Man purchases historic Salem home with part in anti-slavery movement

Local News

SALEM, Ohio (WKBN) – Just like the other two homes recently purchased in Salem, this century home wasn’t part of the underground railroad – but it still played a big part in the anti-slavery movement of the 1800s.

The home on South Lincoln was built in 1859 and almost looks like a smaller version of the white house. The owner, Jim Harrington, is doing some work on the inside.

“They’re still doing demo in certain areas of the house, upstairs. There’s lots of dust. They’re pouring cement, in my kitchen to level out the floor. It just goes on and on,” Harrington said.

Harrington grew up in Salem and remembered the big homes on the street as a child. He recently moved back from Chicago and took advantage when the house went up for sale.

“This one was on the market. I’ve always thought it was a beautiful house. It has a very large yard and I wanted to get a dog, which I’ve got,” Harrington said.

It’s got plenty of space, just for him and his dog. From the outside, you can see the additions of the home.

But it’s the history of the house that also attracted Harrington. It was built by Benjamin and Elizabeth Jones, who wrote a newspaper called the “Anti Slavery Bugle.”

“That paper was a leading voice in ending slavery, in the United States of America,” Harrington said.

The Jones’ lived there for four years until they were ran out of town by a pro-slavery group called “The Butter Nuts.”

“They had been running around, threatening people that were trying to end slavery. They had tarred and feathered a few people and one of them had died,” Harrington said.

As you go around back, there’s a carriage house where horses were kept. Harrington plans to turn it into a place to hang out in.

He bought the home for $335,000 – and he’s enjoying every minute of it.

“The honor of being able to fix up an old house, with this kind of history, that has a history that’s important, – quite honestly, in the history of our nation – to me is an honor. I’m having fun with it,” Harrington said.

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