Welcome, residents and visitors!

The Madison County Historic Preservation Commission exists to encourage historic preservation throughout Madison County, Iowa, by providing information, education, and technical assistance to individuals, businesses, and locations. We also take a leadership role in specific projects such as the National Historic Register nomination for the Winterset Courthouse Square and the county-wide investigation of Underground Railroad activities. Learn more about what we can do to assist you in your preservation projects and learn more about Madison County history by wandering through the information we have provided here.

Walk Forever Free is Coming to Madison County

Under the guidance of the Madison County Historic Preservation Commission, a group has been researching Madison County’s Underground Railroad history and meeting others across the state that are doing the same in their locations. One of these new acquaintances is Barry Jurgensen who has created the Walk Forever Free project to connect historic slavery to modern day slavery, now known as human trafficking, and raise money for its prevention. Starting June 1, 2016, Barry, a history teacher at Arlington Public Schools in Nebraska, will begin walking 500 miles to raise money for this cause.

WFF - Barry walking plus images

Barry, and those who wish to walk with him, will retrace the journey of Eliza Grayson and Celia, two teenage slaves, who escaped from Nebraska City, Nebraska, in 1858 and traveled to freedom in Chicago, Illinois. His journey will follow theirs as closely as possible, stopping at Underground Railroad sites along the way.  Funds raised will be donated to the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives (FDFI.org/walk), a public charity dedicated to fighting against human trafficking through educational initiatives in schools and communities.

Several Winterset activities are planned in support of Walk Forever Free.

  • Pizza Ranch Fund-raising event, Monday 5/23, 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
  • Human Traffic Awareness Presentation, Wednesday, May 25 , 6:30 pm, Winterset Library
  • Walk Across Winterset with Barry, Thursday, June 9, 8:30 am, New Bridge Church
  • Presentation by Barry, Thursday, June 9, 6:30 pm, Madison County Historical Museum

For more ways you can donate or be involved, visit our Walk Forever Free page.