Exploring UR Stations in Indiana

 In Fiction Journey, Research Trips

This week I’ve been researching for my historical novel set in Liberty, Indiana (comes out in June). The story is about a Quaker woman who ran a station on the Underground Railroad so the past few days I’ve been living at the beautiful Carriage Lamp B & B in Liberty and immersing myself in what life would have been like here in 1850. I’ve had a blast!

I’ve explored old cemeteries and waterways, crawled into secret rooms and hiding places, learned how to cook on an open hearth, hiked along a canal path, read mounds of old articles, and met some amazing people who have opened up their homes and family history for me. A special thanks to Karen Coffey who opened up doors and gave me a personal tour of the area as well as an incredible amount of information. She is amazing!

My sister said that what I’m doing sounds too much like writing a research paper, but I reminded her that I used to like writing research papers. ๐Ÿ™‚ This is so much fun for me!

For those of you who like history, here are some of the almost 300 pix I’ve taken. Now I have to get busy writing…

Liberty’s Quaint Downtown
The Wonderful Logue Family
Their Home Was a Major Station on the UR
Hiding Places in Floor, Closet, Staircase, & Dumbwaiter
Entrance to Logue’s Attic Was Through a Closet and Rope Ladder
If They Saw Slave Hunters Approaching, The Runaways Could Climb Through a Trapdoor in Roof, Down an Exterior Ladder, and Race into The Woods Out Back

Levi Coffin’s Home, “The President of the Underground Railroad”

Secret Door in Levi Coffin’s Home
Runaway Slaves Would Hide in Garret, Bed Would Hide Door

Hiding Place

Indoor Well and Springhouse

Slaves Were Hidden and Transported under the False Bottom of This Wagon

Quaker Carriage from 1830s

The Huddleston House Was Filled with 19th Century Relics

My Character Will Live on a Creek Just Like This

Crescent Hill (my next novel) Is Based on This House in Ohio
Legend Has It That There’s an Escape Tunnel Under This House
That Leads to The Family Crypt
Karen Coffey, Researcher Extraordinaire
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Showing 15 comments
  • Tiffany

    I had no idea there was so much of this remaining! I will definitely have to look around when I go to see my sister. I bet your book will be fabulous!

  • Mary Ann

    How much fun that must have been. Great pictures and I can’t wait for the book.

  • Latayne

    Those are cool pictures!

    Fellow Bookie here — I’m hoping you can help seven of us Books & Such clients publicize our new novelists site.

    I know that many of your readers are hungry for high-quality Christian fiction. Several of us who are trying to “raise the bar” in that area have a new blog, featuring six Christian novelists (including myself.) It’s called “Novel Matters,” and it will include giveaways (like getting a top agent — our own Janet Grant! — to read your novel-in-progress, for instance), writing advice, and a look into the hearts of people who are writing sumptuous, irresistible fiction by using surprising and satisfying language, and creating unforgettable characters.

    “We aren’t afraid to ask the difficult questions that linger in the reader’s mind long after the last page. We are students of craft and desire to join with you in provocative discussions about irresistible fiction, stirring up the passion within author and reader.”

    Take a look at http://www.novelmatters.blogspot.com.

    If you can post information about this, particularly the giveaway, I’d so appreciate a link to the item.

    Writing away,
    Latayne C Scott

  • Christa

    Hi Melanie! This is so exciting! How can I go visit these places? I wish I could have seen you when you were here. Will you need to come research any more? GOd bless you my friend, I can’t wait for the book to come out…

  • Melanie Dobson

    The Huddleston House is in Cambridge City and Levi Coffin’s home is in Fountain City. Both are open to the public in the spring and summer and are wonderful places to visit!

  • amazing- great photos-


  • Julie Caylor

    Well,done,friend! I will definitely be scouring the shelves at the local Tallahassee Sams for your book and sectretly put one in everyone’s cart with they aren’t looking…

  • Julie Caylor

    Ok, posting a comment to a writer with so many errors just won’t do…shame on me. But I think you understood it all, nonetheless. And this is a good lesson in proofreading. Hope none of my students read it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Melinda &

    Whoa!!!! You have been busy pumping out another book. Loved to see the shots. I look forward to reading this one. I’ve enjoyed all the others that I have read so far.
    Hey, we won’t be able to come out in June but looks like we are hoping to catch a flight out to Oregon in October! Will you be around? Maybe then you could sign my copy of the newest book?! ~Mindy

  • Maggie

    The photos are fascinating – I can’t wait to read the book!

  • peachykath

    Wow, I grew up in Indiana and never realized there was so much history and amazing things taking place right under my nose. I can’t wait to read this book.

  • Anonymous

    Growing up in Liberty, Indiana I never thought there could be so much history in it and that someone would write a book about it. Whoa! Our little Liberty that isn’t even on the maps. God Bless you for making everyone in Liberty realize that their home town is special no matter how small it is.

  • Vonnie

    How very interesting and awesome to actually see these places! Thanks for sharing pictures of places that played an important part in our nation’s history..

  • Darlene

    I received your book, Loves Finds You in Liberty, Indiana, as a Christmas gift. WOW! My mother was raised in Fountain City and we have toured the Levi Coffin House numerous times. My grandparents raised their family in the New Garden Friends Meeting. I know the towns mentioned in the book. The book brought back a flood of memories… good ones. Thank you and God Bless you.

  • Michelle

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience, Melanie! Your research is fascinating, and I really enjoyed looking at all of the photos.

    I just finished Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana, and I really enjoyed it! Job well done! : )


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