Secrets of Underground Railroad
We all know that life for a runaway slave was full of "hazards". They could only travel a few miles at night, using the North Star to guide them. They often hid in homes or on the property of antislavery supporters, such as Levi Coffin's.
Portraits of Levi Coffin and his wife, Catharine Coffin
Because 2,000 slaves over a 20-year-period were helped to reach safety by the Coffins, their home became known as Grand Central Station of the Underground Railroad
Concealed hiding spot under the eaves off the maid's room in the Coffin House. A small panel door gave access for fugitives hidden behind it in the crawl space under the roof. A low bed was used to screen this door.
Secret Spring well in the cellar so that none of the fugitives had to go out to theoutside well. Also, with the secret spring well, large amounts of water needed for all the escaped slaves would not cause speculation.
In the barn is a wagon that has a secret compartment where escaped slaves were hidden for travel from one safe haven to the next.
One of the 2,000 slaves who hid in the Coffin home was "Eliza," whose story is told in Uncle Tom's Cabin.
Abolitionists, such as the Coffins, referred to fugitives as "baggage" and the men transporting them as "conductors."
It was so exciting to see this historic site where history was made.