Living in a state like Michigan we get the blessing and the curse of having a lengthy history. We are on the right and wrong side of history on multiple accounts but in this instance, we couldn't be more right. Southwest Michigan has an even more defined history, especially early on.

History always makes everyone go WAY back, so this time we actually will. Let's think slave times and the Underground Railroad. As a lot of us know, slaves were seeking to touch ground in Canada to declare themselves free and start a new life. Many cities in Michigan, especially Southwest Michigan were pivotal in these slaves finding the freedom they desired.

As I stumbled around the internet looking for the Southwest Michigan ties to the underground railroad, I found plenty of information, especially on the From Michigan with Love Blog. The author took a deep dive into the area and found TONS of ties to many cities.

As slaves made their way into Michigan, they would have several stops to make before reaching their final destination, the first of them being Cassopolis and Vandalia. The stationmasters were often referred to as quakers and there were several in these two cities that would prepare to send the slaves to Schoolcraft.

Over 1,500 slaves traveled to Schoolcraft from the 1830s to the end of slavery, where they would meet Dr. Nathan Thomas, Kalamazoo's first physician, and his wife Pamela. Thomas and his wife would pass them along to the Isaacs, Isaac Davis and his neighbor Isaac Pierce, who would help freedom seekers while they were in Climax.

Once Pierce got them through Climax, they found themselves in Battle Creek where they met Erastus and Sarah Hussey, another married couple. They would fight off slave owners looking to reclaim their property which led to a wild story. Nonetheless, the freedom seekers made it to their next destination, Marshall.

Marshall is where the trail ends in Southwest Michigan as there is no information about who helped freedom seekers here. We do know that the National House Inn Bed and Breakfast is a place of significance when referencing Marshall and the Underground Railroad.

See Inside the Mt. Vernon Home Rumored to be Part of the Underground Railroad

Located at 917 Mill Street in Mt. Vernon, less than a mile north of the Ohio River, there are a few different rumors of how the Robin Hill home was involved in helping slaves escape to the North. One rumor suggested there was a tunnel underneath the home slaves would use to pass through after getting off a boat on the river. That rumor has been debunked, but there once was a creek that ran near the home which was so overgrown with plants it looked like a tunnel. It is believed slaves used the creek as a pathway as they headed north. The home's current owner, Brian Alldredge, says he heard someone who lived or worked at the home during that time period would hang a colored blanket over the balcony to let those assisting the slaves know whether or not it was safe to pass with one particular color providing a green light, so to speak, and another warning there were people in the area looking for runaway slaves (some people in the North were known to capture slaves and send them back to the South).

The home went through a $700,000 remodel from 2001-2008 which included a new foundation and main support walls, all new floor joist and floors, new roof, new windows, and new drywall. It's currently for sale on Zillow with an asking price of $412,500