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Kilgore House

246 S. Erie St., Mercer

Kilgore Old.jpg

    Built before 1855 James and Elizabeth Kilgore lived here and were possibly the builders of the home. The Kilgore's were avid supporters of the "Underground Railroad" and their daughter Elizabeth accounts of the slaves that were hid in the home overnight in a 1930 newspaper article. 

    My father's house was one of the stations on the Underground Railroad between the South and Canada. We had a cellar and a cellar kitchen with a good wooden floor and a big stone fireplace where Mother made a big copper kettle of cider apple butter or a big kettle of soft soap as we needed it. The regular kitchen was upstairs. The door opened on the south. A certain number of knocks on that door at night would let my father know that a run-away slave was there. He would take them in and feed them, let them rest till the next night, when they would travel on towards the next station after giving them minute directions.

One night I remember there were thirteen slaves came in a wagon, brought by my mother's uncle, John Young who kept station at Indian Run. They would be transported the next night at 3 o'clock in the morning by Mr. Joseph Sykes to Mr. Couse's place in Sheakleyville. 

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