The Brothers of Borderland exhibit features an interactive theater that focuses on the local Underground Railroad heroes. The exhibit, From Slavery to Freedom, takes a look into how slavery could coexist in a land where freedoms were of high importance, and how the Underground Railroad came into existence.

The Hall of Everyday Freedom Heroes is an interactive display that highlights some key individuals who have helped shape the worlds freedom. The exhibit called The Struggle Today takes a look at the legacy of the Underground Railroad and its influence on later day freedom movements through contemporary society. Visitors will have a chance to converse on the issue of freedom in the Reflect, Respond, Resolve area of the facility.

The Underground Railroad and Freedom Center was made possible through several generous donations and through the National Park Services legislation. 513-412-6900, Coshocton and Holmes Counties are known for their lively Amish communities and are an excellent stop for groups. With the world’s largest Amish population in one area, the area brings back the simplicity of rural life from days gone by.

It brings to life the thriving port community on the Ohio and Erie Canal from the early 1800s. Visitors can enjoy this picturesque setting while taking a glimpse into the daily life of the craftsman and his family. The villages artisans and crafters display their workmanship from trades such as broom making, weaving, pottery, bucket making and more. The Visitors Center complex showcases miniature displays of canal construction in the area.

Many of the historic brick buildings are open for touring and show life as it was in the 1800s. The buildings are open for guided tours with seasonal hours of operation. The facility is scheduled to close for renovations from January through March. Reservations for guided tours should be made in advance by calling 800-877-1830.

Guests will also have the opportunity to climb aboard an authentic canal boat located at the center of the town, or tour the Royce Craft Basket facility and see weavers creating their signature collectible baskets. Tours of the facility are offered between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday with advanced reservations. 740-622-1131

The nationally accredited is located in the center of Roscoe Village and features five permanent galleries, including a special gallery that showcases works by nationally known artists, regional art shows or local history exhibits throughout the year. The American Indian Gallery displays artifacts such as prehistoric tools and pottery from Ohio and southwestern tribes. Beadwork and baskets from other historic tribes across the continent are also included in the exhibit.

A recreated pioneer house is on display as part of the Historical Ohio Gallery, in addition to a collection of tools, firearms, dolls and currency. The Oriental Gallery focuses on the cultures of China and Japan, displaying various ceramics, jade and ivory carvings, lacquer ware as well as Samurai armor and swords. American and European porcelain, glass and clothing are included in the Decorative Arts Gallery, which also showcases the fascinating and controversial Newark Holy Stones. The museum is handicap accessible. 740-622-8710

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