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Historical societies offer tours of Columbia’s Underground Railroad sites

Underground Railroad Learning Tour Features Columbia
● Presented by the African American Historical Society and Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society
● Columbia is one of the earliest places where the term “underground railroad” was commonly used

Columbia, PA – Two local historical societies are partnering to offer an Underground Railroad
Learning Tour in Columbia, Pennsylvania, on Saturday, October 10 from 9 am until 12 pm. The
experience features presentations in outdoor covered spaces as well as guided walking tours in
small groups. Guests gather at the Columbia Crossing River Trails Center, 41 Walnut Street,
Columbia. A face covering is required. The cost is $40 per person and requires advance registration.
The learning tour will be held rain or shine.

Columbia is one of the earliest places where the term “underground railroad” was
commonly used to describe a network supporting formerly enslaved African Americans
journeying to new lives. Stephen Smith and William Whipper, successful Black entrepreneurs in
Columbia, provided major financial assistance and logistical leadership that made the town a key
Underground Railroad gateway to destinations north and east.

The walking tour will include an option to take in the new Underground Railroad exhibit
at the Columbia Historic Preservation Society museum on North Second Street.

The Underground Railroad was the first racially integrated civil rights movement in U.S.
history. Recently uncovered written evidence reveals active participation by some nearby
Mennonites. The tour is presented by the African American Historical Society of South Central
Pennsylvania and the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society. Register at or by
calling 717.393.9745. Registration deadline is October 7.