A couple was convinced that the house they built in Ohio in 1859 might be part of the Underground Railroad, because they discovered a tunnel behind a fake fireplace leading to the attic.
Ariel and Otelia Vergez have been documenting the restoration of their Victorian Italian house in Cleveland, which they appropriately named Vergezcaya.
The couple have five children, and the other child will expire in July. They snapped up the 19th century house without seeing it first, and then The property has slowly shared its secrets with the new owners.
“I bought a house built in 1859 and haven’t seen it with my own eyes. Knowing that it needs some work, but it is full of surprises,” Vergez wrote on her Douyin.
Vergez, who runs a design consulting company with her husband, added: “It looks good on the surface. I fell in love with all the fireplaces and high ceilings.” They have a total of four fireplaces, but Vergez noticed that two of them are very well located. Strange because they are not connected to any chimneys.
Vergez uploaded a video to TikTok in June, in which one of the commenters revealed how they checked whether their home was part of a secret network that helped slaves escape from the South.
They wrote: “Check if there is a corridor between the fireplaces. If there is, it is the underground railway.”
In a follow-up clip, Vergez said: “So we went upstairs immediately after reading this review. We have four fireplaces in this house, but only two are working, and the other two are not even connected to any type of chimney. So this is our attempt to figure out what is going on.
“Well, this is a fake corner, this is the entrance to the attic,” she said staggeringly at a hatch in the corner of the ceiling. When her husband began to remove the debris from the fireplace, Vergez continued to speak to the camera to see what was behind it.
she says: “The house was built in 1859 Our community is notorious for owning houses that belong to the underground railway.
“There are even tunnels in some houses that go all the way to the lake to help people escape to Canada. So this is what we found. It is connected to the attic, and people can pass through there.
She passed the phone through the hole, revealing a narrow passage, just wide enough to accommodate one person. “This old house has epic surprises every day! “She captioned the video shared in June, which has been viewed more than 2.5 million times.
According to the website History.com, the Underground Railway consists of a network of people who provide shelter and assistance to slaves who fled from the South. It developed into a fusion of various secret efforts. Although there is no exact date, it operated roughly from the late 18th century to the Civil War.
A few days later, after investigating the Cleveland historical map, Vergez checked the history of the area and shared a follow-up video.
She said: “So we haven’t looked for the old tunnel on our property, but I found this old map from 1852, which shows who owned the property before the house was built. So if WJ Gordon also built our house, Look at his own home.
“His house is full of tunnels. This article talks about how he might use the tunnels for underground railways, but also smuggled alcohol during the ban. The tunnels actually lead to the Cuyahoga River, which will enter and exit things.”
She captioned the clip: “Considering we found bricks under the grass, everything is possible!”
The couple has been sharing many videos on their social media accounts, including Instagram, Recording the renovation of the house after they received the keys in April.
They plan to “renovate and restore” the property, which has at least two bedrooms and a separate one-bedroom apartment.
“Can’t wait to get in [and] Let her be ours. PS, the dining table is actually an antique square piano that we can keep,” Vergez added.
Weekly newspaper Contact Vergez for comments.