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Underground Railroad Quilt Exhibit

October 1 - October 31


The exhibit consists of eleven replica quilts, Ozella’s family story of how quilts were used to escape slavery on the Underground Railroad, displayed in Downtown storefront windows.

Ozella McDaniel Williams, an African American quilter from Charleston, South Carolina, was the keeper of an important part of American history. Passed on through generations of women in her family, mother to daughter in the oral tradition of storytelling. Williams knew a secret code of quilt patterns, which was in jeopardy of being lost. This code was used as a map to instruct slaves fleeing north toward freedom on the Underground Railroad. On May 11, 1996, Ozella revealed this family code to Jacqueline Tobin who was told “to write this down”* …

The Monkey Wrench turns the Wagon Wheel toward Canada on a Bear’Paw trail to the Crossroads. Once they got to the crossroads, they dug a Log Cabin on the ground. Shoofly told them to dress up in cotton and Bow Ties and go to the cathedral church, get married and exchange double wedding rings. Flying Geese stay on the Drunkard’s Path and follow the Stars.
*Hidden In Plain View, by Jacqueline L. Tobin/Raymond G. Dobard

HOW TO VIEW THESE QUILTS: Pick up a quilt card at DRC, RAM or any downtown business.

Take a drive-by or walking tour along city streets and stop at:
RAM, Indian Motorcycle, Lakeview Pharmacy, Dewey’s, Brit’s BouChic, Uncorkt, Lornacopia, Red Onion, SheaBrojae’s Natural Expressions, Main St. Bakery, OOHP 6th Street Theatre and your final stop, First Presbyterian Church Atrium Windows.


October 1
October 31
Event Category:


Racine Arts Council
Real Racine


Downtown Racine
Racine, WI + Google Map