–by Sylvania AdVantage Staff
PUBLICATION DATE: July 05, 2018
Sue McHugh heads a dedicated team of volunteers guiding the preservation and restoration of The Lathrop House — a station on the Underground Railroad — in addition to developing educational programming and planning events at the site. She has been involved with its legacy since the beginning of the effort to restore the home, now located in Harroun Park on S. Main Street.
A graduate of Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana, with majors in history and humanistic studies, Sue has always been fascinated by the way our knowledge of history informs our understanding of art, music, and ideas, and how the arts and literature can bring history to life. A mother of four, grandmother of three, and perennial volunteer, she aspires to present history and the priceless lessons it can teach by making it come alive in the imaginations of young and old alike. This passion is reflected in her serving on the boards of the Sylvania Community Arts Commission and the Sylvania Historical Village.
The Lathrop House is one of many locations that are scattered throughout the state of Ohio where men, women, and children fleeing slavery during and before the Civil War era found shelter and safety. It is the only Underground Railroad station in Northwest Ohio open to the public. Currently the lower level of the home is open on Sundays from April through November from 1 to 4 p.m. with group tours by reservation. Visitors can learn about the important role our area played in this tumultuous time in our nation’s history, and understand how enslaved people were aided and concealed as they made the journey to Canada and freedom. On August 4 from 1 to 3 p.m., the Friends of Lathrop House will present their annual Celebration of Freedom, featuring reenactors, live music, and special tours. This year will also bring a new tradition to The Lathrop House — a community reading of the Declaration of Independence on July 4 at 10 a.m. with refreshments served afterward.
In 2016, Sylvania Historical Village took over maintenance of The Lathrop House. Future plans include restoration of the upper part of the house which will be funded with grants and donations and will greatly expand programming for all ages.
Sylvania Advantage, in cooperation with Creative Oxygen, is proud to honor this dedicated woman leader who has been so instrumental in preserving this unique piece of Sylvania history.