Six Hotels Embracing Their Underground Railroad Ties

3. Six Acres Bed & Breakfast

A Cincinnati home built for abolitionist Zebulon Strong in the 1850s is now a minority-owned bed and breakfast called Six Acres. Owner Kristen Kitchen is the only African-American owner on our list. She first visited the home as a partying teenager where she learned about its history, before acquiring the estate later in life.

Documents in the Ohio Historical Library speak of Zebulon Strong having a “false bottom” in his farming wagon where he would pick up his “passengers” along the Mill Creek which runs along the side of the property. He would hide the runaways in the bottom of his wagon and cover it with his crops. Strong was then free to move them to his house for a safe respite before transporting them further up Hamilton Pike to the next safe house along the route.

The current owner also loves giving travelers a night of safe, peaceful sleep just as Mr. Strong did over a century ago.

Six Acres Bed & Breakfast
5350 Hamilton Avenue
Cincinnati, Ohio 45224

2. Amelia Island Williams House Inn

Slave-owner turned abolitionist Marcellus A. Williams acquired this home in 1858. After freeing his own slaves, Williams began offering his property as a safehouse on the Underground Railroad. His dining room housed a secret quarter which hid slaves until it was safe for them to travel. The Williams House also has intimate ties with the Civil War: Confederate President Jefferson Davis stayed at the estate and stored personal possessions here; and when Union soldiers liberated the island, homes in this area were used as headquarters and as an infirmary for the injured.

Today, the Florida property is branded as an inn for romantics with a focus on “pampering and rejuvenation, or respite from the distractions of everyday life”. The estate of the Williams House Bed and Breakfast Inn consists of three buildings with 11 guest rooms, 11.5 bathrooms and porch swings.

Amelia Island Williams House Inn
103 S 9th Street
Fernandina Beach, Florida 32034

1. Saratoga Farmstead Bed and Breakfast

This 10-acre farmstead was built during the Civil War by abolitionists Benjamin and Clarissa Dyer. The Dyers were “firm believers in the evils of slavery” and were rumored to have used their farmstead as a station on the Underground Railroad. Today, their property is an eco-friendly lush retreat with eight rooms, farm and chef-prepared breakfast each morning using homegrown and local ingredients whenever possible.

Saratoga Farmstead Bed and Breakfast
41 Locust Grove Rd
Saratoga Springs, New York 12866

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Eric has revolved in and out of passport controls for over 20 years. From his first archaeological field school in Belize to rural villages in Ethiopia and Buddhist temples in Laos, Eric has come smile to smile with all walks of life. A writer, photographer and entrepreneur, the LA native believes the power of connectivity and community is enriched through travel.

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