Lucius Read House
The Lucius Read House is located with the Bryon Museum of History in Bryon, Illinois. The house was built in the 1840s for Lucius and Emily Read. Both Lucius and Emily were active abolitionist who allowed their house to be used as a safe haven for the Underground Railroad. The last wagon of runaway slaves came to the house in 1862. Today, you can tour the house and view historic photos and read stories about the Read family.
Backstory and Context
The Lucius Read House is located with the Bryon Museum of History in Bryon, Illinois. It was built for Lucius and Emily Read in the 1840’s.1 They had moved to Illinois from Vermont in 1836 and lived in a log home on the property until the current house was finished being built.1 It was completely in about 1843, making it one of the oldest building in Bryon today.1 The Read were very active in their community, they hosted the first meeting of the Congregational Church in their home.1
They were also both very active abolitionist who opened their home to be a safe haven for the Underground Railroad. It was one of three locations and the only one still standing today.1 From the Read house the slave would go to either Chicago or Wisconsin.1 The last wagon of runaway slaves to come to their house was in 1862.1
The house was eventually sold to the Kennedy family.1 The house was used as a private residence all the way up until 1945. It was then sold and turned in to a restaurant and tavern.1 Investors purchases the home in 1988 and then in 1990 the Museum District formed and began operating the home. 1