The Underground Railroad was a human train that did not run on rails.
Its “passengers” were runaway slaves seeking freedom in the years leading to the Civil War. “Conductors” included enslaved and free blacks and abolitionist whites who offered hiding places, clothing, food and direction. “Stations” were homes, churches and barns that provided safe haven.
Because of its location just across the river from slave holding Kentucky , Ohio evolved into a major route on the Underground Railroad. One of the major routes ran through the community of College Hill along Hamilton Pike, now known as Hamilton Avenue .
Several homes in the community were used as safe houses for those escaping. Their goal was to get to Canada because although Ohio was a free state it was not safe because of the Fugitive Slave Laws of 1850. Runaways and conductors know better than to stop on this side of the river for fear of being captured and taken back to the South.
Built between 1850 and 1860 by noted abolitionist Zebulon Strong, this beautiful home has a unique connection to the Underground Railroad. Zebulon was a Quaker and a farmer. Documents in the Ohio Historical Library speak of him having a “false bottom” in his farming wagon where he would pick up his “passengers” along the Mill Creek which runs along the side of property. He would hide the runaways in the bottom of his wagon and put his crops on the top and take them up to the house for a safe respite before moving them further up Hamilton Pike to the next safe house along the route.
Our goal is to maintain the integrity of the home by honoring its original use of providing food and shelter to weary travelers.
We welcome you and your family with warm hearts and open arms!