Ardent abolitionist, temperance man, philanthropist, and UGRR conductor John Graff constructed a tunnel near the top of the Conemaugh riverbank. This tunnel was used by freedom seekers to connect the river to a safe area in Graff’s carriage house.
In the carriage house, a circular room lined with stone was dug. The tunnel entered into the room and it’s entrance was concealed above. There, freedom seekers could rest, eat, and bathe before continuing further north.
Blairsville was a busy transportation hub for canal, coach, and rail travel and Graff had recognized the need for concealment. As a mine owner, the technology and manpower was available to him for the tunnel construction.
Today, the riverbank entrance is buried under decades of debris. The tunnel collapsed throughout the ages and the room filled and sealed.