Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Public Forum Friday
The Gallatin County Tourism Board is opening another front in the fight to reopen the Old Slave House. They're hosting a public forum this Friday at 6:30 p.m. at the Gallatin County Courthouse in Shawneetown.

Bob Coomer, the director of the Historic Sites Division within the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency is scheduled to attend as are Anne Walker of East St. Louis who runs Freedom Trails: Legacies of Hope who specializes in African-American Heritage tourism efforts and Father Joseph Brown of Carbondale who is the director of the Black American Studies department at Southern Illinois University.

While the tourism committee is pushing to get a number of Gallatin County residents at the meeting (as they should). Supporters of the Old Slave House from all over should try to make it Friday. The courthouse has a really big courtroom where the meeting will take place. If there's overflow people can even stand in the second floor hallways that surround the courtroom and look down over the mini-balconies that ring the room. With the large WPA-era mural of Shawneetown (including slaves making salt), it's a pretty impressive setting.