The Peter Mott House: New Jersey's Underground Railroad safe haven

LAWNSIDE, New Jersey -- The Peter Mott House in Lawnside, New Jersey is the oldest known house to serve as a station on the Underground Railroad during the mid-1800s.

For Catherine Joyce Fowler of the Lawnside Historical Society, having a piece of history like the Mott House is important so that everyone can understand the suffering and struggles her ancestors underwent during this period in history.

"People can come to get the feel of what it was like and the Lawnside Historical Society can tell the story of Peter Mott and his wife hiding people here in this house in Lawnside, New Jersey," said Fowler.

Peter Mott, a farmer, laborer, and Sunday school superintendent along with his wife Elizabeth, provided slaves with refuge during the years leading up to the Civil War.

"Being a man who had religious values he thought it was not robbery to hide people who needed a haven," said Fowler.

For Fowler, who tours visitors around the Peter Mott House, everyone must understand the history before the Civil Rights Movement.

"Young people need to know where we came from. How we got there, the struggle, the many lives that were lost, the many broken hearts, the many broken dreams, the many times you thought you would see your loved ones again back in the plantation and they weren't there; they don't know what happened to them," said Fowler.

The house is open to the public on Saturdays from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm and for group tours by appointment.


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