Town of Maine farmstead once part of the Underground Railroad

first_imgTOWN OF MAINE (WBNG) — Friday was Juneteenth across the United States, but the Southern Tier’s history with equality dates back to long ago. Built in 1851, the Cyrus Gates Farmstead in the Town of Maine has long been rumored as a stop on the Underground Railroad. Beukema said when he moved in, he found a hidden compartment in a closet that led to a secret room twenty feet long. Because the house was built before Prohibition, and there was no running water or electricity at the time, he hasn’t been able to find a viable reason for the room other than to potentially hide runaways. Historian Stephen Beukema owned and lived on the farmstead from 1994 to 2017. He said with all of the research he has done, along with oral histories of the land, there’s little doubt these stories are true.center_img Beukema said the Southern Tier was perfectly situated along the route from the South to Canada, and Harriet Tubman herself traveled through the area on several occasions. “You look at little things and you piece them together,” said Beukema, a former Whitney Point history teacher and current Village of Owego historian. “Is there an ‘oh, yeah’ moment where you can say absolutely? No, but there’s a lot of pieces that make it credible.”last_img

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