Another stop with the class I took this summer was the Hitchcock House, one of the most heavily promoted Underground Railroad sites in Iowa. It was the home of abolitionist and friend of John Brown, Rev. George Hitchcock. It’s located outside Lewis, Iowa and was the next major stop on the UGRR after Tabor, IA. The house was made of native sandstone walls. It had been in bad shape before it was restored. In the cellar is a fireplace that John Brown is known to have preached in front of and one of the best
documented actual secret rooms in the state. It was near many draws going to the river and provided both secret routes to get in and out and clear views from the house looking out over the rise. As a museum, unfortunately, they are on the Quilt Code bandwagon which makes you doubt the historical rigor applied to the research behind a lot of what they say, but the John Brown connection is solid and as secret rooms go this one is an actual room and they have oral histories from people who lived in the house while it was occupied describing how it was hidden.
UPDATED October 1, 2015: A couple of edits for readability and made the photos bigger.
Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.