WHTC to explore Underground Railroad in Iowa

For immediate release February 7, 2007

 

Contact: Jeff Morgan, Jeff.Morgan@iowa.gov, (515) 281-3858

(DES MOINES) –Event: Black History Month Presentation about Recent Discoveries and Archaeological Research on the Underground Railroad in Iowa
Time: 2 p.m.
Date: Feb. 11, 2007
Place: Western Historic Trails Center
3434 Richard Downing Ave
Council Bluffs, IA 51501
712-366-4900
Who: John Zeller, Project Historian and Douglas W. Jones, Archaeologist, State Historic Preservation Office, State Historical Society of Iowa

What:

The State Historical Society of Iowa has been conducting historical research and fieldwork since 2002 on the Iowa Freedom Trail Project. This project seeks to document Underground Railroad activities throughout Iowa by identifying individuals and groups who were involved with these activities and the places where these events occurred in Iowa. The preliminary results have shown that most of the homes and properties associated with the Underground Railroad activities in Iowa have been demolished or abandoned. Most of these former homes and properties are now archaeological sites. As part of the project, the State Historical Society of Iowa has sponsored several archaeological investigations to help document the locations of these former homes and properties associated with the Underground Railroad activities. This presentation will explore the results of the historical research and fieldwork conducted to date for this project. This presentation will also discuss the archaeological investigations conducted in support of this project to date.

John Zeller is the project historian on the Iowa Freedom Trail Grant Project for the State Historic Preservation Office, State Historical Society of Iowa, which is a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. He has worked at SHPO for the past four years on this grant project researching the people, places and events associated with the Underground Railroad activities throughout Iowa. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in American History from Drake University and has worked professionally as a period carpenter at Living History Farms in Urbandale, Iowa.

Douglas Jones is one of the archaeologists on staff at the State Historic Preservation Office at the State Historical Society of Iowa, which is a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. Jones has worked at SHPO for 11 years. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Anthropology from Iowa State University in 1989. He received a Master of Arts degree in Anthropology from University of Iowa in 1993. Jones has worked professionally as an archaeologist throughout the Midwest and South Carolina. He served as the Project Archaeologist on the Iowa Freedom Trail Grant Project.



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