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The original arched doorways are exposed during renovations to the first floor of the Stoner House on South State Street. The red brick walls were covered with wallboard and the ceiling with plaster.

Stoner House Renovations Reveal Underground Railroad Treasures

Tammy Moon says her father, Charles Moon and owner of the 1850 Stoner House, wasn’t sure if he agreed about her plans for renovating the historic building on South State Street in Uptown Westerville.

He was especially concerned when she began removing plaster from the walls and ceilings, worried that the project might become too difficult, too expensive, and not be best for the building.

Moon changed his mind once he saw the original arched doorways and the rich colors and textures of the red brick walls. Now he sits outside on the brick patio while his daughter, her daughter, and a few workers continue to tear away several generations of wall coverings and paint to reveal the original interior.

Once completed Tammy Moon will open “The Sign Shop At The Stoner House,” where customers will be able to make their own customized signs. Each customer will receive a small section of the original plaster lathe strip burnished with a note designating it has been made at the Stoner House.

The house is believed to have been built in 1850 by George Stoner who used it as a tavern, an inn, and a spa using an adjacent spring as the water source. Stoner created a stagecoach line connecting Columbus and Westerville using the house as his waystation. He also used the stagecoach to carry escaped slaves from Columbus using the luggage compartment as a primary hiding place.

A small passageway in the basement is believed to be where escaped slaves were hidden during their travel through Westerville on the Underground Railroad. Although there is no direct evidence which section of the basement might have been used to hide slaves, the passageway does match descriptions attributed to historical artifacts about the house.

After renovations are completed Moon plans to offer tours of the historic house.

The Stoner House is on the National Register of Historic Places for its role in the Underground Railroad.

Photo Gallery

 

A narrow passage in the basement of the Stoner House is temporary storage during renovations to the historic house on South State Street in Uptown Westerville. Although there is no direct evidence that this section of the basement was used to hide slaves escaping the South in the Underground Railroad, it does match descriptions attributed to historical artifacts about the house.

Red brick walls are exposed during renovations to the first floor of the Stoner House on South State Street.

 

Tammy Moon shows a shipping tag attached to one of the radiators on the ground floor of the Stoner House on South State Street. The tag shows the radiator was shipped to Dr. Chris L. Dolle at 133 S. State Street.

Tammy Moon holds some of the flat and square nails pulled from sections of the walls during renovation at the Stoner House on South State Street in Uptown Westerville.

 

Renovations inside the Stoner House on SouthState Street exposed the original red brick walls and interior framing.

Lath strips removed from the interior of the Stoner House will be recycled and used as memorial signs for customers of The Sign Shop at the Stoner House after the building is renovated and opened again for business.

 

Charles Moon cuts lumber as he repairs the doorway, at rear, that leads to a narrow passageway in the basement of the Stoner House in Uptown Westerville. Although there is no direct evidence that the section of the basement was used to hide slaves escaping the South in the Underground Railroad, it does match descriptions attributed to historical artifacts about the house.

About The Author

Gary Gardiner

Former newspaper and Associated Press photographer. Instructor at Westerville Center for Photography. Owns SmallTown Stock, the Reasonably Rights Managed stock photo agency. Founder and Director for The American Scene Project, a heritage project dedicated to exhibiting and preserving photography of everyday American life.

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