New Philadelphia dedicated as National Landmark

New Philadelphia has had the National Landmark distinction since 2009, but was finally dedicated as such Wednesday, August 25th.

The town was founded by Frank McWorter, a former slave that bought freedom for his family and himself.

Congressman Aaron Schock (R - Illinois 18th) was on hand to talk about the bipartisan legislation he introduced to require a feasibility study at the site of New Philadelphia.

That study is the next step for the site to gain National Park designation.

"The most important part of this site to me is really the cemetary. I think the townsite as a National Historic Landmark and if the Park Service perhaps makes it a National Park, would be very important to Pike County," said Free Frank McWorter's great-great-granddaughter Sandra McWorter.

"It could really get the story out there, because there is no national park in our system for black history, black heritage and that's what this site is all about," said New Philadelphia Association Treasurer/ Mayor of Barry Pat Syrcle.

A feasibility study could take several years.

Congressman Aaron Schock says National Park distinction could mean anything from kiosks on the site, to live tours.