oberlin ohio bed and breakfast
14945 Hallauer Rd. Oberlin, OH 44074

Hallauer House B&B Blog

30 Jun

The Underground Railroad Quilt

People often ask us what we like most about owning a bed and breakfast and our response is always the same. It’s the people who come and stay and share a part of themselves with us.

This past week we had guests from Michigan, Kathie and Robert Fiedler, who found our listing as an Underground Railroad house in Ohio. Kathie is an accomplished quilter and came to our area in search of quilting fabric in historical patterns. Before leaving she showed us her remarkable Underground Railroad quilt of patterned squares that were codes to help slaves escape the bonds of captivity and travel the treacherous trek from the Southern states to safety in Canada before the Civil War. It was through Oberlin, Ohio that many of these slaves seeking freedom came to pass through. And our B & B, with the basement hiding place and floor plug above could have been one such place of safety and refuge.

Kathie gave us a very knowledgeable explanation of what each of the squares coded message meant such as the Log Cabin square hung out meant “Safe House.” The Shirt Pattern square meant that clothing could be found here. Arrow in a pattern pointed north to freedom. The Bow Tie square was a symbol indicating that one needed to don a disguise and seek clothing that reflected a person of higher status.  And more squares too numerous to mention because I didn’t take notes! You could tell that as she talked she was telling us about a labor of love. Her heart and soul is reflected in the work of her accomplishment and we are so thrilled that she shared this with us. The pictures below show only a small part of the loving labor that is reflected in this fabulous quilt. Thank you so much Kathie for sharing it with us. Someday maybe we will have a small wall hanging of an Undergound Railroad quilt!

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