As the United States expanded westward from its roots along the Atlantic, settlers in Ohio became pioneers not only of the frontier. They also were at the fore of lofty ambitions such as the abolition of slavery and the Underground Railroad. Indispensable to the burgeoning movement opposing slavery were Quakers such as Thomas and Charity Rotch whose home, Spring Hill, became a station on the Underground Railroad. George Duncan, a fugitive slave who came to know freedom by way of Spring Hill, wrote to Thomas Rotch following his delivery to northern Ohio. “I arrived safe in Bainbridge Geauga County,” he advised, “where I put up … and I am treated extremely well by the people.” Primary sources such as Duncan’s letter (part of the Rotch-Wales collection at the Massillon Public Library) testify to the involvement of the Rotch homestead in the Underground Railroad during its nascent stage of development. A place where confrontation between abolitionist and slave hunter once transpired, Spring Hill now is a home on the National Register of Historic Places and also is recognized by the Friends of Freedom Society and the Ohio Underground Railroad Association as an Underground Railroad site.
The house is open for tours May through the first weekend in October, on Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 pm-4:00 pm.
Visitor Information: Currently open to public.
Location: 1401 Spring Hill Lane NE, Massillon, 44646
Contact Information: 330.833.6749 (main phone)
Website: Spring Hill Historic House
National Park Unit: No
Ownership: Spring Hill Historic Home, Inc.
Location Type: Site
Freedom Seekers: George Duncan
UGRR Operatives: Thomas and Charity Rotch
Religious Denominations: Quaker