In Travel & Visitors Guide

BURSPUR provided route to freedom

(page 2)


Voree on the Tour

Fourteen of the 32 stops on the BURSPUR are in Burlington and can be taken in by foot. If you want to drive, as you leave town to the west, you'll find the site of Voree, a Mormon settlement. The Mormons were not known to be involved in the BURSPUR, but the site is of historic interest overall and thus included on the tour.

Continue west along Hwy. 11 and Hwy. DD and you will find several farms -- among them the Arms Brothers, Palmer Gardner and Trueworthy Dugin farms -- which were key hiding spots during Quarlls' escape to freedom.

The tour eventually brings you to Rochester on Hwy. D. There, you can find the farm of Jesse Stetson, who reportedly kept an "inn" to help feed runaway slaves on the BURSPUR. Stetson became the first president of Racine County's anti-slavery party, which later became known as the Republican Party.

In the Village of Rochester, the former Union House, which still houses a restaurant, is said to have been part of a rather elaborate system that included a tunnel to the Fox River. Historians say that such a tunnel, which would have been several hundred feet long and run under three buildings, a road and a factory, seems unlikely.

The BURSPUR eventually brings you back to Burlington, and ends at the Barns House, the one-time home of Caleb Barns, a lawyer and banker who was an abolitionist and friend to Dr. Dyer.

A detailed map, with information about each stop on the BURSPUR, is available through the Burlington Historical Society. Information is available on the Web through the Wisconsin Local History Network at wlhn.org and the Olin Family Society at olinfamilysociety.org.

In Milwaukee itself, Cathedral Square, America's Black Holocaust Museum and the Wisconsin Black Historical Society Museum are listed as Wisconsin Underground Railroad sites.

On May 12, the National Park Service designated Cathedral Square as an official site on the Underground Railroad.

"It's the doorway to everything else, recognizing that this really is nationally hallowed ground," local activist George Gonis said of the designation. Gonis is the president of Joshua Glover Monument/Cathedral Square Inc., a non-profit group hoping to raise $3.5 million to $4.5 million for renovation of the square and creation of a monument to Glover.

Gonis said the Cathedral Square designation should help fund-raising for the Glover project, which is just beginning. He said the group hoped to pursue both national and local sources, including foundations, individuals and corporations.

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Talkbacks

OMCreader | June 12, 2006 at 1:55 p.m. (report)

FUnki said: Is that how all these Illegals got in?

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OMCreader | June 12, 2006 at 1:08 p.m. (report)

Gregg Hoffmann said: Guy...No map is available online, but if you call the Burlington Historical Society at 262-763-6044 they have one in print.

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OMCreader | June 11, 2006 at 10:03 p.m. (report)

Guy Tracy said: Kenosha is the area that I am interrested in. I sent an earlier e-mail about a map of the BURSPUR route to freedom.

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OMCreader | June 11, 2006 at 9:57 p.m. (report)

Guy Tracy said: Could you please show me a map of the BURSPUR route. I would like to know if it went through my area. Thank you!

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