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Lewelling-Gibbs House

During the pre-Civil war era of the 1840's and 1850's a small settlement of Quakers located in Salem, Henry County, Iowa Territory, banded together to help runaway slaves find their way to freedom. The Lewelling, Gibson, and Shriner houses, along with the Beehive and Henderson Hotel formed a network of stations on the Underground Railroad. The Lewelling Quaker Museum is the only building still intact and is a well-preserved two story, yellow stone house listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Evidence of Underground Railroad activity in this town is corroborated by the lawsuit, Ruell Daggs vs. Elihu Frazier, et al. Other supporting documents consist of written reminiscences of O. A. Garretson and Rachel Kellum, as well as a newspaper advertisement for runaway slaves. The role these abolitionists played created a split within the Quaker community causing them to be disowned and allocated a separate section in the Salem South Cemetery. The Lewelling house was purchased by five men in 1960 and opened to the public in 19621. Today, the museum offers tours to local school children and visitors from across the nation.

Visitor Information: Currently open to public.

Location: 401 South Main Street, Salem, 52649

National Park Unit: No

Ownership: Faye Heartsill

Location Type: Site

UGRR Operatives: Henderson Lewelling,Nelson Gibbs

Religious Denominations: Quaker