This special Friday program, “Crossing the River for Freedom: Slavery and the Underground Railroad,” will serve as the launch of the City of Wheeling’s 2022 Juneteenth Celebration. Kristina C. Estle, public historian and Director and Curator of the Underground Railroad Museum in Flushing, Ohio, will present her research on the Underground Railroad and abolitionist movement in Belmont County as well as slavery in Wheeling. Belmont County had roughly 200 miles of underground trails and Estle's research revealed astounding stories of runaway slaves, slave catchers, abolitionists, conductors, and agents. Estle earned her Master’s Degree in Public History/Museum Studies from Southern New Hampshire University and her Bachelor’s Degree in History at Ohio University. She also serves as Education Chairwoman for the Belmont County NAACP and President of the History Detectives of Belmont County. Wheeling’s three-day Juneteenth Celebration will also feature two performances at the Wheeling YWCA on Saturday, June 18th and a memorial service on Sunday the 19th at the slave auction block on 10th street. The celebration will conclude at Wheeling’s Heritage Port. Partners include: Underground Railroad Museum Wheeling Heritage; City of Wheeling; Wheeling YWCA; OCPL; Oglebay Institute; Wheeling NAACP; WV NAACP; and WesBanco Arena.
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