UGRR Highlights - Section 3: Owensboro, KY to Milford, OH

Rockport, IL

  • Lincoln Pioneer Village is a historic village just off route. Among the numerous historic buildings is the cabin in which Abraham Lincoln grew up and also on exhibit is Lincoln's mother's burial ground, a Living Farm and much more. Tours are by appointment during the week.

New Albany, IN

  • Carnegie Center for Art & History is home to a permanent exhibit, Ordinary People, Extraordinary Courage: Men and Women of the underground Railroad in the Indiana and Kentucky Borderland.

Madison, IN

  • Historic Madison — The area of Madison, known as the Georgetown Neighborhood, was an early African American settlement and important stop on the Underground Railroad after freedom seekers crossed the Ohio River from the slave state of Kentucky. Learn more at the NPS Network to Freedom website.
  • Enjoy the Riverfront Walking Tour of Madison, sponsored by The Cornerstone Society, Inc. PO Box 92, Madison, IN 47250. 
  • African Methodist Episcopal Church Building is one of two churches established in an area know as Georgetown. The Church served the community for seventy years and is open by appointment only.
  • Lanier-Schofield House* — built between 1810 and 1817 — was the first two-story brink inn and tavern in town. This historic house is available for touring, call 812-265-4759 for more information. Also visit the * Lanier Mansion State Historic Site.
  • More in Madison, currently not open to the public, but worth cycling by and reading about! Visit the NPS Network to Freedom program to learn more.
  • Lyman Hoyt House
  • Dr. Samuel Tibbets Home
  • Isaiah Walton Home
  • John H. Tibbets Home

Lancaster, IN

  • Historic Eleutherian College was founded in 1848 and stands as a monument to the people who established it in the name of education, the arts, and equality without regard to race or gender. This institution served as a antislavery stronghold in the pre-civil war era and was founded by Rev. Thomas Craven who dreamed of a place that whites and blacks, men and women could attend classes together. It is part of the NPS Network to Freedom program and has a visitor center located adjacent to the college building. The visitor center features exhibits and information about the history of the College and the village of Lancaster, near Madison.
  • John Gill and Martha Wilson Craven Home* — another member of the NPS Network to Freedom program — Thomas Craven and his son, John Gill Craven helped start the Eleutherian Institute in 1848 which later became the College in 1854. This school, known as an "abolition school" excited opposition and John and Martha Craven opened their home to black students and freedom seekers.

Augusta, KY

  • Along the route near Augusta, KY, cyclists will have the opportunity to see a host of sites and homes associated with the Underground Railroad.
  • Doctor Perkins was a free person of color living in Augusta. He was charged with enticing slaves to seek their freedom. Found guilty, he was sentenced to the Kentucky State Penitentiary where he later died.
  • Reynold's Mansion and Slave Quarters — This home was built by slave labor in 1855 and the slave quarters still exist as a garage. William H. Reynolds sold his slaves prior to Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation.
  • Taliaferro Home is a plantation style home that illustrates what living prior to 1865 might have been like. After the September, 1862 Battle of Augusta, one of General Morgan's troops died at this site.
  • Home of Nan Bass — Home to the Wm. Taylor Asbury family and slave, Nancy Jane Spencer, who became a local heroine as a nurse and mid-wife.
  • Shockey Hideaway — A home built by Samuel Shockey has a hidden area under the front hall which is said to have been a place slaves were kept safe before being moved on the Underground Railroad.
  • Buckhanan Home was at one time the original stage coach station and the oldest structure in the Germantown area.
  • Hillsdale Road* was the site of John Gregg Fee's school and church which held early integrated services. Fee, who began his anti-slavery career at Augusta College and graduated at Lane Seminary preached diligently against slavery. Eventually he was banished from Kentucky and his churches were burned. Fee is considered Kentucky's most noted abolitionist and founder of Berea College. On the route, you'll note the Bethesda Cemetery on the right hillside. The Fee farm borders this road. This is the place that Fee's emancipated slave, Julette Miles, rescued her children from bondage. They were captured on the Ohio River west of Augusta (Rock Springs) waiting to be rowed to freedom. The Fee farm is a NPS Network to Freedom site.
  • Julette Miles Site was the location of John Fee's school and church which held integrated services. Fee, a student at Augusta Methodist College and Lane Seminary was in charge of young missionaries distributing religious materials in the area. Fee's emancipated slave, Julette, rescued her children from bondage.
  • General Payne Home* built in circa 1813. Later Dr. Jonathan Bradford lived here. Newspaper accounts of the time report it as a safe house and Dr. Bradford was know to have ties to Arthur Thome, an area conductor.
  • White Hall*, part of the Network to Freedom program, is a grand mansion that was home to conductors Arthur and James A. Thome. Built by slave labor circa 1809 before Thome freed his slaves in the 1830's. Arthur became a conductor before leaving Augusta in 1842. James became a Lane Seminary debater/rioter and Oberlin College graduate where in 1839, he fled after leading Judah, a female slave living with the local Chalfont family, on the Underground Railroad. James wrote Emancipation of the West Indies at White Hall and co-authored a book with the famous Theodore Weld.
  • Fee and Gragston Historical Marker recognizes Fee, an abolitionist, and Gragston, a conductor on the Underground Railroad.
  • Slave Jail — Pinecrest Farm's barn contained the "jail" with barred windows and chains used to secure Africans waiting to be shipped down river to Natchez, MS. This "jailhouse" has been removed and restored and is now a focal point at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, OH.

Washington, KY

  • In Historic Washington see the historic attractions and learn about Old Washington and the Underground Railroad.
  • The Harriet Beecher Stowe Slavery to Freedom Museum displays slavery artifacts and Civil War memorabilia, period furnishing and chronicles the life of Ms. Stowe, author of the book "Uncle Tom's Cabin."
  • The Kentucky Gateway Museum Center* transports visitors through time as it tells the story of the region through dioramas and exhibits.

Maysville, KY

  • Maysville, KY is home to the The National Underground Railroad Museum at the Bierbower House, which was a documented safe house and provides a view of the original kitchen and slave quarters where fugitive slaves were hidden under false floors.

Ripley, OH

  • Ripley, Ohio is also known as "Freedom's Landing."  This community was well known for abolitionist activity and was a major station on the Underground Railroad.
  • John Rankin House was home to the Rankin Family who moved hundreds of freedom seekers along the Underground Railroad, including the woman who inspired "Eliza," the fictional heroine of Harriet Beecher Stowe's book, Uncle Tom's Cabin.
  • John Parker House — After purchasing his freedom, John Parker became one of the most daring conductors on the Underground Railroad, sneaking across the Ohio River to aid freedom seekers.

Clermont County, OH

  • Clermont County's Freedom Trail lists a number of Freedom Stations which are part of the NPS Network to Freedom program. You can learn more about these sites by downloading a Freedom Trail brochure from the county's website. The following sites are along the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route.
    • Marcus Sims — Huber Tannery, Williamsburg
    • Charles B Huber Home Site, Williamsburg
    • Dr. Leavitt Thaxter Pease Home, Williamsburg
    • Williamsburg Township Cemetery, Williamsburg
    • Charles B Huber Farm, Williamsburg
    • Brice Blair Home, Batavia
    • John Joliffe & Clermont County Courthouse, Batavia
    • Philip Gatch Burial Site & Greenlawn Cemetery, Milford

Cincinnati, OH

  • The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is home to three pavilions that celebrate courage, cooperation and perseverance. The story of freedom is woven through the heroic legacy of the Underground Railroad and the American struggle to abolish human enslavement and secure freedom for all people.
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe House, 2950 Gilbert Avenue. This house was once home to the author of Uncle Tom's Cabin.

* Denotes a site not listed on the map.