Kelton House

Kelton House (HMSA3)

Location: Columbus, OH 43215 Franklin County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 57.648', W 82° 59.055'

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Inscription

— Historic Underground Railroad Site —

When Fernando Cortez and Sophia Stone Kelton built this house in 1852, it was the last residence on East Town Street and was surrounded by pastureland. Ardent abolitionists, the Keltons were members of the local antislavery society. Family tradition states that runaways were hidden in the barn at the back of the house. In the 300-barrel cistern just east of the house, or sometimes in the servant' quarters. No one knows for certain how many fugitive slaves passed through this house on his or her way to freedom. One documented story is that of a 10-year old runaway named Martha Hartway. Born a slave in September 1854 in Powhattan County, Virginia, Martha, along with her sister Pearl, fled the plantation. Kelton family tradition states that Mrs. Kelton found the girls under a shrub next to the house. Too ill to move, Martha was taken in by the Keltons and remained for 10 years. Pearl continued north to Wisconsin because she felt that Ohio wasn't safe. In 1874, Martha married Thomas Lawrence in the front parlor of this house. The son of free-black parents. Thomas was employed by the Keltons as a cabinet-maker. The Lawrence family named their children after Martha's Kelton family playmates. The Kelton House was restored and is maintained by the Junior League of Columbus, Inc.
Details
HM NumberHMSA3
Tags
Placed ByThe Friends of Freedom Society, and the Ohio Underground Railroad Association
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 at 2:12am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 330522 N 4425291
Decimal Degrees39.96080000, -82.98425000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 57.648', W 82° 59.055'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 57' 38.88" N, 82° 59' 3.30" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)614, 513
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 590-600 E Town St, Columbus OH 43215, US
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