Duane Kumala-Thomas, local artist & creator of the Underground Railroad Art installation writes:
The rich tapestry of
history that is Ingersoll, is Oxford, is South-Western Ontario, is Upper Canada, stretches
through the soil and deep into the roots. However, I felt it necessary to present the idea that
history happened to everyone, be them black, white, both, or other.
Using the familiar theme of the underground railroad as a focal point, the sculpture aims to
represent Ingersoll’s involvement in accepting, aiding and growing amongst a new and
increasing black population in the 1800s and beyond.
The visual of train tracks breaking through the soil and springing up into the Ingersoll air
will present viewers with the emphatic feeling of a journey travelled in discretion and
concluded where/when in this place, travellers came up for air, settled and planted new
As history would have it, Ingersoll had a part to play in forming the landscape throughout
the years. To further commemorate that, the following consequential dates will be mounted
onto the railroad ties;
1793: Thomas Ingersoll arrives and erects his cabin on what is now Thames Street
1852: Year that the village was incorporated into the Town of Ingersoll
1858: Famed American abolitionist John Brown visited Ingersoll & area
1916: 168th Battalion, Oxford's Own is formed; "B" Company based in Ingersoll
The top most railroad tie will read “NOW”, signifying that the lives we live today are the
makings of history when looking back years from now.