FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FROM BEDandBREAKFAST.COM - January 8, 2007
CONTACT: Marti Mayne, 207-846-6331, Marti.Mayne@BedandBreakfast.com
Sandy Soule, 203-637-7642, Sandy.Soule@BedandBreakfast.com
B&Bs WITH UNDERGROUND RAILROAD TIES
Commemorate Black History Month with visits to former underground RR stops
Austin, TX - Throughout January and February, Americans celebrate the history and accomplishments of African-Americans with Martin Luther King's birthday in January and Black History Month in February. In recognition, BedandBreakfast.com offers packages at B&Bs that were once "conductors" or "stations" on what came to be known as the Underground Railroad. Relive history with a stay at one of these historic BedandBreakfast.com B&Bs, listed below, alphabetically by state.
Inn at Aberdeen, Valparaiso, IN: The renovation of this 18th century home revealed a hidden ladder beneath the old entry closet floor, leading the owners to believe that the house served as a way station for the Underground Railroad during the Civil War. The inn linked a known "safe site" in nearby Hebron with other locations to the north.
Christopher's B&B, Newport, KY: Throughout 2007, stay in a junior Jacuzzi room, and receive two adult tickets to see the National Underground Railroad Museum across the river in Cincinnati. Learn how enslaved black Americans were able to attain their freedom against overwhelming odds through a secret network of people and places. The package price of $135 includes overnight accommodations, breakfast for two, and two tickets to the museum. Additional nights may be added for $95 plus tax.
Springhill B&B and Winery, Bloomfield, KY: A trap door leads to a tunnel in the original slave quarters of this stately pre-Civil War plantation manor. Slaves reportedly used this escape as their first step to freedom.
Ashley Manor, Barnstable, MA: Dating back to 1699, this historic B&B has a secret passage connecting the upstairs and downstairs, thought to be a hiding place for Tories during the Revolutionary War, and later, a temporary hideout for slaves. Allegedly, slaves climbed down a ladder, still found in the closet of the King George Suite, to reach the cellar, then fled into the night. Symbols stitched into on quilts, supposedly hung out to dry, provided clues and directions from one safe house to the next.
The Tern Inn & Cottages, Harwich, MA: Under the living room rug, a small round door leads to a unique little round cellar that has survived 150 years of restoration, remaining intact and undisturbed today. The trap door is still easily found, as the floor sags and creaks when one walks over the spot. They say that the cellar was used to hide runaway slaves awaiting ships going north to Canada.
Escape Guest House, Brooklyn, NY: This B&B is just a short stroll from Plymouth Church, the "Grand Central Depot" of New York's Underground Railroad. According to church history, slaves traveling to Canada were hidden in the tunnel-like basement beneath the church sanctuary; you can still visit there today. The church's first pastor, Henry Ward Beecher, was a dedicated abolitionist and younger brother to Harriet Beecher Stowe, famous author of Uncle Tom's Cabin.
Inn by the Mill, Saint Johnsville, NY: The inn is comprised of a collection of 19th century buildings, including a barn, carriage house, hog house, and a stone grist mill built alongside the Timmerman Creek. The mill was once part of the Underground Railroad and has three secret rooms below the basement floor. Each night, the water to the 30-foot waterwheel was shut off, allowing slaves to pass safely through the 1,000-foot-long water tunnel.
Six Acres B&B, Cincinnati, OH: The Underground Railroad was very active in Southeast Ohio. Many Quaker families, and others in the community, courageously hid and conducted freedom seekers towards Canada. This beautiful home was built between 1850 and 1860 by Zebulon Strong, noted abolitionist and participant in the Underground Railroad.
Columbian Inn, A Bed and Breakfast, Columbia, PA: Pennsylvania was filled with stops on the Underground Railroad, as the Amish and the Quakers were particularly sympathetic to the desperate search for freedom. This inn was a known stop along the Underground Railroad.
Speedwell Forge B&B, Lititz, PA: During Black History Month, explore the plight of escaping slaves with the Bethel AME "Living the Experience" tour. This eye-opening and spiritually moving experience begins and ends at the Lancaster Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, a station on the Underground Railroad. Learn how the Amish played a part, crafting quilts that led people to safety. Throughout February, stay two nights (including a Friday or Saturday night) and receive two complimentary tour tickets, a $46 value.
Morning Glory Inn, Inns on Negley & Mexican War Streets Inn, Pittsburgh, PA: Three inns have joined together to offer the Inn-side, Outside and Underground (Railroad) package. Stay one night at any of the three participating inns, tour eclectic neighborhoods and visit Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center and Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, housing exhibits depicting Pittsburgh's important role in the Underground Railroad. This package includes overnight accommodations, breakfast for two, museum passes, and a lovely book describing the history of the neighborhoods, starting at $238 double.
Across the Way B&B at Fassitt Mansion, White Horse, PA: Located halfway between Philadelphia and Harrisburg, this 1845 mansion was built by Captain William Fassitt as a way to entertain guests and throw lavish parties. A known "safe house" on the Underground Railroad, it was also a frequent stop for freedom seekers heading north.
Springdale Country Inn, Lincoln, VA: This inn was once a Civil War hospital; while offering refuge to wounded soldiers, it also served as a stop on the Underground Railroad.
White Pines Victorian Lodge, Sturgeon Bay, WI: While remodeling, the former owners realized there was a hollow area behind a wall. They broke through and found a tiny room containing a table, chair, and an old newspaper with an article about the house being part of the Underground Railroad. Local lore explains that escaped slaves were hidden here until they were able to escape via schooner to Canada.
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This press release was prepared for BedandBreakfast.com, 700 Brazos Street, Suite B-700 Austin, TX 78701