Underground Railroad Sites in Hudson, Ohio

by James F. Caccamo
UGRR interactive map (Google Maps)
More houses can be searched in the Summit Memory Historic House Project

William Hanford House
145 Aurora Street
Rev. William Hanford spoke out publicly against slavery even before his arrival in Hudson. Later, this house would be occupied by the Rev. Beriah Green, an outspoken Abolitionist and a key figure in the controversy between the Colonizationalists and the Abolitionists, which tore Hudson apart in the early 1830s. Green would later go on to head the Oneida Institute. Subsequently, the house was owned by Martin Luther Edwards, an anti-slavery advocate and a member of the Free Congregational Church of Hudson.
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Whedon-Hinsdale House
2727 Hudson-Aurora Road
When Owen Brown married the widow Lucy Hinsdale in 1841, he moved from his nearby farm to this house and called it his favorite. Brown was one of the principle anti-slavery figures in Hudson and was the town's "stationmaster" on the Underground Railroad.
Spring Hill Farm
2827 Hudson-Aurora Road
Owen Brown lived here from 1835 until moving next door in 1841. Brown was heavily involved in the Underground Railroad and passed his hatred of slavery on to his son, John.

Asahel Kilbourne House
1213 Barlow Road
Deacon Kilbourne was an associate of Owen Brown and a member of the Free Congregational Church. His anti-slavery convictions were well-known in Hudson.

Case-Barlow Farm
1931 Barlow Road
This was the boyhood home of Lora Case, a well-known Underground Railroad activist and childhood friend of John Brown. Family tradition says that Lora’s parents, Chauncey and Cleopatra Case, hid fugitives in the wood lot at the edge of the farm.

Harvey Coe House
92 College Street
While not a known Underground Railroad agent, Rev. Coe was heavily involved in the American Colonization Society and was one of the figures who precipitated the ideological crisis within the anti-slavery community in Hudson in the early 1830s.

Norman Baldwin House
30 Division Street
This house originally stood at the present location of 35 East Main Street. In the early 1830s it was the home of prominent local abolitionist William Dawes.

John Brown Tannery House
1842 Hines Hill Road
This home was built on the grounds of the tannery John Brown ran in Hudson. Originally, the Brown family lived in a log cabin on this site. By 1825, John Brown had completed construction on this house. In 1826, he sold the house to his brother Oliver and moved to Pennsylvania. John Brown Jr. recalled that as a child, he observed his father and mother aiding fugitive slaves here.

Elizur Wright, Jr. House
120 Hudson Street
One of the most prominent Abolitionists in America, Wright lived in this house while he was a professor at Western Reserve College. A member of one of Summit County's strongly anti-slavery families, the Wrights of Tallmadge, he later went on to edit the anti-slavery magazine, Human Rights, become secretary of the Anti-Slavery Society of America, and edit the anti-slavery newspaper, the Massachusetts Abolitionist.

Titus Hand House
220 North Main Street
Titus Hand was the son-in-law of Owen Brown, married to Owen's daughter, Sally Marian Brown. Active in anti-slavery activities, they lived in this house in the 1830's. The Hands would later move to Kent and then Lorain County. Both attended the 1839 Abolitionist convention in Cleveland.

Brown-Strong House
258 North Main Street
Owen Brown had this house built for his son, Oliver. The Browns later sold the house to Ephraim Strong, another prominent abolitionist in Hudson.

John Markillie
The House was at the site of the Western Reserve Telephone Company offices, 245 North Main Street
John Markillie, a photographer and an ardent Abolitionist, lived in a wood-framed house that once stood on this site. Lora Case names Markillie as an agent to whom he often took his passengers in the center of Hudson.

David Hudson House
318 North Main Street
David Hudson, the town's founder, was an early anti-slavery advocate. On January 5, 1826, his son, David Hudson, Jr. wrote in his diary: "Two men came this evening in a sleigh, bringing a Negro woman, a runaway slave, and her two children." While a believer in the Colonization movement, Hudson remained an active Underground Railroad agent.

Old Western Reserve College
Now the home of Western Reserve Academy, the first college in northern Ohio was an active area for anti-slavery activity. It was the center of debate between the Colonizationalists and the Abolitionists in 1832-1833. On November 11, 1834, John Buss writes in his diary "A runaway slave, his wife, and child..." arrived on the Western Reserve College campus The boys at the college scraped up $5.00 to send the family on to Cleveland. In the 1850s, Frederick Douglass gave the commencement speech at the college.

George Holcomb / Timothy Hudson House
356 North Main Street
David Hudson's son, Timothy Hudson, was a prominent anti-slavery figure in Ohio. Previous to moving into this house in 1842, he was the editor of an anti-slavery newspaper in Medina, Ohio and attended the Putnam Anti-Slavery Convention in Muskingum County in 1834. He was married to Katherine Brown, a first cousin of John Brown of Harpers Ferry fame.

Original First Congregational Church Building
Now the site of HudsonTown Hall, 27 East Main Street
The church used a wooden structure on this site from 1820-1865, when the congregation moved to a new building on Aurora Street. The original church building was removed in 1878. In 1837, John Brown gave his first public speech opposing slavery in the church upon hearing of the murder of anti-slavery newspaperman Elijah Lovejoy in Illinois.

Kilbourne-Oviatt House
151 South Main Street
George Kilbourne was a member of the Free Congregational Church and an anti-slavery activist in Hudson. This house was moved here from 5735 Darrow Road.

Thirty Acres
South Main Street
This was the home of John B. Clark, a prominent Abolitionist in Hudson. Traces of an escape tunnel led from this house.

Free Congregational Church
5 East Streetsboro Street
Owen Brown established the Free Congregational or "Oberlin" Church in 1842 and paid to have this building constructed for the congregation. Members had to swear they would fight against slavery. John Brown made his last appearance in Hudson in front of this building in the summer of 1859 on his way to Harpers Ferry.

Jeremiah Root Brown House
204 Streetsboro Street
John Brown's brother, Jeremiah, ran a station at his farmhouse. He stored weapons for his brother on this site. Local tradition says that the dry cistern in the building was often used to hide fugitives.

Lora Case
The Cabin was at the intersection of Streetsboro Street and Stone Road.
While it has been gone for over a century, Lora Case's cabin on the south side of Streetsboro Street was an active Underground Railroad station. Lora Case wrote in "It was a rare thing that a passenger attempted it [the Underground Railroad] or got through on our road." July 1859.