Woodlawn Farm is a historic site in Jacksonville that was known to be a part of the Underground Railroad. It was established by Michael Huffaker in 1824. Today, it is a museum for the public to come and visit. It is only open for tours during certain seasons or special occasions throughout the year. It is a significant part of African American history in the Jacksonville community.
Backstory and Context
Woodlawn Farm was one of the major stops on the Underground Railroad, and was said to be one of the safest station on the route from Jacksonville to Springfield. Huffaker employed freed black slaves to help him out around his farm, such as raising cattle, horses, and crops. Huffaker became on of Morgan County's wealthiest residents with the success of his farm. By employing them, it made it easier to hide run away slaves. It was important to make sure unfreed slaves blended in with the freed blacks so Huffaker would not be fined. The fine was $100 per runaway slave.
The farm that the Huffaker family owned can still be seen today, including the two story brick home he built himself. It is located east of Jacksonville, along interstate 72. The farm was bought on December 3, 2003 by Morgan County Historical Society. In 2007, the farm was added to the National Register of Historical Places. They opened the farm as a museum for the public. You can take a tour during specific seasons, or special occasions throughout the year.
“Jacksonville's Historic Underground Railroad.” Jacksonville's Historic Underground Railroad,
Burk, Ryan. “Illinois at 200: The Underground Railroad in Jacksonville.” WCIA Illinois Home
Page, 18 February 2018,https://www.wcia.com/ciliving/illinois-at-200-the-underground-railroad-in-jacksonville/985143385.
Olson, Greg. The Way We Were Volume Two. Jacksonville: Morgan County Historical Society,