A Two-Day Immersive Experience

Crossing The River Logo


Day 1

ohio river
The Ohio River was a treacherous obstacle for African Americans fleeing North to escape slavery and other persecution.

Registration at Burr Oak Lodge (8:30-9:15am)
Presentation at Burr Oak Lodge
• Overview of Two-Day Experience
• Crossing The Ohio: The Norman Family Story
Bus Departs (10:30am)
Manasseh Cutler Home-Amesville
• Freedom Seekers Cave
• Quaker Meeting House
• Multicultural Genealogical Center
Lunch (Included in Registration)

John Newton Templeton
John Newton Templeton, the first African American man to graduate from Ohio University in 1828. He was the third African American college graduate in the U.S.

• Education Provides Gateway/Southeast Ohio History Center
• Cemetery, Neighborhood, Historic Marker & Church Tour
• Inspiring Stories of African American Firsts
• Ohio University Today/Templeton-Blackburn Auditorium
Dinner (Included in Registration)
Overnight @ Burr Oak Lodge

Day 2
Breakfast/Program (Included in Registration) (8:30am)
Bus Departs (9:30am)
Payne’s Crossing/Payne’s Cemetery-Wayne National Forest
• Pre-Civil War Rural Enclave at Hocking-Perry County Line
Shawneerendville historical marker
• Rendville Documentary
•African Americans in the Hocking Valley Coal Fields
• Lunch (Included in Registration)

• Inspiring Stories of African American Firsts
• Rendville Art Works & Rendville Town Hall


Nelson T Gant house
Nelson T. Gant House

Return to Burr Oak (Arrive 6 to 6:30PM)/Tour Concludes

Hidden in the steep hills and narrow valleys of southeastern Ohio are remarkable stories of men and women who bravely broke the color barrier after they and their families crossed the Ohio River into Ohio’s Hill Country throughout the 19th and 20th Century. The region’s relatively homogeneous population does not lead one to expect stories of state and national significance involving African Americans. However, to the contrary, abundant examples exist that still impact the region today.   Join a spirited group of guides, ranging from community organizers and descendants of early trailblazers, to scholars and contemporary leaders as this landmark experience will give consideration to events and sites dating back to the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Learn about Quakers and the Underground Railroad at Chesterhill, Ohio’s first public university and integrated and black-only academies at Albany in Athens County, the African American experience in Ohio’s second state capital at Zanesville, and an accidental social experiment during the coal boom era at Rendville where African Americans became pioneers in the nation’s labor union movement.   This guided bus tour includes lodging at the scenic Burr Oak State Park Lodge, a taste of regional foods and performance, and visits to African American churches, cemeteries and to the region’s pride and joy, Ohio University, where many early African American milestones were set.

Provocative stories of courage, creativity & accomplishment!

Guides who are intimate with the past & current story!

Excellent food, entertainment and accommodations!

The Details:

Location: Tour begins and ends at Burr Oak State Park Lodge, 10660 Burr Oak Lodge Road • Glouster, Ohio 45732.

Time: 8:30AM Monday, August 8 to 6PM, Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Cost: $195 per person (includes 4 meals: lunch-dinner August 8, breakfast-lunch August 9 and transportation).  Register by phone or e-mail by contacting us (see contact) or on-line at Event Brite. Fees apply to on-line registering.  Registration does not include lodging.

Lodging: $95/105 per room (single/double occupancy) @ Burr Oak Lodge.  To receive this rate, you must register directly through Ohio Hill Country or on-line at Event Brite Lodging option is at bottom of Event Brite registration page when checking out.

Contact: Ohio’s Hill Country Heritage Area; P O. Box 114; Shawnee, Ohio 43782; @gmail.com or call 740-707-1775 or 740-394-2852.

Note: This tour involves significant van/bus travel on winding roads and requires moderate amounts of walking with some uneven surfaces.

Ohio University:  We thank the African American Studies program, the College of Arts and Sciences and the Center for Campus and Community Engagement at Ohio University for their role in putting on this event. Due to their human and financial role we are able to offer a substantial discount to up to 20 Ohio University faculty and staff.  Call 740-707-1775 or e-mail jwinnenb54@gmail.com to receive that code and use it as part of your on-line registration here. 

Tour Planning Committee:
Ada Woodson Adams, Multicultural Genealogical Center, Chesterhill
Anita Jackson, Gant House, Zanesville
Jerry Jackson, Rendville Historic Preservation Society, Rendville
Dr. Robin Muhammad, African American Studies at Ohio University, Athens
Denver Norman, Zanesville
John Winnenberg, Little Cities of Black Diamonds Council, Shawnee
Jeff Wunderly, Americorps, Little Cities of Black Diamonds Council, Shawnee
Kirsten Eikermann, Ohio University Scripps College of Journalism Intern
Tom O’Grady, Athens County Historical Society

Important Notes: This tour involves significant van/bus travel on winding roads and requires moderate amounts of walking with uneven surfaces and sites that are not accessible to the handicapped.  We will attempt to accomodate your physical and dietary limitations if you discuss via e-mail: jwinnenb54@gmail.com or phone 740-707-1775.