First Presbyterian is Racine's longest standing congregation. It is thought that it might have been a former stop on the escape route for slaves seeking freedom from their southern masters and a life of toil, oppression, and drudgery. The photos above represent just a few highlights of the free tour we offer to schools, community groups, churches, and the general public. Come view the tunnel where escaped slaves may have hid, see the wall of quilts that tells their story, and learn about the many expressions that tell the tale of this wonderful bit of local history!
Tours must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance by calling the office at 262.632.1686 or emailing our office at: email@example.com. Tours are offered at no charge. A free-will donation to First Presbyterian Church or our bank is appreciated.
Who would ever expect to find something like this behind the modern doors at First Presbyterian Church in Racine Wisconsin? This is not a re-creation, but rather the actual and original site found when the church underwent renovation some years back. The doors are the only addition.
A closer look at the southern end of the space underneath First Presbyterian Church in Racine, Wisconsin. Look at the top of the picture and you can see the original floor joists of the sanctuary found at 716 College Avenue. The striker, which was formerly used to ring the bell is in the foreground.
This was found during an update to the electrical system of First Presbyterian Church. This is a portion of a chimney that was to be taken out. Once evidence of underground railroad activity was found, things were left intact to preserve this important story. This was one of three that were intended to provide heat to our church, during the winter. Since fire requires a fuel source and someone to feed it, it was necessary to place the chimneys on an outside wall with a door. Runaway slaves could enter the space through that door.