CHESTERHILL/WILLIAM PENN LbNA # 46408
|Placed Date||Apr 6 2009|
This box honors William Penn the most famous and influential of all Quakers in the US, and the founder of Philadelphia; ...and, to some of my ancestors, who were of the early Quakers to the US.
It was this religious group, from Belmont County Ohio(where my ancestors settled), that was responsible for the founding of Chesterhill.
Despite the fugitive slave laws that prohibited harboring runaway slaves, these fugitives found refuge in the Quaker village of Chesterfield, now Chesterhill. Legend tells that no runaway slaves were ever captured here, although many were hidden and helped on their way to freedom in Canada. A well-organized branch of the Underground Railroad ran through Morgan County with Elias Bundy as a principal conductor. Bundy sometimes concealed fugitive slaves in the woods east of Chester Hill. Historian W.H. Siebert says Bundy, Jesse Hiatt, Nathan Morris, Abel W. Bye, Joseph Doudna, Arnold Patterson, and Thomas Smith "belonged to the inner circle of old and reliable Friends [Quakers] upon whom dependence could always be placed." The first Monthly Meeting was held on October 21, 1839 at the location of the present Meeting House, which was built in 1834.
(From the Ohio History Marker next to Friends Meeting House in Chesterhill)
The Friends Meeting House in Chesterhill still holds weekly meetings.
Difficulty: Very easy. Drive up.
Distance: Less than 200 feet round trip.
Please bring stamp pad, pencil, rag for wiping hands/box.
To find William Penn, find your way to Chesterhill, Ohio via SR555 or SR377. Head south on SR 555 and in about 100 yds. you will see the Friends Meeting House. The parking area is a blind gravel drive, just before the Chesterhill VFD. Pull in and turn around. As you leave the parking area, CAREFULLY turn left, and go to the intersection of SR 555 and SR377. Turn right onto SR377 go about 3 tenths of a mile and on your right you will see a sign for Liberty United Brethren Church. Turn right here on Buckeye Rd/Buckeye Ridge Rd. In a very short distance and you will see the entrances to the Chesterhill-Marion-Union Cemetery. Turn right at the second entrance(the one with the brick pillars and iron gate) and go down this road till you see Hopkins and McInturf on your left. On your right is a flag pole. Park here and get out and walk between the two mentioned above, over to the tree line, looking further over to your right, to the big Geddes stone. Go there, and beside Geddes you will see Caledines and behind them is a wooden fence. Go to the left hand end of fence and look further left about 9 feet away to the perfect hiding place for a letterbox. Down in the hole, under leaves, bark and stick you will find William hiding. You can take the stamp back to your car or go behind Geddes to do your stamping. Just remember this is an open spot, so be discreet. When finished, be sure to properly reseal and re-hide him as you found him.
When you are ready to leave, follow the road on down and around to the paved road that comes in on your left next to the white building. This takes you back out to the intersection of SR377 and north SR555. You can then take 555 north to find more letterboxes or over to Stockport area on 377, for more.
Have a great day.