A special groundbreaking ceremony for the multimillion-dollar Levi Coffin House Interpretive Center will be facilitated by the Indiana State Museum & Historic Sites and the Levi Coffin House Association on Wednesday, October 29, near the Levi Coffin House at 113 U.S. 27, Fountain City, Wayne County.
The new 5,156-square-foot facility will commemorate Levi and Catharine Coffin, conductors on the Underground Railroad, as well as the thousands of men and women who came to the couple’s home following the “mysterious railway tracks” to freedom.
According to Tom King, president and CEO of Indiana State Museum & Historic Sites, the Levi Coffin House “stands as a reminder of courage and conviction – not just that displayed by Levi and Catharine, but also of those whose desire for freedom and dignity led them to escape the burden of slavery.”
The budget for the new center, which includes the cost of repairs to the house, is $3.2 million. Nearly 70 percent of commitments for that amount have been received to date.
The projected completion date for the new interpretive center is sometime in 2016, which will coincide with Indiana’s Bicentennial celebration.
“I think the good Lord’s been watching over this building and given it all the right owners down through the years,” said Janice McGuire, president of the Levi Coffin House Association.
Read about the Wayne County Historical Society’s efforts to preserve the Levi Coffin home in 1899.
Sheeley, Rachel E. “Levi Coffin House center to break ground.” October 25, 2014. http://www.pal-item.com/story/news/local/2014/10/25/coffin-house-center/17946033/
Indiana State Museum & Historic Sites. Immediate Release: “Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites move forward with Levi Coffin House Interpretive Center.” October 14, 2014.
Levi Coffin House Historic Site: http://www.indianamuseum.org/levi-coffin-state-historic-site.
Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites : http://www.indianamuseum.org/
Archeological Dig at the Future Levi Coffin Visitor Center: http://www.waynet.org/waynet/spotlight/2009/090330-levicoffin-visitor-dig.htm.