The Niles Historical Society will present the Underground Railroad Program at the annual Spring Dinner to be held April 25 at Ciminero's Banquet Center, 123 N. Main St. Dinner will be served at 6 p.m.
The Underground Railroad Suitcase program from the Sutliff Museum was designed originally to be taken to fourth grade classrooms in Trumbull County schools. Students are exposed to the story of the Railroad in textbooks that only give a general description of one of the most dramatic eras of our country's history. Sutliff Museum historians wanted students in Trumbull County to learn how our ancestors helped escaping slaves to move safely through Ohio and especially through Trumbull County, according to local historians.
Ward Thomas Museum Docents, Diana Bauman, Anna Mae Cuchna and Nancy Iezzi-Dom, all former teachers at Jackson Elementary School, will use slides, artifacts, stories and narrative, to show how Trumbull County residents worked for freedom and justice through the Railroad.
Bauman, Cuchna and Iezzi-Dom have have presented the Suitcase program from second grade through high schools and colleges for the past five years. The presenters dress in period costume for the presentation. Along with Sally Thomas, curator of the Sutliff Museum, the docents also have given their presentation to adult organizations that include church groups, clubs, and historical societies.
The public is invited to attend the dinner. Tickets are $20 per person and can be purchased from any member of the Niles Historical Society or by calling the office at 330-544-2143. Callers should leave a phone number for a call back to reserve tickets. Reservation deadline is April 16.
Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. Prior to the dinner and program, Niles Historical Society member Ralph Tolbert will present photos that were recently donated to the society. Historical books also will be available to purchase, as well as Streak-Free cloths, the society's latest fundraiser for the construction of a display/lecture hall on the museum grounds.