‘Lost Ships of the Underground Railroad’ Wednesday at Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center

Kevin Ailes

ALPENA — Next up in the Sanctuary Lecture Series is “Lost Ships of the Underground Railroad” presented by guest speaker Kevin Ailes, at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center, 500 W. Fletcher St., Alpena.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for this free community event.

Nearly all known routes of the Underground Railroad throughout the Midwest were cut short by a fluid frontier. The barrier of the Great Lakes was a substantial obstacle to those seeking freedom to the north. That obstacle could only be crossed by vessels equipped for the journey, many of which now lie upon the bottom.

Like the land journey of the Underground Railroad, many portions were built on secrecy and danger, on water a better description would be subterfuge and collusion. The subterfuge over the water was so thorough that little has come to the surface today.

Kevin and Amy Ailes (his behind-the-scenes partner and wife) have been researching and investigating the freedom seeker ships of the Underground Railroad for the last five years. During that time, they have learned of the stories and events, while they search for and find the ships involved.

The public is invited to join as Kevin shares harrowing stories of close calls, failures, and success of the Freedom Seeker Ships of the Underground Railroad.


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