Tunnel to the Underground Railroad from Kentucky



Cincinnati, OH

Public Landing at the foot of Broadway and the Ohio River was called the “Levee”; African American steamboat workers gathered and many slaves started their escapes from Southern masters at this location; today it fittingly hosts the annual Black Family Reunion

James Presley Ball Studio
Site of the daguerreotype studio of James Presley Ball, an important early photographer; 28 West Fourth Street

Nicholas Longworth Residence
Now the Taft Museum, has the most important murals painted in 1843 by Robert Scott Duncanson, the first internationally recognized African American painter; 316 Pike Street

Achilles Pugh’s Shop
Site of that printed James G. Birney’s abolitionist newspaper, The Philanthropist, until the shop was destroyed by abolitionist-haters in 1836; 400 Pike Street

The Union Newspaper Site
Site of a newspaper devoted to civil rights issues from 1907 to 1952; Wendell Dabney was editor; 412 McAlister Street

Boyd Manufacturing Company Site
The northeast corner was occupied by, where African American businessman Henry F. Boyd operated his factory and showroom in the 1850s; Third & Main Streets

Sixth and Broadway
The location of early African American ships and inns and the first location of Allen Temple AME Church in 1824 and Scholey’s Green, a private African American school that opened in 1826; African Americans defended themselves against White mobs there in 1836 and 1841; the Civil War assembly point for the Black Brigade, which built defensive fortifications in northern Kentucky during the siege of Cincinnati, 1862
Sixth and Culvert Streets Corner
Sixth and Culvert Streets and Deer Creek, now Eggleston Avenue, was the site of the first African American church in 1809 with William Allen as pastor

Sixth and Elm Streets
The northwest corner was the “Dispatcher’s Office” of the Underground Railroad; it was a store and another home of famed abolitionist Levi Coffin

The Disenfranchised American Newspaper Site
Site of Cincinnati’s first Black newspaper in 1844; it was edited by Alphonso Sumner; Sixth & Main Streets

West End
Former Harriet Beecher Stowe School, was built at this site in 1923 as a junior high to replace old Hughes; 636 West Seventh Street

Cosmopolitan School of Music Site
Operated by Artie Matthews, 1888-1958, author of the first published Blues, Baby Seals Blues and of Weary Blues; 823 West Ninth Street

African American Soldier Barracks Site
Site of barracks for black soldiers during the Civil War; Fifth & Main Street

Ezzard Charles Residence
1940’s home of Ezzard Charles, who was world heavyweight boxing champion from 1949-1951; the street was renamed from Lincoln Park Drive in honor of Charles; 929 Ezzard Charles Drive

Jennie D. Porter Middle School Site
Jennie (1875–1936) was an educator, founder and first principal of Harriet Beecher Stowe School; she was the first African American woman to be a school principal in Cincinnati and receive a doctorate in education at the University of Cincinnati; 1030 Cutter Street

George W. Hayes Elementary School Site
Named for a former slave who became a U.S. Senator; 1035 Mound Street

Gaines High School Site
Cincinnati’s first African American public school, opened in 1866; Court Street between John & Mound Streets

Margaret Garner Slave Site
At this site in Elijah Kite’s house, fugitive slave Margaret Garner killed her child rather than send her back into slavery on 28 January 1856; Sixth Street & Mill Creek

Sterling Hotel Site
Sites of a Black-owned hotel and home of the Cotton Club, the premier African American night club from the 1930’s to the 1950’s; Sixth & Mound Streets

Levi Coffin Residence
Site of the early home of abolitionist leader, called Otis Station; Coffin was considered by some to be, along with Harriet Tubman, the most important figure in the Underground Railroad; now the site of the School for Creative and Performing Arts; 13th & Sycamore Streets

Colored Orphan Asylum
Founded in 1844, the asylum moved to this location in 1896; 3132 Van Buren Street

Jessie Dwight Locker Residence
Locker (1891-1955), was the first African American to serve multiple (six) terms on the Cincinnati City Council; he was also appointed ambassador to Liberia in 1953; 1210 Cedar Street

Union Baptist Cemetery
The oldest African American cemetery in Cincinnati; 4933 Cleves Warsaw Pike

25 East Seventh Street
A Civil War fortification built by African Americans during the 1862 siege of Cincinnati

Manse Hotel Site
Cincinnati's most prominent African American hotel in the mid-20th century; 1047 Chapel Street

Carneal House
A jumping off point for slaves who escaped via the Underground Railroad; a tunnel under the house leads to the Licking River; 504 Second Street

Spring Grove Cemetery
Established in 1845 by Dr. Daniel Drake and designer Howard Daniels as the largest non-profit private cemetery in the United States (733 acres); the gravesite of legendary abolitionist Levi Coffin is at this elite cemetery, which is also one of the most visited tourist destinations in Cincinnati; Coffin’s majestic headstone features a tribute to his leading role in the Underground Railroad; it also features 12 ponds, Gothic architecture, an impressive overlook, and many mausoleums dot the landscape; trees are identified and some seem as old and as large as the worn headstones; 10a-6p winter and 10a-8p summer; Winton Place off Spring Grove Ave; 513-681-7526;

Covington, KY

Jacob Price Residence
Home of the first black businessman and minister of the first African American church in Northern Kentucky; 10th and Prospect Streets, southwest corner

Price Lumber Company Site
Site of, Covington’s first African American-owned company; 425-428 Madison Avenue

Levi Coffin Residence
Another home of the great Underground Railroad leader in Kentucky; 3131 Wehrman Avenue

Springboro, OH

Wright House Bed & Breakfast

Ohio calls it the most authentic, undisturbed Underground Railroad Station in the nation; built in the Federal brick-style in 1815 Jonathan Wright; on the National Register of Historic Homes; includes the fingerprints of people of people escaping slavery and many of their artifacts; lobby features wood plank floors, nine-foot doors, and a curved floating staircase; the home is furnished with antiques, a parlor, pump organ, Victorola, player piano, and oriental rugs; only has two guest rooms with private baths; gourmet breakfasts included; senior discounts and tours of the house available; 80 West State Street; toll free 866-748-0801 or 937-748-0801

Northern Kentucky

Margaret Garner Farm
Margaret was a slave who escaped with her young children, but when capture was eminent she slit their throats instead of allowing them to be brought back to endure further atrocities; her master, although he wanted her back, did not return her to the farm, reportedly the thought being that anyone who would kill their own children would have no problem killing anyone else; it is not known where she was taken; the farm is now a private residence, but it can be visited while on the Secret Passage Tour; 17 miles south of Covington; 513-563-9380


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