John Brown Farm, Tannery, and Museum
The home of the famous Abolitionist John Brown who became known for his armed insurrection to take over the federal armory at Harper's Ferry in 1859. Built in 1825, Brown's farm consisted of a tannery building, barn and cabin. All that now remains is the foundation of the tannery than burned in 1907. There is also a small museum located on site that is owned and operated by the current owners of the land. The sire was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
Backstory and Context
Brown moved from Hudson, Ohio to Crawford County, Pennsylvania in 1825. He purchased 200 acres of unimproved wilderness and cleared just enough to build his tannery, barn and home for his wife and children. Eventually, the tannery came to employ up to 15 workers. Brown also served as a surveyor and postmaster for New Richmond Township. Financial issues forced Brown to sell the tannery and land in 1835. He then moved to Franklin Mills, Ohio. The tannery then served as a creamery, cheese and jelly factory, gristmill, and residence before being destroyed by fire in 1907.
Brown's first wife, Dianthe, who died in childbirth in 1832, and two of his children are buried on the site. Soon after Dianthe's death Brown married the daughter of a local blacksmith named Mary Ann Day. She would go on to bear him 13 children.
While Brown did go on to help fugitive slaves to freedom in both Springfield, Massachusetts and North Elba, New York it is unknown whether he did so while living in Pennsylvania. The small museum located near the remains of the tannery is devoted to Brown's life while living here and contains historical artifacts and exhibits.