project leader
Jeanne V
11508 Mayfield Rd
(University Circle)
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the project

Restore Cleveland HOPE is raising money to expand our research into Cleveland's anti-slavery past.

During the Underground Railroad the City of Cleveland was called "HOPE" by the freedom seekers. We know that anit-slavery views were strong in Cleveland. UGRR operatives helped hundreds of freedom seekers escape to Canada in spite of the potential consequences. This history has not been told. We are in the process of restoring it.

RCH was founded by Joan Southgate as a way of honoring and teaching about enslaved freedom seekers  who escaped and walked through Ohio on the Underground Railroad. She walked the 519 miles from southern Ohio to  Canada stopping to speak in schools along the way. After her walk she spearheaded the successful effort to save the only building left in University Circle from the pre-Civil War era, the Cozad-Bates house, which is on the corner of E. 115th St and Mayfield Rd. It will now be restored and preserved as an Interpretive Center and resource about this forgotten part of Cleveland history.

Who is Lucy Bagby? She was the last  enslaved fugitive to seek shelter in Cleveland. Inspite of many efforts to save her, she was captured and returned to her"owner", but was later freed. She is buried in Woodland Cemetery. She is one of many fascinating and heroic freedom seekers whose stories could have been lost. We share these and other stories to carry us into the future being proud of what we have learned from the past about the strength and power of those who escaped and those who helped them.


the steps

1 Select university studients who will, under professional supervision, research activities of freedom seekers and abolitionists in pre-Civil War Cleveland, including illustrations, maps, stories and court cases.

2 Create stories for young people and adults to share through RCH's Beloved Community Dialogues and school programs.

3 Develop, design and produce display materials to be used in presentations

4 Have a "Freedom Festival" in the lawn of the Cozad Bates house with music, drumming, dance and stories celebrating the UGRR in this area.



why we're doing it

Most people in Cleveland do not know about the city's anti-slavery past. The research that we plan to do will take place over the course of a year. That includes the design and production of displays and the creation of new dialogues and a free community event.



$1,250 - University Researcher Stipends

$1,250 - Production of display materials based of results of research

$1,500 - Freedom Festival; sound system, city permit, artist fees, publicity, supplies

$4,000 - Subtotal

$35 - ioby Platform Fee

$120 - ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%)

$4,155 - Total to raise


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This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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