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Historic Odessa celebrates Juneteenth with free Underground Railroad Tour

The Historic Odessa Foundation

Historic Odessa celebrates Juneteenth with a Free Underground Railroad tour.

Historic Odessa’s “Freedom Seekers: The Odessa Story” tour and exhibit chronicles the role the Corbit-Sharp House and Odessa played on the Underground Railroad as fugitive slaves worked their way north to freedom.

In honor of Juneteenth, the Historic Odessa Foundation offers a special free public tour of its National Park Service Network to Freedom exhibit this Wednesday.

Historic Odessa Foundation Education Curator Johnnye Baker says this Odessa Juneteenth celebration started as a small, informal gathering at the site.

“We offered a free tour of our Freedom Seekers exhibit because we wanted to celebrate the landing of the Union Army in Galveston, Texas to spread the news that the Civil War had ended and that the enslaved were free.”

Baker says that in 2021 “...when Juneteenth became a federal holiday and more interest was generated in finding out about the institution of slavery and abolitionism and our local role in that, we formalized our national park service Freedom Exhibit into scheduled tours.”

The Corbit-Sharp House celebrates its 250th anniversary this year. It was accepted into the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom by the National Park Service in 2009.Registration for Wednesday’s free tour is suggested. Tour slots run from noon until 2pm.

Karl Lengel has worked in the lively arts as an actor, announcer, manager, director, administrator and teacher. In broadcast, he has accumulated three decades of on-air experience, most recently in New Orleans as WWNO’s anchor for NPR’s “All Things Considered” and a host for the broadcast/podcast “Louisiana Considered”.