Underground Rairoad - Quilt Block Series  LbNA # 20802 (ARCHIVED)

OwnerLone Star Quilter    
Placed DateMar 11 2006
LocationRusk, TX
Last Found Mar 29 2009
Hike Distance?

This quilt block is called "Underground Railroad". While the Underground Railroad was very real, it was not an actual railroad. The term was used to describe the network of abolitionists and safe houses that helped slaves escape from the South to Ohio and Canada. Safe houses along the way were known as "stations", those who guided the escapees were called "conductors" and the runaways themselves were called "passengers". Quilts hanging on a clothes line were sometimes used as codes to warn the "passengers" of dangers or direct them in some way, depending on the different blocks in the quilt. Reaching a "station" in the North meant food, clothing, and a place to hide when capture was imminent. Estimates are that as many as 100,000 people escaped slavery between the American Revolution and the Civil War. Some quilt blocks have more than one name; this one is sometimes called "Jacob's Ladder".

The Underground Railroad letterbox is located at the Texas State Railroad State Park, which is known as one of the nation's largest and most unique steam train operations. Passengers may board the historic trains at either Rusk or Palestine and both ends of the line have turn-of-the-century style train stations and the Rusk-Palestine State Parks. The 50-mile, round-trip steam engine excursions take 4 hours and run from March to November. Rusk is located about 170 miles north of Houston. The Texas State Railroad Rusk Depot is 3 miles west of Rusk off US Highway 84.

As you enter the park, you will see a small parking lot on the left side of the road. You can park here and walk to the Nature Trail. Go left as you leave the parking area to the trail head.
Starting at the sign that reads: Sweet Gum, continue until you reach the Sassafras wall. Sit on the bench facing the wall. Find the top, right viewing port and look through it. You should see two pine trees right on the other side of the wall and, between them, a little further away, another pine. The box is on the near bottom of that tree covered with the usual stuff. Please replace the box and re-cover it well.

Look for Boots Tex’s letterbox, “The General Sherman” in this park.