Ramsdell House

Ramsdell House, Ceredo: Tickets, Tours, Address, Phone Number, Ramsdell House Reviews: 5/5

Ramsdell House
Speciality Museums • Natural History Museums • History Museums
A historic home located in Ceredo, West Virginia atop what is believed to be an Adena Indian burial mound. Completed in 1858, it is considered one of the last stops of The Underground Railroad before crossing the Ohio River to freedom. Built by Zophar and Almeda Ramsdell, anti-slavery colonists recruited by abolitionist Massachusetts congressman Eli Thayer, to establish an anti-slavery settlement strategically located where Ohio, Kentucky and (then) Virginia come together on the Ohio River, with the purpose of "bringing about a peaceful end to slavery." The 3-fold strategy: non-slave-dependent jobs, an anti-slavery dialogue, and anti-slavery votes. Zophar became a Captain in the Union Army, established the Ceredo Independent School District overseeing 3 "colored schools" and hiring the first black school teacher in the district, was Postmaster, and later served in the WV Legislature. The home is full of original documents and relics. Built for good and always used for good!
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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3 reviews
Very good

20 contributions
A Historic Home
Mar 2020 • Friends
Such a treasure trove of history, from the land to the bricks and all the artifacts in-between this was a special museum. If you are fascinated by the American Civil War and Underground Railroad history this is a must visit attraction.
Written March 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

36 contributions
The Ramsdell House Civil War Home Museum - Last stop on the Underground Railroad
Sep 2019
The Ramsdell House Civil War Home Museum reopened in September of 2019 and is a must-see stop on a Civil War or Underground Railroad tour. Built atop an indian burial mound in 1858 and the first brick home built in the new town of Ceredo, Virginia (West Virginia wasn't a state yet!), the home survived the raids of the Civil War and the floods of 1913 and 1937, and stands to tell its' story. Built by Zophar and Almeda Ramsdell, abolitionist settlers who migrated from Massachusetts to help fight slavery as part of a new experiment to provide economic alternatives to slave owners, the Ramsdells packed up their shoe and boot manufacturing business and their two children (Almeda was six months pregnant with their 3rd child!) and made the journey to what is now Ceredo, West Virginia. The Ramsdells established their business and significant evidence indicates that they were a last stop on the Underground Railroad. With their home right on the banks of the Ohio River, they were perfectly located to provide a last launching point to freedom. Pastors of modern-day black churches located directly across the river in Ohio have gathered verbal histories of the slaves who travelled through Ceredo and across the river where they built the original churches which have congregations today, substantiating Ceredo's history on the Underground Railroad. The home remained in the Ramsdell family through the 1970's, became a rental home for a time, until it was deeded to the town of Ceredo in the 1980s to be used as a museum. Remarkably, many original civil war documents and relics remained in the home, many hidden in the attic, and documents continue to be uncovered during the ongoing renovations. Tours are free with a director and trained docents available. There are many Civil War relics, original documents, items of original clothing, books, etc. to be seen. Not to be missed: The Lantern Window on the second floor, the only window to face the Ohio River and just the right size and shape to be used to signal across the Ohio River when it was time to send Underground Railroad guests across the river; and, The Doorway to Freedom, the cellar door which would have been the last doorway guests passed through as slaves. There is a very small bookstore/souvenir shop which helps fund the museum. After the Civil War, Captain Ramsdell became the Postmaster, and was a founding member of the Ceredo independent School District, which oversaw 3 "colored schools" and there are photos and displays regarding these. There was a playlist of Civil War music magically playing from some hidden source which added much to the impactful tour. Absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain from this free tour. The first floor is handicapped accessible and the staff is very accomodating.
Written November 22, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Kim H
Roanoke, VA1,651 contributions
Awesome Site
Oct 2019 • Family
Absolutely wonderful stop for anyone with an interest in regional history, Civil War history, and/or African-American history. Tour includes multiple human interest points, questions still being researched, delightful coincidences, interesting documents on display. Underground Railroad site; miraculous restoration; friendly folks. We stayed for rich conversation and simply cannot say enough good things. Sells some books and small related gifts. Free, but this is a true treasure. So glad it's been saved.
Written October 26, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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