My second Gather article about Quincy IL - woot!
Quincy was a big mafia town. But before secret things were being done for shady deals and big money from Chicago (that article will have to come up soon, LOL) the sneakiness of Quincy was for good:
The Underground Railroad!
I grew up hearing that Quincy was a major spot in the Underground Railroad. As a kid nobody told me that a train didn't go underground. But I figured it all out over time.
A friend of the family (the only other Swansons in town, but no relation) lived in an old mansion with an old barn and they said their barn was a part of the underground railroad, but I don't know how they knew that.
Our farm house was close to the city, just North East, was very old, and had a built in dresser at a top room. The room had windows all around overlooking the whole area. The bottom drawer of the dresser was huge and if you pulled it all the way out you could see there was a hole in the wall right there and it went into another room, the attic area over the summer kitchen (that otherwise had NO access to it at all). I always wondered about that ... hmmmm
Quincy’s location, separated only by the Mississippi River from the slave state of Missouri, made Quincy itself a hotbed of political controversy on slavery. Dr. Eells House, at 415 Jersey, was considered station number one on the Underground Railroad from Quincy to Chicago.
There 's a Quincy "memory lane" group at Face Book and people are all talking about the many hiding houses and actual old tunnels in Quincy, in one thread there. The tunnels are probably from a later time, and I don't think anything about the "underground railroad" was really underground, just like it wasn't a literal choo choo train.
Look! The line goes North East out of Quincy! Just through the farmhouse I grew up in!