(COLUMBUS, OH)–Ohio History Connection and Cincinnati’s Harriet Beecher Stowe House have received $380,000 from the National Park Service to help preserve African American civil rights history. The National Park Service’s African American Civil Rights Grant Program has awarded $15,035,000 million to 53 projects in 20 states to help preserve sites and history related to the African American struggle for equality.
The Friends of Harriet Beecher Stowe House manages the Cincinnati home where Harriet Beecher Stowe’s family lived during the formative years that led her to write the best-selling novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The Stowe House is a part of the Ohio History Connection’s site system which includes 50+ historic sites around the state of Ohio.
“We are thrilled to receive this grant from the National Park Service,” said Megan Wood, Director of Cultural Resources at Ohio History Connection. “These funds will support a larger project to revitalize the Stowe House experience, and preserve the powerful story which educates and inspires visitors.”
Christina Hartlieb, Executive Director of the Harriet Beecher Stowe House, explained the property’s long history with the African American community, “This House served as the home of the first president of the Lane Theological Seminary, Harriet’s father Lyman Beecher. Students from Lane conducted the first public debates on slavery in the US in 1834, before the Civil War. Harriet took inspiration from those debaters and learned about abolition. She later used that information in her influential anti-slavery novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. After the Civil War, Lane Seminary also had a role in the diversification the neighborhood of Walnut Hills as they sold property to African American families in the later 1800s.”
“The 20th century continued that legacy. During the 1930s and 1940s, when this part of the neighborhood was a vibrant African American business district, the House served as the Edgemont Inn and tavern. It was listed in the Green Motorist Book beginning in 1939 as one of the few taverns that were safe for African Americans in Cincinnati. Other Walnut Hills businesses, including restaurants, hotels and beauty parlors were included as well,” she said. The Harriet Beecher Stowe House works closely with the Walnut Hills Historical Society to research and document these important stories.
This project is supported through an African American Civil Rights grant, provided by the Historic Preservation Fund, as 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, Local History Office and managing more than 50 historic sites and museums across Ohio. Learn more at ohiohistory.org.
About the Harriet Beecher Stowe House
The nonprofit Friends of Harriet Beecher Stowe House manages a Cincinnati home where Harriet Beecher Stowe lived during the formative years that led her to write the best-selling novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin. This historic site is part of the Ohio History Connection’s network of more than 50 sites and museums across Ohio. For more information about programs and events, call 513-751-0651 or visit www.stowehousecincy.org.