Iowa April 10, 2020
Drive Down This Little-Traveled Back Road To Discover A Historic Underground Railroad Stop In Iowa
Sometimes, the most remarkable places are hiding where you would never expect. Many people don’t know that there were stops along the Underground Railroad in Iowa, and you can visit one of these lifesaving hideaways if you’re willing to travel a bit off the beaten path.
The Reverend George Hitchcock House is located in the middle of nowhere, outside the town of Lewis in Cass County, Iowa.
Despite its rural location, this homestead contains some of the most remarkable history in the Hawkeye State. Hitchcock was a dedicated abolitionist, and his home became a stop along the underground railroad in Iowa.
This gorgeous and historic two story brick home feels like its frozen in time. It ha been restored and hosts a museum to the Reverend's role in the antislavery movement.
Hitchcock was born in 1812, and by 1844, he was an ordained minister, working as a traveling preacher in western Iowa. He then moved into the stone house in 1856 that is now the museum. From this house, he provided a safe place where fugitive slaves could stay on their way north. The home was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 2006.
This stunning part of Iowa history still exists thanks to a dedicated group of Iowans. It was abandoned in the 1960s and began to fall apart, but in the 1980s, historians and locals began to restore it for all to enjoy.
You can tour the home - it feels like a step back in time. The basement is on display, and you can see where a secret cupboard helped hide slaves on their way to freedom.
The basement has been set up to look much like it would have when it was concealing families and individuals making their way to the free states.
Hitchcock dedicated his life to helping his fellow man. The estate was constructed with his mission in mind, and it sits on a 65 acre park. You can walk along a nature trail that's almost two miles long to see the whole property.
Hitchcock House website here to learn more about this remarkable Iowan who helped save so many lives. You can also use the website to plan your visit and tour of this stop along the Underground Railroad in Iowa.
You can read more about the history of the Underground Railroad in Iowa
5 Incredible Historic Places In The Hawkeye State that aided runaway slaves. Address: 63788 567th Ln, Lewis, IA 51544, USA