Rush Sloane wrote that the earliest story he knew about the Underground Railroad in Sandusky was this one.
In the fall of 1820, a man headed for Canada came to Marsh’s Tavern, on the corner of Wayne and Water Streets, which today is the site of Civista Bank. He was hidden by John Dunker, the black hostler and Captain Shepherd, who sailed a small vessel and lived at the Tavern.
A slave owner offered Captain Shepherd $300 to find his runaway, so Shepherd helped search for three days. The WALK-IN-THE-WATER was the first steamship to run a route along the shore of Lake Erie. When the WALK-IN-THE-WATER steamed into Sandusky, Captain Shepherd suggested that the slave owner get aboard to search in Detroit. Then the Captain sailed the free man on his vessel to Ontario.