In 1857, Mary Butler and her son arrived in Minnesota as slaves of Thomas Calhoun. Today, the site is a park named in their memory–Butler Park. The history of slavery in Minnesota is largely an untold one; partly because slaves brought by their owners into northern territories were not entitled to freedom until after 1858. “History is extremely important… for the community to understand, respect and embrace,” says Mayor Kleis. The park’s name, along with a monument and interpretive signage bring awareness about the African American experience in St Cloud. “Butler Park is a reminder that slavery touched everybody in this country,” reflects Pastor James Albert from Higher Ground Church of God in Christ. “People say why bring that up, why say anything about that at all? But until we can actually deal with it, we will never be able to heal from it.”