History Around the Corner
In this issue, you'll find historical mention of Elijah Heath, who ran a 'station' on the Underground Railroad in Pennsylvania. The Underground Railroad was an illegal network of Americans who helped people escape from slavery in the years before the US Civil War.
The Jefferson County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Project has this note about Elijah Heath, written by Koren M Conway:
A man by the name of Elijah Heath and his wife were agents in Brookville. Elijah and his wife were just a few of the abolitionists. The abolitionists would assist black runaways by clothing, feeding, sheltering, and directing them to Canada. A Pickering street home, which is now the residence of the Edwin Thompson family, was formerly built and owned by Mr. Heath. The owner during the year 1902 was Dr. C.M. Matson who discovered a tiny room attached to the basement, also being accessible from the outdoors. This little room was apparently designed to hide runaways as they made their way to Canada. The room is still there today.
What's Historic About Brookville, PA?
The house is still standing, and still in use, on steep Pickering Street in hilly Brookville. It just goes to show you that the past is all around us. Keep your eyes open: what happened in your neighbourhood before you got there?