On June 15, 1815, Capt. Jabez Burrell(1767-1833) came to the area, now known as Sheffield Village Ohio. In 1816 he brought his family here from Sheffield, Berkshire County, MA. They built a log house on the hill by where the French Creek meets the Black River. in 1820 he started construction of the Burrell Homestead just west of the log home. His sons, Robbins, Jabez L, and Lyman, assisted him in building the house. It is a Federal style house and made of brick, which were handmade on the farm. By the year 1825 the house was completed.
Robbins Burrell, (1799-1887), as a station master on the Lorain County section of the Underground Railroad. His brother Jabez L. (1806-1900) were flaming abolitionists. They hid the runaways in the grainhouse which was behind the main house. Then at night Capt. Arron Root would sail up the Black River, to take the runaways to freedom across Lake Erie to Canada. On several occaisions Robbins would invite the slave hunters into the house. He did this to con they in thinking that he was a good Christian farmer, and that he was not connected to the abolitionists in Oberlin, Ohio. Plus the farm was raided by the federal marshalls. It is quite possible that John Price may have been hidden here, after he was rescued , in the famous Oberlin-Wellington Slave Rescue. Jabez L. was a founding trustee of the Obelin College, and classes were held at the farm. It was called the Sheffield Manual Labor Insitute. The first black student at Oberlin, James Bradley, studied here. Jabez L's house still exists in Oberlin, at 315 East College Street.
Eleanor Burrell ( 1905-2001)was the last Burrell to reside at the Burrell Homestead. She is the great-granddaughter of Robbins. The farm is part of the French Creek Park, of the Lorain County Metro Park. Behind the House is a cheesehouse, built in 1857, and the barn was built in 1819. Inside the rooms, and woodwork hasn't changed much since the house was built. In the parlor, the federal fireplance mantle has some interesting designs carved in it. It was not until the 1940's that electric wiring was installed to the farm. The most noticable feature of the house is the tall chimmneys at either end. The orginal roof may have have been wood shingles, thus the high chimmneys. The farm has not changed much in 100 years, if time stood still. When you come up the driveway, imagine what it was like in 1899, riding in a carriage. Eventually the Burrell Homestead will be open as a museum of early Sheffield, The Underground Railroad, and of the Burrell Family. In the spring of 1999, Eleanor created the Historic Burrell Homestead Fund, to maintain the home. It is located at 2792 East River Road, in Sheffield Village, Ohio. The Burrell Homestead will be open to the public on August 03, 2002. The house is listed in the National Register of Historical Plces. Currently I am trying to get the Burrell Homestead listed as a National Historic Lankmark, because of it's role in the Underground Railroad. In November of 2000, I placed a request to have a Bicentennial Historical Marker placed at the Burrell Homestead. In July of 2001, the marker was approved. The planned unvieling is on June 15, 2003, 188 years after Capt. Jabez Burrell first walked the land, which would be home to his family for 186 years. Plus the House is haunted, but it is only relatives visiting.
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