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Wayne County Life Q & A

Subject: Newark, New York and the Underground Railroad
Date: 1 May 2009
Participants: John M. Zornow (Newark-Arcadia Historical Society), Seth C. Burgess (Wayne County Life)

Seth C. Burgess:
Are there any known buildings or routes in Newark that were associated with the Underground Railroad?

I have an idea in the back of my mind that I've heard something about the former Blue Brick Inn on Miller St., next to old Middle School having some relevant history...I think it was a Kelley property.
John M. Zornow:
The only mention of an "underground railroad" stop that I ever heard of was the Bartle cobblestone mansion on West Miller St., torn down to build what is now Kelley School. Stories had slaves hidden in attic where secret Masonic meetings had been held before that. There was even talk of records of such events being hidden in the pillars of the mansion.

However, when the house was torn down the columns (pillars) were found to be empty, as well as the attic.

I don't know of any documented underground railroad stops in Newark, even though what we now call Rt. 88, was a well traveled road from Geneva and points south to the lake and points north. (That, by the way, is why our Main St. runs north/south instead of east/west.)

I am enclosing photos of the Bartle mansion. The Blue Brick Inn was once owned by the Bartles.

Why did such a beautiful home get torn down? Another story for another day...

Bartle Mansion on W. Miller Street in Newark

Bartle Mansion pillars

Spiral staircase inside Bartle Mansion


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