Prospect Place, located in Trinway, Ohio, was built in 1856 by George Blackburn who was a popular abolitionist. Blackburn was responsible for saving the lives of an estimated thousand escaped slaves. Sometimes referred to as the Trinway Mansion or the Prospect Place Mansion, the mansion was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979 and the Underground Railroad Site Association List.
The thirty room mansion was the second home on the original foundation. The first home was destroyed by arson and lost in a giant blaze. The current Prospect Place Mansion was built to better withstand threats of fire and vandalism that commonly occurred.
When the new home was built, it was the home of G.W. Adams. Following in Blackburn’s path, Adams operated an important intersection on the Underground Railroad with his brother Edward. The Adams brothers operated a successful flour mill. What many didn’t know is that they also operated a successful freedom operation. When they would ship flour to their locations, the boats would return with runaway slaves on the bottom decks of the boats.
After the Adams brothers passed on, the house passed hands many times. Unfortunately, it also suffered from severe deterioration due to lack of maintenance and by the hands of vandals. The destruction was so bad that in 1988, the house was scheduled to be demolished. Luckily, the house was purchased in an effort to save its vital history. It was later sold back to the great great grandson of G.W. Adams.
In 2005, Prospect Place Mansion became the G.W. Adams Educational Center, Inc. The mission of the center was to provide historical and educational information for southeastern Ohio. The primary focus was on the Underground Railroad and on Civil Rights. G.W. Adams’ great great grandson was determined to honor his family’s legacy and celebrate the selflessness of the many people who helped the Underground Railroad slaves and also to honor the slaves who suffered so greatly.
While many come to learn about the history and past of this part of Ohio, they really do take a step back in time, especially when coming face to face with the many paranormal encounters that occur at the center. Most commonly, people report chills, hearing cries, hearing voices in empty rooms, hearing a child’s laughter or whispers, and seeing apparitions and shadow figures. One is of a formal man standing by the stairs. Some say it is the ghost of Mr. G.W. Adams himself, forever watching over his faithful home. Others say they see the apparitions of slaves or former owners. Reports have been made of a black women with a head injury and getting a certain feeling in the basement of the house.
Not only was the basement used primary for moving the slaves to freedom, it was also the site of a makeshift hospital and morgue. An unfortunate train wreck happened near the home. Since there was no where else to take the patients, the family allowed a makeshift hospital to be set up in the basement so patients could be tended to. Unfortunately, many of them died and are rumored to still haunt the last place they were alive. When individuals died in the winter, their bodies were kept in the basement until they were able to be buried when the ground thawed.