The Saint Louis Zoo has a new electric train named after abolitionist Mary Meachum, who owned a home on Fourth Street in St. Louis with her husband, Reverend John Berry Meachum, that was a safe house on the Underground Railroad. The train was unveiled on March 28th, as part of Women’s History Month.
The Meachums helped enslaved people escape from Missouri and other slave states into Illinois, where slavery was outlawed. Meachum started the First African Baptist Church, the first Black congregation in St. Louis, and ran a school at a time when educating Black people was forbidden. The Meachums moved the school to a steamboat on the Mississippi River, where that law could not be enforced.
The Meachum train is one of several that are part of the zoo’s 60th anniversary this year and are named after various St. Louis historical figures. The Mary Meachum is the first in the fleet named after a woman.
Video by St. Louis Zoo Tube