In the mid-1800’s, Medina was a stop on the Underground Railroad — a system of safe houses that gave shelter to runaway slaves on their arduous journey from the slave-holding South, across Ohio, to the safety of Canada.  One of the local homes that had been a stop on the Underground Railroad was also a stop on the Medina YWCA’s 14th Annual Home Tour this past Sunday.

The house, on the corner of E. Liberty St. and North Spring Grove,  was built by an  English immigrant named Thomas Miller in 1841. It  had originally been located outside the village of Medina on ninety acres of farm land. Today, it is well within the city limits.

Sketch of house by Cindy Allman for the Medina CDC

Sketch of house by Cindy Allman for the Medina CDC

The hiding places for fugitive slaves created by Thomas Miller remain intact.  Current owner, Marc  Milinkovich showed those areas to scores of intrigued visitors on Sunday, December 6.

Click here to see more photos of the Underground Railroad house:

Slaves were once hidden behind this ordinary appearing fireplace.

Slaves were once hidden behind this ordinary appearing fireplace.

This is the entance to the area behind the fireplace.

This is the entance to the area behind the fireplace.

This trap door in the floor was another way to whisk slaves to safety. The walk-out basement once led to a barn.

This trap door in the floor (originally hidden by rugs) was another way to whisk slaves to safety. The walk-out basement once led to a barn.

Marc and Tracy Milinkovich filled their home with Christmas decorations popular in the mid-1800's.

Marc and Tracy Milinkovich filled their home with Christmas decorations popular in the mid-1800's.

Berries and pine -- celebrating Christmas in 19th century style.

Berries and pine -- celebrating Christmas in 19th century style.

10 Responses to “The Underground Railroad House”

  1. Esther Lindsey Says:

    Hi,

    I’m teaching a class to some homeschool students about the Underground Railroad in Ohio. We are a group of homeschool students living in Brunswick and I’d like them to understand more local Underground RR history. Is there anyway I can get in touch with this couple? Perhaps they could open up their home to our kids for a field trip? I would love for the kids to visit an actual Underground Railroad home just the next city over! Wow! Thanks.
    330-220-1115

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  9. Carol Ice-Foote Says:

    Thank you for the wonderful information on the Under Ground Railroad participation in Medina. The Heritage Farm in Brunswick is raising funds to bring /transport a 2 story log house from Newark Ohio that was a known part of the railroad. We hope to get it paid for and at least the pieces moved to the Farm for storage until funds are sufficient to plan a house raising. The house will then be used for teaching local history and the time period of the 1860’s. We hope to have school tours, cooking classes, and educational programming with the cabin. A people’s cabin to see how life was in the not so far past.

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