In fact, communities of free blacks across the United States were the most powerful force in aiding those escaping from slavery. According to Rush Sloane, who recorded more than thirty Underground Railroad stories after the Civil War, “before the year 1837, the fugitives who escaped through Sandusky were conducted and aided almost wholly by black men,” including at least 22 free men in Sandusky’s Black community.
The impressive white house on the corner belonged to Rush Sloane, a Sandusky attorney, abolitionist, and later on, Mayor of Sandusky.
• In 1853, Sloane bought a house, which still stands today, at 403 E. Adams St., from its first owner and builder, Samuel Torrey, according to the National Park Service. He conducted his legal services, advocating on behalf of slaves, from this residence.
• In 1855, Sloane became a probate court judge in Erie County. Six years later, he became an agent for the U.S. Post Office in Chicago. While in Chicago, Sloane became quite wealthy from his real estate investments.
• In 1865, he purchased Cedar Point and took the first steps to convert the site into a vacation spot.
• In 1867, Sloane became the president of the Sandusky, Dayton and Cincinnati Railroad.
• In 1879, he was elected mayor of Sandusky.
• In 1908, Sloane died.
In 1852, Black families escaping slavery stood on a Sandusky dock attempting to board the steamship Arrow. Kentucky slave owners dragged the families back to shore claiming them as runaway slaves.