This Woman Found A Secret Room Hidden Beneath Her Basement, And Its History is Astonishing!
Sometimes you just get a feeling about something? That feeling may be undergirded by dreams that you have. In rarer instances the dream and the feeling is established in fact. That is what Alexandra Poulos hopes to find out about her family home. Is an extra basement she discovered an actual stop on the Underground Railroad? Okay, before this train leaves the station too quickly let’s get a little background.
After a series of problems in her basement Alexandra Poulos decided to see if there was any truth to her feelings and a neighbors comment that there were hidden rooms in the home. She had the contractor dig beneath the homes foundation.This is an entrance to the room beneath the foundation of the home.
This is a picture of the home which Poulos grew up in with her family in Lansdown, Pennsylvania. The home was purchased in 1974. Poulos has fond memories of her childhood there and felt an affinity to the home and did not want to sell the family home. When her mother and brother passed away in 2008 that affinity prompted her to convince her Dad to sell the home to her. Poulos decided to rent the home at one point. She wanted to keep the home in the family.
Alexandra Poulos, 43 remembered that family members thought she was odd whenever she would relate some of the dreams she had as a child of the home having secret rooms that no one knew about. Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction. It turns out the home does have secret rooms that no one knew about.
The view from down here. The vantage point of this candid shot shows the area beneath the basement floor. Alexandra was right. Now it was time to discover whether this room was used for the Underground Railroad. The Underground Railroad was an avenue for slaves to escape to freedom in America during the 1800’s. Manned by ex-slaves, abolitionists, and many people from various “stations” who were against slavery, the Underground Railroad was a successful route to the Northern free states for thousands of slaves. The “stations” were actually peoples homes, sheds or barns that were used to house the runaway slaves from capture as they journeyed to freedom in the North.
A long way down. Imagine what transpired in this secret room! Poulos continues to press the investigators to discover exactly what the room was used for. Generally you will find soil underneath the basements concrete floor not a hidden room.
Don’t think for a moment that we don’t know what is beneath that look of calm aloofness. We know you are thinking “Let me hurry up, hang this light and get out of here!” Most contractors aren’t used to finding secret rooms beneath the basement.
Though the solid build of this wall in the hidden room replete with bricks and mortar looks at once makeshift and well planned and established. The sturdy construction belies the issues that brought about the special attention to the basement. Initially a sewer pipe cracked and could not be repaired. The pipe had to be replaced. After the initial onslaught of that issue random cracks begin to appear all over the walls in the basement.
You never know what you will find. Bet this contractor jumped clear out of his construction boots when he didn’t hit dirt once he drilled through the concrete floor.
Hopefully the world will learn what kind of things may have happened within these walls. Alexandra’s dad thought the neighbor who proclaimed in part, that your basement has a basement was insane. If these walls could talk. Maybe if they had taken her seriously back then they could have learned more about the history of the hidden room.
The after effects from the gross atrocities of slavery still riddle our society. The Underground Railroad was a beacon of light during a dark period of America’s history. Chattel slavery is a version of the institution that is built on treating the slaves as property.
We can only surmise that this was a shelf. When more of the history of the room is unearthed – no pun intended- we may learn more about what this jut out of the wall may have been used for.
This map of the literal lifelines of the Underground Railroad depicts how the slaves and the freed persons connected to assist with the former gaining their freedom. Keep reading for some inportant figures – or conductors on this “railroad”.
Levi Coffin was a Quaker from North Carolina who assisted many slaves to freedom. These abolitionists believed strongly in their cause and knew they risked being arrested if fugitive slaves were caught in their homes or on their property.
This rare picture of Harriet Tubman depict a dignified and well respected heroine of freedom. Harriet Tubman is the most famous person who was connected to the railroad and continued to return to the South after she gained her freedom to liberate other slaves. She will be gracing the American $20 bill shortly as a tribute to her memory and legacy as a pioneer of women’s courage and liberator of enslaved persons.
Though an artistic rendering illustrating beauty and fierce dignity, it shows a scene that could have very well transpired between the runaway slaves and the conductors of the railroad. Families would sometimes run off from enslavement on the plantation together. The interaction of humans with one common agenda – freedom is awesome!
Pennsylvania was free state but still had laws governing fugitive slaves and the abolitionists who helped them.
Another artist rendering of a scene that could have taken place between law officers and fugitive slaves.
The Underground Railroad has deep roots in Pennsylvania.
Walls made of plaster are characteristic of older ones like the Poulos home. Though a member of the historic society relates that more research has to be done including a check to see if vocal abolitionists owned the home prior. It is important to note that the room may have had more mundane purposes. In the meantime,
Poulos will continue to hold on to the home and her ideas of the historical significance of the room.