New Philadelphia Association Preserves the Past

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New Philadelphia

McWorter family in the 1910s. Courtesy of the Illinois State Museum

The nonprofit New Philadelphia Association continues its work to preserve, protect and interpret the site. Along with spurring research at the site, the association facilitated the State of Illinois’ purchase of the only original house remaining at the site. In addition, the Archaeological Conservancy now owns and protects 9 acres that once served as the heart of the town.

New Philadelphia gained national recognition when it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated a National Historic Landmark, thanks to the respective efforts of Michelle Huttes and Charlotte King. In 2013, the National Park Service added New Philadelphia to its National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. The site is also currently under consideration as a unit of the National Park Service.

In 2016, the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., will feature New Philadelphia as part of a larger exhibit on westward expansion. Not far away, the Smithsonian’s new Museum of African-American History and Culture will display a bust of “Free Frank” – sculpted by fifth-generation descendant Shirley McWorter Moss – when its doors open in 2016.

Learn more at newphiladelphiail.org.

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