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National Stanley Family Association 28th Reunion
The Stanleys of Indiana
June 16 & 17, 2017
Held at Westfield Friends Church
GPS Coordinates: 40.039611, -86.127645
324 South Union St
Westfield, IN 46074-9456
(317) 896-9233

 

TOUR INFORMATION

Group Tour - Saturday, 10:00 am -12:00 noon
Underground Railroad Sites in Westfield, IN

Underground Railroad SitesWestfield’s Underground Railroad was part of what was known as the central route of the system, which wound through Madison, Columbus and nearby Indianapolis before going through Westfield, then wended northward.  One of Westfield’s early settlers who helped hide and care for slaves on their way to Canada was Asa Bales. Underground Railroad SitesWestfield now contains a park named for this humanitarian, who opened the town’s first business, a general store near Main Street.
Those who joined the Underground Railroad would provide not only safe houses but also, at times, intricate hiding places within them that were virtually invisible to scrutiny.  Slaves on the run would be fed, clothed and helped on their way to freedom.  It is estimated that more than 30,000 slaves used the Underground Railroad during the period of 1810 to 1850, mostly escaping into the free states of Canada.  The loosely knit escape network was a kind of resistance movement by Abolitionists.
Underground Railroad SitesInterestingly, the safe homes and rest stops along the northward route of the Underground Railroad were referred to as “depots” or “stations.”  The system even had “conductors” to guide the “passengers” along the way.
Still in good repair, the Anti-slavery Friends Cemetery was established in Westfield in 1845, during the height of the Underground Railroad’s run.
Eight historic houses in Westfield are believed to have been active “stations” on the Railroad, which ran during the 1820s and into the 1830s. Some of these stations, or “depots,” as they were also called, are still extant, greatly enriching the history of Westfield.  Our cousin, Judi Stanley Shuck will give us a walking tour of some of these historic sites.
 
On Your Own Tour - Old Friends Cemetery Park and other Quaker/Stanley Cemeteries. - Friday 1:00--4:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. -- to 12:00 noon.
Click on the pictures to go to the website with more pictures.
Old Friends Cemetery ParkOld Friends Cemetery Park is the site of the first cemetery in Westfield, Indiana, established in 1834.  Many early settlers of the town belonged to the Society of Friends, and from the beginning it was known as a Quaker town.  One such member was a man named Simon Moon, who was also one of the founding fathers of Westfield.  In the early 1830's, Moon donated two acres to the Church for a cemetery, that become known as the Old Friends burial ground.  He died later that year and is presumed to be buried there along with many other pioneers and prominent citizens from Westfield's early years.
In the 1960's, the Church donated the land to what was then the town of Westfield.  Feeling that the site, which is located in the heart of downtown Westfield, had lost its original beauty, the Westfield Woman's Club approached the town about improving the site and becoming the caretakers of the landscaping.  In addition to enhancing the landscape of the land by including gardens, the Woman's Club wanted to honor the memory of Martha Doan.  Old Friends Cemetery Park markersTo honor this accomplished woman and longtime member of the Westfield Friends Church, the garden was dedicated in 1967, and the site became known as the Martha Doan Memorial Garden.  From the 1960's to present day, many of Westfield's residents fail to realize that the site is in fact a very historical cemetery.