ST. LOUIS – Some areas of the Great Rivers Greenway have some challenging histories.

Every October, the Great Rivers Greenway celebrates the Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing. On May 21, 1855, in the area that is now part of the Mississippi Greenway on the Riverfront Trail north of Merchant’s Bridge, Mary Meachum helped slaves cross the Mississippi River to Illinois.

Enslavers and law enforcement officials caught at least five enslaved people and arrested Mary. In 2001, the National Park Service recognized the site as part of the Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.

On October 14, there is a 21st Annual Celebration at the Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing from noon to 4:00 p.m. Celebrate black music history, grab a bite to eat, and enjoy the freedoms we do have in this beautiful park!