In the late 1850s, African American Underground Railroad operators Millie and George McCoy lived on the Starkweather Farm in Ypsilanti. The McCoy cabin, no longer standing, was the couple's home upon their return to the United States. Sometime before 1839 with her emancipated husband, Millie escaped bondage in Louisville, Kentucky, traveling the Underground Railroad through Ohio eventually landing in Canada. In Colchester Ontario, the McCoys raised their children (including famed inventor Elijah McCoy), and in the late 1850s moved to the Starkweather farm and began operations on the Underground Railroad there. Underground Railroad networks from Ohio and western states intersected in Ypsilanti, then radiated out to crossing points along the Detroit River.
The evidence of the McCoys' Underground Railroad activities comes from daughter, Anna McCoy, fourth of twelve children. In an interview by Professor Mary Goddard of Eastern Michigan University (1913), Anna recalled specific names and incidents neither published, nor known. She remembered her mother cooking and sending the children to bed early and her father, George McCoy, departing with hidden cargo in his tobacco wagon. Though the McCoy's cabin is gone, the original 1844 Greek-Revival Starkweather house is a strong physical reminder of the farm during the period of the McCoys' residence and their Underground Railroad activities. The house is a stop on the Journey to Freedom Tour (NTF Program). Guides describe how Millie and George McCoy risked their freedom while helping others escape slavery.
Visitor Information: Currently not open to public.
Location: 1266 Huron River Drive, Ypsilanti, Washtenaw, 48197
National Park Unit: No
Ownership: Ronald Rupert
Location Type: Site