Lewis, Iowa: Home has Secret Passages for Enslaved People

Minister and abolitionist George Hitchcock built his house in 1856 to accommodate enslaved people escaping to Canada, with a basement and secret hiding places.

Hitchcock House

63788 567th Lane, Lewis, IA
Hitchcock House. A mile west of town on Nishna Valley Rd; watch for the sign.
May-Sept. T-Su; 1-5 pm. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
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Visitor Tips and News About Home has Secret Passages for Enslaved People

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Home with Secret Passages.

Home with Secret Passages to Hide Slaves

Off a gravel road, Admission is $5 per person. Definitely worth taking time to see. Wonderful restoration of history!

[A Mickelson, 08/14/2017]
Home with Secret Passages to Hide Slaves

Well, there is one secret passage. And there's a $5 charge to tour the house. But it's worth it!

[Kim Watts, 06/28/2012]

Underground railroad.

Home Built for Underground Railroad

The Hitchcock House, a stop on the Underground Railroad, was built in the 1850s by George Hitchcock, a minister and ardent abolitionist. The house was specifically built to harbor slaves on their way to freedom in Canada.

It included a full basement, which was unusual for the time. A tiny secret room hidden behind a hinged cupboard in the basement kitchen provided an additional hiding area when the slaves' safety was threatened.

[Jan Unsicker, 08/13/2010]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Cabbage Patch Fantasy LandCabbage Patch Fantasy Land, Griswold, IA - 6 mi.
Coffee Pot and Cup Water TowersCoffee Pot and Cup Water Towers, Stanton, IA - 22 mi.
Tiny Church: Morning Star ChapelTiny Church: Morning Star Chapel, Elk Horn, IA - 20 mi.
In the region:
Villisca Ax Murder House and Museum, Villisca, IA - 27 mi.

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