New Richmond has received a mini-grant for new signage to promote the village’s historic underground railroad sites.
The grant, which is from the Governor’s Office of Appalachia in Columbus, totalled $1,100. The village itself contributed $550, and Renaissance New Richmond and the New Richmond Business Association both contributed $275.
Village Administrator David Kennedy said that the grant can be traced back to the governor’s office making an attempt to promote communities within the Appalachian region that has underground railroad sites.
The 10,000 cars that drive down U.S. 52 every day will now see several brown signs (large and small) promoting the five historic underground railroad sites located within the village limits of New Richmond.
New Richmond has been making attempts to promote its many historic sites and attributes through an economic development committee that was formed just last year; the new signs are one more integral element of that initiative.
Recently, New Richmond has built a new boat ramp, the flood wall has been painted, Front Street sidewalks have been repaired, Walnut Street has received many improvements, and village council has been very aggressive in getting residents to clean up their yards and properties.
Kennedy said that the new signs are just another part of the whole package of tapping into the village's rich history; something that the aforementioned economic development initiative is taking very seriously.
New Richmond has a total of five official registered underground railroad sites. The New Richmond waterfront is the sole nationally registered site; the Reverend George C. Light Home Site, the Dr. John Rogers Home Site (recently renovated), the Philanthropist Newspaper site, and the Cranston Memorial Presbyterian Church are the four state classified sites.
"It's a small grant that will allow us to accomplish big things," Kennedy said. "It represents us trying to tap into our rich history and share that with the community. We are very proud of the village's unique history. The underground railroad is an important part of this nation's history and some of that shared history is located right here in the village. These new signs will promote and encourage people to visit these amazing historic sites - that is really what these new signs are all about."