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Saturday, August 22, 2020

Island Mound officially designated as Underground Railroad landmark

The annual public information meeting was held at the Battle of Island Mound State Historic Site on Friday, August 21, 2020 at 10:00 am.  The site had previously received the National Parks Service designation as a Network to Freedom site and this year’s annual meeting expanded the significance of that designation by listing the Island Mound site as a part of the International Underground Railroad Network to Freedom locations.  

Missouri State Parks staff in attendance were:
Mike Sutherland, Director, Missouri State Parks, Jefferson City
Brian Stith, Deputy Director, Missouri State Parks, Jefferson City
Mike Ohnersorgen, Program Director, Cultural Resource Management & 
                                   Missouri State Museum, Jefferson City
Laura Hendrickson, Regional Director, Ozark Region
Justin Adams, Deputy Regional Director, Ozark Region
Ranger Caleb Richerson – Missouri State Park Ranger, Truman State Park
Kenny Neal, Manager, Southwest Management Unit, Stockton.  Kenny is the Battle of Island Mound Site manager and he moderated the meeting.

Jim Ogle, Executive Director of Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area, read Missouri Governor Parson’s proclamation declaring September 2020 as the month to honor the International Underground Railroad Network to Freedom site in conjunction with National Parks Service.  Bates County Commissioners Jim Wheatley and Larry Hacker were in attendance and Wheatley read a complimentary proclamation declared by the Commissioners.

Several members of the public were the meeting and State Parks received positive comments regarding the maintenance of the site.  Visitors from all parts of the country seek out the Island Mound site because of the extraordinary story it tells, while local citizens are able to enjoy the landscapewalking trail, and the beauty of the prairie.  Bates County is fortunate to have such a wonderful place to visit.  

As Missouri’s Bicentennial celebrations begin in 2021, the Bates County Museum and Missouri State Parks will continue working together to provide quality program presentations that tell the stories unique to the remarkable history of Bates County.


L-R / Back Row:

Justin Adams, Kenny Neal, Brian Stith, Mike Ohnersorgen, Caleb Richerson, Laura Hendrickson, Mike Sutherland

L-R / Front Row:

Larry Hacker, Jim Wheatley, Peggy Buhr, Jim Ogle

-our thanks to Peggy Buhr