John Street House
The John Street House is an historic home that was part of the Underground Railroad. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and located in Salem, Ohio.

National Register-designated significance
The house is listed on the National Register for its architectural significance.

History and role in abolitionism
Salem, Ohio, was a major nexus of corridors along the Underground Railroad. In the city itself, there were at least six stops, primarily in the southern half, located closest to the actual railroad lines. The John Street House is one of the northernmost stops in Salem. Built in 1838, the building was initially constructed as the residence of John Street, a son of the city’s co-founder, Zadok Street. The Street family were Quakers and active in the Western Anti-slavery Society, an abolitionist organization then headquartered in Salem. Interested in aiding fleeing slaves, the Streets altered their residence after its initial construction, and provided food and clandestine lodging in several hiding spaces throughout the house. In a windowless basement, fugitive slaves would sleep during the day and travel to another “station” on the Railroad by night. The famous abolitionist John Brown was a frequent guest at the house. As of 2006, two secret passageways had been positively located in the house, one in a built-in cabinet, and one trapdoor in the dining room.

With the House's role in the Underground Railroad, and its association with not only individuals important to Salem's history (John Street, Zadok Street), but also those important to national history (John Brown), it is unusual that the House is not also recognized by the National Register of Historic places for its historic contributions as well.

Current status
The John Street House is a private residence, and is not open to the public. January 20, 2011 - Firefighters responded to the historic John Street House at 631 N. Ellsworth Ave. at 4:50 p.m. Jan. 19., Wednesday. There were no injuries and a dog and hamsters were rescued by a neighbor. The house was built in 1838 by John and Martha Street. He was a son of Salem's founder, Zadok Street, and the house was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 and it was famous for its role as an Underground Railroad Station during years preceding and during the Civil War. Famed abolitionist John Brown was a frequent guest at the house. A marker was placed in front by the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War in 1941. The house is also known as "Durand House" or the "Durand Mansion" circa 1966-67. Smoke was pouring from the eaves and the roof of a rear apartment when firefighters arrived. The cause was electrical, Capt. Shawn Mesler said. (Salem News)

Building Activity

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