Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Underground Railroad Bicycle Route

We've just launched a new WebJunction message board about the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route. This route will run about 2,000 miles from Mobile, Alabama, to Owen Sound, Ontario, and is a joint project of Adventure Cycling Association and The Center for Minority Health at the University of Pittsburgh. The maps for the southern portion of the route will be coming out this summer, and the maps for the northern journey will be out next year. OCLC's own Chuck Harmon, an adventure cyclist of many years standing, plotted the Ohio portion of the route.

WebJunction's involvement is to get libraries to act as way stations or "conductors" for cyclists who will follow the route. This will encourage libraries to work with local history organizations, genealogy groups, health support groups, and other community agencies. We also see this being useful for libraries that are far away from the route as a source of information on this vital part of American and Canadian history.

I've been talking about this idea in several programs I've done on WebJunction and in small groups over the last few weeks and the reaction has been unanimously positive. I'm even hoping to cycle part of the Ohio section of this route myself next year!


Chrystie said...

George - don't forget to take pictures of you on the bike. We need them for our WebJunction flickr set.

George said...

Riding the bike is one thing---pictures is a whole different thing!

Chuck Harmon said...

I have a digital camera and I know how to use it. Lets get George out on a bike this year and I'll try to sneak some pics!

Anonymous said...

Neighborhhod rumor is that We think there is an abandoned underground railroad site in Malvern, PA. It's a country house that burned down over 50 years ago, off the RR tracks, and the lot has been overgrown. the area is across from some homes from the late 1700's & early 1800's. one of those buildings is the old blacksmith shop formerly connected to The General Warren Inne, circa 1745.
The possible UR property is part of a larger tract now and was just bought (this month) for development of big ticket homes and offices.
who do I alert to try and do a dig to see if there are any artifacts before they disappear forever?

mary said...

Check out an article about the UGRR bike route and tour at www.getoutzine.com.