THE GAMMON HOUSE
BUILT IN 1850
The Gammon House was built in 1850 -- the same year that the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 imposed six months' imprisonment ans a massive $1,000 fine on any person aiding a runaway slave by providing food or shelter.
The Gammon House is one of only three existing Ohio “stops” on the Underground Railroad owned by a free person of color.
George and Sarah (Bradley) Gammon displayed extreme courage and bravery. They were free persons of color who risked imprisonment, enormous fines and ostracism by their neighbors to help others become free.
THE GAMMON HOUSE
Progress so far: Phase I
The most important goal of Phase I was reconstruction of the totally deteriorated roof of the house. We accomplished this, including reverting to the historically correct wood shake shingles, in the fall of 2002.
The start of the project
The interior was in rough shape
To recreate the house as George and Sarah knew it, additions such as the dormer and a kitchen area in the rear were removed. The house has also been restored to its previous single family status, having been converted to a duplex in the twenties.
"If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If there's shouting after you, keep going. Don't ever stop. Keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going."
Phase II - Our Objectives
Now that we have a structurally sound roof, we need to proceed with the completion of the project.
As we see in the first panel, compared to the picture just at the start of the project, the progress has been remarkable. The interior of the Gammon House is badly damaged, requiring extensive restoration.
To accurately meet the requirements of historical preservation, doors, windows and all interior and exterior features must match visually what the original looked like such as an original mantelpiece.
We will restore the four chimneys, two at each end, then landscape the grounds to reflect the time, thus creating an environment that George, Sarah and their children would instantly recognize and feel comfortable in.
At the completion of the Gammon House project, The Gammon House will function as both a museum and an educational center, a living testimony to people of color and all who risked their lives and freedom to help others become free.