What could it be for?

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Hello,
I recently was having some flooring pulled up, to have hardwood floors installed. This is a century home without a known history. There were multiply floor coverings along with a layer of plywood, and also a layer of which looked like barn siding. Underneath it all was some original hardwood floors which are in terrible shape. Now the for the strange part.
At the back of the main floor stairs which lead upstairs, was a cut out in the floor near the wall. The cut out size in the floor is about 2'x2'. The workers lifted this section out, and lo and behold it led to part of the basement which I didn't even know existed. The basement walls are all old quarry stone and there isn't a way to access the room from the basement. Anyways, there is a room down there which is approximately 14'x16'. There are no stairs, and the ceiling height is only about 5' tall, the floor is dirt in this room vs. someone had concreted the basement that we know. I had asked the workers to hold up on further work until I decided whether to somehow have them add stairs (for whatever reason).
The workers say it might have been part of the underground railroad used to hide slaves. BTW, this is in Northern Ohio. Needless to say, this is kind of exciting and scary at the same time. What do you think this room could've been used for?
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Sounds interesting - can you post pics?
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of
hardwood
The
to
to
kind
Root cellar
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it puts the lotion on its skin
randy

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ROTFLMAO!
xrongor wrote:

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Root cellar would be my guess. See if there is any evidence of onion skins, potatoes or whatever that did not rot away over the years. Root cellars were a part of every farm home.
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A root cellar would definitely have had a bigger opening than 2x2, and it would have more likely have been in or next to the kitchen via a trap door or regular door, but with stairs in either case. Have you been in it?
The underground railroad concept is intriguing! Or maybe smuggling, organized crime, rum running, etc. I doubt it was "it puts the lotion on its skin," but that was a darned funny comment.
wrote in message

There
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skins,
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The 2 x 2 opening was hidden. Possibly another opening that is also hidden over the years. Old houses can be a mystery.
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We'll know for sure if he bumps into Geraldo.
Chew Me wrote:

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Have you tried digging up the cellar floor? Any skeltons?
Perce
On 02/16/05 09:49 pm Dorthy Fuller tossed the following ingredients into the ever-growing pot of cybersoup:

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Archetypal Jungian dream room.
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Why would you need to hide slaves in northern Ohio? I'm guessing root cellar. I have no idea what a root cellar is.
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On 17 Feb 2005 10:35:17 -0800, scott snipped-for-privacy@my-deja.com wrote:

The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 applied to the entire United States. It prohibited anyone from assisting slaves to escape from their masters, among other provisions. Northern Ohio was a main route on the underground railroad. In this area, most of the "conductors" on the railroad were Quakers. There was a substantial Quaker population in Ohio and Indiana in the early- and mid-19th century. Many of them had themselves migrated from North and South Carolina to avoid life in the dominant slave-owning society there.
However, if the house is really only a century old, it is not old enough to have been a station on the underground railroad. It would have to have been built before 1860 or so, and probably a little earlier. Maybe it's older than the OP thinks. Except for this, it does sound like a hiding place for escaping slaves.
The room sounds too large and too deep for a root cellar to me, but I'm no expert.
"Section 7
And be it further enacted, That any person who shall knowingly and willingly obstruct, hinder, or prevent such claimant, his agent or attorney, or any person or persons lawfully assisting him, her, or them, from arresting such a fugitive from service or labor, either with or without process as aforesaid, or shall rescue, or attempt to rescue, such fugitive from service or labor, from the custody of such claimant, his or her agent or attorney, or other person or persons lawfully assisting as aforesaid, when so arrested, pursuant to the authority herein given and declared; or shall aid, abet, or assist such person so owing service or labor as aforesaid, directly or indirectly, to escape from such claimant, his agent or attorney, or other person or persons legally authorized as aforesaid; or shall harbor or conceal such fugitive, so as to prevent the discovery and arrest of such person, after notice or knowledge of the fact that such person was a fugitive from service or labor as aforesaid, shall, for either of said offences, be subject to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars, and imprisonment not exceeding six months, by indictment and conviction before the District Court of the United States for the district in which such offence may have been committed, or before the proper court of criminal jurisdiction, if committed within any one of the organized Territories of the United States; and shall moreover forfeit and pay, by way of civil damages to the party injured by such illegal conduct, the sum of one thousand dollars for each fugitive so lost as aforesaid, to be recovered by action of debt, in any of the District or Territorial Courts aforesaid, within whose jurisdiction the said offence may have been committed."
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On Thu, 17 Feb 2005 19:50:49 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@xxoptonline.net (Tom Miller) wrote:

Another possibility:
My own house, built in 1921, has a 12' x 8' x 3' crawl space tacked onto the end of the basement underneath part of the kitchen. It has a dirt floor and a small opening about 3.5' square that leads into the main basement at the top of the wall. The main basement is ordinary height with a concrete floor. It took me quite a while to figure out why this area was unfinished, until I was up in there fixing a pipe. There's a boulder buried in the floor about the size of a Volkswagen that I guess was too big for the builder to move or blast out. So they just left it and built the house around it.
If it is a hiding place for escaped slaves, someone in town at the historical society might be able to shed some light on it.

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You moved into rob and laurie petries old house?
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Dorthy Fuller wrote:

Scary? you afraid of the ghost of the dead people buried down there coming up and creating havoc?
Seriously, I agree with others that suggested it was a root cellar, may have also served the purpose of storing other things also. Probably not built as a hiding spot unless you find another entrance or rather an exit to the outside of the house but may have served that purpose.
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Dorthy Fuller wrote:

Underground railroad is possible in northern Ohio, but I am going to bet on something a little more recent, like the 1920's. A lot of booze was brought in across lake Erie during prohibition and a lot of speakeasys had hidden cellars.
--
Joseph Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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Joseph Meehan wrote:

i would bet the booze. my old family farm was in southern ohio and was used for escaping slaves. but once in ohio they were safe especially north ohio.
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Most likely it is part of an underground railway for hiding slaves.
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I bet it's part of the US's first nuclear defense system, built in about 1779. The plan was to launch nuclear missles from people's basements, as Britain could not see the launch sites withh their satellites if they were concealed in homes.
However, after the silos were built, the entire plan was scrapped because the designers realized that nuclear bombs and satellites would not be invented for almost 200 years.
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