Thursday, July 8, 2010

John Brown Farm Tannery

The John Brown Farm Tannery and Museum is the former home and tannery of abolitionist John Brown. The only remains are the stone first floor of the tannery and two graves on a knoll overlooking the homesite. John Brown lived in the area for longer than he lived anywhere else in his life. While here, he operated the tannery, acted as postmaster, layed out many of the area's roads and organized the Underground Railroad in the area. His house was one of the stops on the road to freedom for escaped slaves. We were told that over 2,500 came through the area in the Underground Railroad on their way to Canada.

This was once the first floor of the tannery.

On the path to the small museum
All of the property is now owned by a couple who share it with the public. Gary and his wife live on the property in an old farmhouse that they moved to the site and rebuilt. In fact, Gary's business is to relocated old buildings that are in danger of being torn down. He obviously has a passion for history and was so generous in sharing his time with us. He even walked us up the wooded path to the small graveyard. Two small gravestones stood in an open clearing. One was for John Brown's first wife and infant baby and the second was for the Brown's four-year old son. After Dianthe, the first wife, died, leaving Brown with 5 children, he married a 17 year old girl and went on to have 13 additional children.

The small museum

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