International Underground Railroad Memorial - Detroit, Michigan
featured waymark
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Rattrak
N 42° 19.583 W 083° 02.637
17T E 331589 N 4688038
Quick Description: International Underground Railroad Memorial can be found on the Detroit River's edge in Hart Plaza.
Location: Michigan, United States
Date Posted: 1/19/2010 5:23:16 AM
Waymark Code: WM8340
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member adgorn
Views: 130

Long Description:

International Underground Railroad Memorial
This memorial is placed in one of the narrowest places in the Detroit river. Detroit was one of the largest gateways out of the country to free slaves to Windsor, Ontario, Canada. These rough waters in the dark of night was the route traveled to freedom. Many of the churches were hideouts for the slaves by day and until arrangements were made for the border crossing.

The memorial has many granite slabs engraved with facts about this gateway to freedom for enslaved people. One of these engravings shows many of the routes slaves had to take to get to Detroit. Another that shows a map of the Underground Railroad installments here in the city.

There are two main inscriptions, one for the memorial, the other is for the sculpture itself.
Memorial inscription (in granite);
International Underground Railroad Memorial
The International Memorial consists of companion monuments in Detroit and Windsor dedicated on October ,
Gateway To Freedom, Detroit Presenting Sponsors Daimler Chrysler Corporation Ford Motor Company General Motors Corporation Hudson Webber Foundation
Supporting Sponsors
Avis Ford Ford African American Network Visteon African American V1 Holding Companies
Tower Of Freedom, Windsor Presenting Sonsor
Casino Windsor Cares
Supporting Sponsors
City of Windsor NK Becker, Inc
General Motors Corporation has generously established an endowment to ensure the care of the Gateway to Freedom Monument for Detroiters and visitors now and in the years to come October ,
International Underground Railroad Monument Collaborative (lists 26 names)

Sculpture inscription (bronze)
Gateway to Freedom
Ed Dwight – Sculptor
Until Emancipation, Detroit and the Detroit River community served as a gateway to freedom for thousands of African American people escaping enslavement. Detroit was one of the largest terminals of the Underground Railroad, a network of abolitionists aiding enslaved people seeking freedom. Detroit’s Underground Railroad code name was Midnight. At first, Michigan was a destination for freedom seekers, but Canada became a safer sanctuary after slavery was abolished there in 1834. With passage of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850, many runaways left their homes in Detroit and crossed the river to Canada to remain free. Some returned after Emancipation in 1863.
The successful operation of Detroit’s Underground Railroad was due to the effort and cooperation of diverse groups of people, including people of African descent, Whites, and North American Indians. This legacy of freedom is a vital part of Detroit and its history.

TITLE: International Underground Railroad Memorial

ARTIST(S): Ed Dwight, 1933- , sculptor

DATE: Dedicated Oct. 20, 2001

MEDIUM: Bronze and Granite


Direct Link to the Individual Listing in the Smithsonian Art Inventory: [Web Link]

Detroit River's edge in Hart Plaza, Detroit's downtown.

As listed and is well maintained.

Visit Instructions:
Please give the date of your visit, your impressions of the sculpture, and at least ONE ORIGINAL PHOTOGRAPH. Add any additional information you may have, particularly any personal observations about the condition of the sculpture.
Search for... Google Map
Google Maps
Bing Maps
Nearest Waymarks
Nearest Smithsonian Art Inventory Sculptures
Nearest Geocaches
Nearest Benchmarks
Create a scavenger hunt using this waymark as the center point