BELPRE — Juneteenth often is the latest federal vacation, however its celebration of the tip of slavery in the USA is a part of the historical past of Belpre.
That’s what Farmer’s Fortress Museum collections supervisor Christopher Lohr informed the small group that assembled on the museum Sunday afternoon to mark the event.
Belpre, Washington County and Ohio have been a part of the Northwest Territory, which was established as a land “free from enslavement,” he stated. The Underground Railroad community that helped slaves escape to freedom ran proper by way of this space.
“To us right here, this isn’t summary,” he stated after the presentation. “This occurred on this very soil. I may stroll you right down to the river proper now and present you the place individuals acquired off the boats.”
Drawing on materials from the Nationwide Museum of African American Historical past in Washington, D.C., and Wikipedia, Lohr defined the origin of Juneteenth. Though the Emancipation Proclamation took impact on Jan. 1, 1863, not all slaves in Accomplice territory have been freed without delay. On June 19, 1865, Union troops landed at Galveston, Texas, bringing information that the Civil Battle had ended.
“At the present time has been noticed for 150 years, beginning in East Texas,” Lohr stated, noting varied celebrations have been held world wide. “And immediately … it comes residence to us.”
Normally open 1-4 p.m. Mondays and Saturdays and by appointment, with admission by donation, the museum at 509 Ridge St. off Washington Boulevard in Belpre was open at no cost Sunday afternoon. There was a particular emphasis on the Underground Railroad exhibit primarily based across the works of the late native historian Henry Burke.
“He was very instrumental in setting this place up,” stated Belpre Historic Society member Kelly Cox, noting books by Burke on the topic are on the market on the museum.
Belpre resident Karen Logan stated she appreciated the observance.
“I feel it’s an necessary job that they (the historic society) do,” she stated.
Although solely a handful of individuals attended the casual 2 p.m. ceremony, Charlotte Powell, historic society president and director of the museum, stated she hopes it grows in years to come back.
“Mighty oaks from little acorns develop,” she stated. “So that is the start of one thing we hope to be large.”
Evan Bevins will be reached at newsandsentinel.com.