Posted October 21, 2019
Ohio History Connection Wins Grant to Repair Benjamin Lundy House
Funds from “Save America’s Treasures” program will help preserve abolitionist’s home
(COLUMBUS)– The Ohio History Connection was awarded a “Save America’s Treasures” grant to repair the Benjamin Lundy House and Free Labor Store in Mount Pleasant, Ohio. The $228,160 grant will allow Ohio History Connection to stabilize the site and prepare it for restoration as a public history museum.
Benjamin Lundy was an early abolitionist and published the antislavery newspaper The Genius of Universal Emancipation. The Free Labor Store only sold goods that had been produced by slave-free labor. This is the last surviving store in Ohio, and as far as can be determined, the last surviving example in the United States. This property is a one-of-a-kind National Historic Landmark, and essential in telling the story of Mount Pleasant’s role in Ohio’s antislavery and abolitionist movements. This structure is one of the oldest buildings in the village.
Mount Pleasant was a Quaker community that preceded the larger abolitionist movement in the United States. It was a home and safe haven for free African Americans, a stop on the Underground Railroad, and a force of leadership in the fight against the injustices of slavery. The historic character of the village remains intact, with more than 40 properties, including the Benjamin Lundy House and Free Labor Store, contributing to the story of the town.
The Ohio History Connection acquired this site in December of 2015. At the time of its acquisition, it was in danger of being lost after years of neglect.
The “Save America’s Treasures” grant will allow for major work to the building, including foundation repairs, replacement of damaged floors, reconstruction of exterior brick walls, new roofing and other structural needs.
The work will position the building for later preservation efforts.
This “Save America’s Treasures” grant program is funded by the Historic Preservation Fund and administered by the National Park Service, Department of Interior.
About Ohio History Connection:
The Ohio History Connection, formerly the Ohio Historical Society, is a statewide history organization with the mission to spark discovery of Ohio’s stories. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization chartered in 1885, the Ohio History Connection carries out history services for Ohio and its citizens focused on preserving and sharing the state’s history. This includes housing the state historic preservation office, the official state archives, and local history office and managing more than 50 sites and museums across Ohio. For more information, visit ohiohistory.org.