Dublin, Ohio has a rich historical past. This month is Black History month and I am proud to say that one of our forefathers in Dublin, Ohio took part in the stand against slavery. One of the homes on historic Riverview Street in downtown Dublin has evidence of being part of the Underground Railroad. The brick house, built by Charles Sells in 1822, became the home of Dr. Eli Morrison Pinney in 1842.
Pinney, an abolitionist, helped runaway slaves find their way north. Upon arriving at his home, the fugitives located a small copper pipe extending a few inches from the south wall at ground level. Lying on their stomachs (and hidden from view by bushes), the slaves let the resident know they were outside and in need of food/shelter by talking or blowing into the pipe, which extended into the home, next to the fireplace.
In Ohio, the Underground Railroad route came up north from the Ohio River, winding up through Chillicothe, Circleville, Columbus, Dublin, Worthington and Westerville then north to Canada.
Another local stop on the Underground Railroad was the Kelton House in downtown Columbus. Fernando Kelton and his wife Sophia were sympathetic to the abolitionist cause--and assisted many fugitive slaves by hiding them in their home. According to the Kelton House Museum & Garden website, this was considered very dangerous work because it went "against Ohio and U.S. law: Anyone caught hiding slaves, giving them food or clothing, or helping them flee north risked six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Yet the Keltons persisted."
To learn more about the Kelton family and their role in the Underground Railroad, visitors can tour the beautiful and historic Kelton House Museum & Garden at 586 East Town Street. Experiential tours such as "Learn Sophia's Secret" are available for groups. Visit www.keltonhouse.com to learn more.
Dublin has another connection to the War Between the States. The Morgan House, located at 5300 Glick Road, is currently a restaurant and gift shop--but it once stood in Southern Ohio. Legend has it that in July of 1863, General John H. Morgan and his Confederate raiders used the Weaver's cabin (now the cornerstone of the Morgan House) as headquarters and refuge from the Union army. The old Weaver’s cabin was disassembled in Southern Ohio and brought to Dublin, where it became part of the Morgan House in 1986.
To learn more about great local historic attractions, visit the Dublin Convention & Visitors Bureau's website (www.IrishisanAttitude.com) or the website for the Ohio Division of Travel & Tourism (www.DiscoverOhio.com).
-Post by Andrea