Volunteers from the Canfield Heritage Foundation were busy preparing The Loghurst Farmhouse Museum for special guests on June 20. Martin Barnes and his wife, Delores traveled from their home in Michigan to reconnect with Loghurst, the home of Martin's great-great-great-grandparents, Jacob and Nancy (Carroll) Barnes.
Jacob Barnes was the third owner of the property, having purchased the farm in 1826. Jacob was born in New Haven, Conn., in 1785. He was a farmer and served in the War of 1812. He married Nancy Carroll in 1813 in Surrey County, Va. Barnes was a staunch abolitionist who moved his family, including eight children, from their native Virginia to Canfield. He farmed the land and operated a tavern / stagecoach stop for weary travelers on the road between Cleveland and Pittsburgh.
Jacob made a number of renovations to the original log home, including a kitchen and the sleeping porches, common in the South, to the front of the house. But his greatest contribution to the history of the house was his use of the property as an Underground Railroad Station from about 1835-1845.
Martin Barnes, great-great-great-grandson of Jacob Barnes, traveled with his family from Michigan last week to visit the homestead of his ancestors and bring a special donation, a shotgun owned by Jacob Barnes' son, Jacob Henry Barnes. Jacob H. Barnes was one of the Ohioans called 'the Squirrel Hunters,' recruited by then Governor David Tod to keep the Confederates from taking Cincinnati. Also in the photograph are Canfield Heritage Foundation trustees Doris Puerner and Lee Sandstrom accepting the donation of the shotgun that was once housed in the Loghurst farm house.
Many stories have been handed down over the generations concerning the Underground Railroad in the Canfield area and anti-slavery meetings. One in particular involved Reverend Miller of the M.E. Church of Poland and an ''egg'' Bible.
Reverend Miller was visiting the Canfield Congregational Church. He delivered an anti-slavery speech, reading from the Book of Exodus, where Moses was pleading with the Pharaoh to ''let my people go.'' Rotten eggs were thrown at Reverend Miller, one of the eggs struck the umbrella that was being held over his head for protection and dripped onto the open Bible, leaving stains that are visible today as the church has preserved the historic Bible.
In addition to Loghurst, Barnes' visit included a stop at the Canfield Methodist Church to view the ''egg'' Bible.
The Canfield Heritage Foundation was formed to help promote the history of Loghurst. Two of its trustees are cousins Jennifer Neff and Bruce Neff, descendants of Conrad Naff, the pioneer who built the original log home now known as Loghurst.
Bruce Neff says all of the trustees were looking forward to Martin Barnes' visit.
''It''s always a pleasure to introduce the descendants of the owners of Loghurst to the property, to give them a glimpse of their own history,'' Neff said. ''The Loghurst property remains an important living history property.''
During their visit, Martin brought a shotgun that had been handed down in his family for generations.
''My Dad hunted with this gun,'' Martin explained. ''I had asked him if it was my grandad's gun, and he said it was my grandad's grandfather's gun, that it was originally from Ohio and had come to Michigan in a covered wagon. It feels good to return it to its original home.''
Lee Sandstrom accepted the donation on behalf of CHF.
''We''re going to hang this over the fireplace in the dining room,'' he said, ''a place of prominence. We're thankful that Martin chose to make this donation.''
The Loghurst Farmhouse Museum is open to visitors on Saturday afternoons and by appointment. For more information, visit the website www.loghurst.org.