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 this list. She first visited the home as 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 property. He would hide the runaways in the bottom of his wagon and put his crops on the top and take them up to the house for a safe respite before moving them further up Hamilton Pike to the next safe house along the route.
The current owner loves giving travelers a night of safe, peaceful sleep just as the Mr. Strong did over a century ago.
Six Acres Bed & Breakfast
5350 Hamilton Avenue
Cincinnati, Ohio 45224
Slave-owner turned abolitionist Marcellus A. Williams acquired this home in 1858. After freeing his own slaves, Williams began offering his property as a safe house on the Underground Railroad. His dining room housed a secret quarter 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 is comprised of three buildings with 11 guests rooms, 11.5 bathrooms and porch swings.
Amelia Island Williams House Inn
103 S 9th Street
Fernandina Beach, Florida 32034
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
Other publishers have produced similar list to this, but we found plugging the other properties as they did to be a disservice to our audience.