There’s more to Bed & Breakfasts than fresh-baked muffins and hot coffee. Did you ever stop to think about the history of the house, or where its owners are from? Did you ever consider its place in history, or its path to the future? On the outside, many B&Bs look like renovated homes with four-poster beds, but the walls in some historic B&Bs have remarkable stories to tell.
Over the next two months, we’ll celebrate Martin Luther King’s birthday and recall the conflicts and accomplishments of African-Americans during February’s Black History Month, but it doesn’t have to end there. The folks at BedandBreakfast.com have come up with list of historical B&B’s throughout the U.S. that
tell the tales of struggle, strife and eventual salvation, as “conductors” or “stations” on the Underground Railroad. We’ve highlighted a few:
Amelia Island Williams House, Fernandina Beach, FL: According to family stories, Marcellus A. Williams bought this home in 1859, allowing escaped slaves following the Underground Railroad to use his home as a haven during their journey to freedom.
Mason House Inn of Bentonsport, Bentonsport, IA: During the Civil War, the Mason House was a station on the Underground Railroad and delivered food during the night to the farm’s hayloft where escaped slaves hid.
The Steamboat House, Galena, IL: A tunnel that offered an escape route for slaves still remains under the house.
Inn at Aberdeen, Valparaiso, IN: A hidden ladder beneath the old entry closet floor tells tales of a way station for the Underground Railroad.
Hall Place B&B, Glasgow, KY: A cave under this B&B linked to a network of other caves that eventually surfaced at a nearby spring.
Baird Tavern B&B, Blandford, MA: The B&B was a known stop along the Underground Railroad as slaves fled to freedom in Canada. (pictured above).
Samuel Fitch House, Westford, MA: A basement tunnel and a walk-in closet with bookshelves in front of a removable wall was believed to hide slaves on their escape.
Munro House, Jonesville, MI: Believed to be a station on the Underground Railroad, this house features a 100-foot-long stone-walled tunnel that leads to the basement where a secret room hid runaway slaves.
1830 Hallauer House B&B, Oberlin, OH: A secret room and a concealed opening are just a few ways this house aided slaves as they traveled on the Underground Railroad.
Tattersall Inn, Pt. Pleasant, PA: An underground concealed room once used as a stop on the Underground Railroad is found in the original part of this circa 1753 building.
Great Valley House of Valley Forge, Valley Forge, PA: A tunnel from the main house was used to house slaves moving north along the Underground Railroad.
Hamilton House B&B, Whitewater, WI: Rumor has it that a number of secret tunnels led from this historic inn to nearby homes and the train depot.