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Four Avenues of Service - Community Service
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Just as human slavery is an undeniable part of American history, so, too, is the story of abolitionists who struggled to help end oppression.


The Rotary Club of Sandusky, Ohio, recently partnered with local civic organizations to commemorate the efforts of clandestine Underground Railroad members who helped slaves escape across the waters of Lake Erie to freedom in Canada. Situated on Sandusky Bay with a large number of railroad lines running through the city, Sandusky (known by the code name "Hope") was a central location from which slaves embarked on boats and navigated the shallow lake waters to Canada.  The memorial joins another Ohio institution that commemorates this era in US history: the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center on the banks of the Ohio River in Cincinnati, Ohio.


In November 2007, a life-sized sculpture, "Path to Freedom," was dedicated at the site.  Artist and Sandusky Rotarian, Susan Schultz, designed the piece featuring a man, woman and child whose bodies and limbs are composed of 800 feet of chain.  The faces and limbs are cast in bronze.


The project was a collaboration of financial assistance from the Lange Trust, Mack Iron Works, Sandusky Rotary Club, David Waddington, Sandusky Erie County Community Foundation, Wightman-Wieber Foundation and many others.  Mack Iron Works provided working space for  welding and patina finishing.


The statue stands atop a limestone pedestal at Facer Park at the foot of Hancock Street along Shoreline Drive.  Plaques containing information about the Underground Railroad surround the statue.


For pictures of the sculpture, please see our Photo Album, accessible from the menu on left side of screen.