52 Sundays; October 24, 2010

See this house?  This house is just three doors down to the East of ours; nope, it’s not a haunted house but it does have stories to tell – as do most of the farms in this small community; in fact, New Columbus is considered one of the oldest communities in Madison County.

Settled by pioneers in the 1820’s, New Columbus has seen a lot in the last 200 years.   Once a village of commerce with farmers, carpenters, blacksmiths, physicians and merchants, by the mid to late 1800’s most of the trade had moved to nearby Anderson.  In its heyday, the village was also known for its whiskey, some disorderly conduct and even the scandalous murder of Native Americans of the area.

The house that sits at the bottom of the hill on our street was once the site of a Saw Mill in 1835.   But even more intriguing, was the hidden chamber that the recent owners discovered at the back of the house.  Thanks mostly to those of the Quaker faith in the area, escaped slaves were smuggled through a network of “safe houses” and hidden routes called the “Underground Railroad”.  The slaves would travel at night, but would hide, be fed, rest and be given directions to their next stop during the day.

When we moved here nine years ago, an elderly woman lived in the house but she died and the property was sold – more for the value of the land than anything else.  Suddenly, a small area was being fenced off and one day a couple of goats appeared.  A couple months later, another area was sectioned off and this welcoming committee appeared – if you’ve never seen a Llama up close and personal, this is what they look like. The Professor and I just rolled our eyes because Old McDonald’s Farm was right down the road – only Farmer McDonald wasn’t living there.  Either that, or someone was building an ark due to the fact that a sailboat appeared overnight and was placed smack dab at the front door.

Last week The Professor finally met the new owners who shared the history of the house, its secret chamber and the connection to the Underground Railroad.  To say we were shocked is an understatement.

Apparently, Mr. Rooster just showed up one day; the owners didn’t place him here but as you can see, he’s made himself quite at home and looks like he’s here to stay.

Well hello there – don’t you just love my ears???

The new owners are restoring this historical home and plan on living here some day which makes us quite happy; it would be much easier to bulldoze the place and start anew.  But here sits an important part of our Nation’s history . . . on my street . . . three doors down . . . how cool is that?!


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  2. I’m with you and so glad that the new neighbors are choosing to restore this wonderful old home. I love old homes! Great llama pictures too!

  3. Oh my gosh, how interesting! And the farm animals are too cute.

  4. Love the story and the story telling is captivating but no surprise coming from you Debra!

  5. this story gave me goosebumps, wow. What an amazing part of history that lies in that house. I’m happy that the owners are preserving it.
    thank you so much for sharing this!

  6. I love it when people choose to restore rather than demolish & rebuild, I’m a bit like Kristen in her comment, houses have a story that deserves to live on & wonderful that a new family is embracing it to continue the story. Thanks for sharing.

  7. That is way cool. I am so convinced that every person, every home, every place has some kind of story to tell. So neat that you found this history gem right down the road!

  8. What a wonderful gem!!! Love the animals.

    We just took an overnight trip to the Temecula Wine Country (about an hour’s drive away) and spent some time roaming through wine grapes and review the history that is Temecula.

    You’ve inspired me to take my camera and see what I can find down my own street! Enjoy the rest of your weekend.


    P.S. LOVE that historic bungalow. I wished the RGB looked like that!

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  10. I would visit the llamas every single day if I were you–they’re so good for a laugh. Totally cool (I’m jealous).

  11. That property is fantastic and the animals are adorable! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Wow, what a cool home and even more cool the new owners are going to restore it. I love the windows on it and the secret chambers sound too cool!

    Love the pics of the lamas, I found them quite cute!

  13. Way cool! I love restored homes. It takes a special person to take on a project like that…but well worth it in the end.

  14. ahh..the beauty of Madison County : )

  15. What a fantastic story…it’s so fantastic that your neighbors are going to restore rather than demo! I am in love with the second photo in this post…what an expression!

  16. Love the critters! How cute. 🙂 Very interesting story. I hope the owners lovingly restore the home since it has a great historical value attached to it.

  17. I love this story! What a wonderful area you live in with a history like that (and it is beautiful!). I love llamas too. Funny things. You have so shown how important it is to pass down or share history.

  18. Wow! What a cool and interesting story and to think, it’s just three doors away from where you live. Love the pictures of the Llamas and goats. Especially the light brown one that looks like a little fur ball with no ears. How sweet is HE? Anyway, I enjoyed your post very much.

  19. That is VERY cool! I would love to explore that house! And I love the pictures you got of the llamas!

  20. What a beauty! I’m so glad that the new owners are restoring rather than demolishing! I grew up 2 doors down from a house that was part of the underground railroad! Their hidden door was in the pantry, I would babysit there and get totally spooked anytime that I would hear a noise! LOL! Truly a remarkable piece of history, thanks for sharing!

  21. Very cool, indeed! I’m loving your furry new neighbors – sounds like the human ones are going to be great, too!

  22. Pretty amazing story and I don’t think I could just scrap that house either. Love the llama pictures; aren’t they adorable creatures? Yes, I know…can sometimes be mean and spit…but your pics attest to their charm for me.

  23. I love this! I may take the boy and venture out!

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