Stone Academy Historic Site & Museum
115 Jefferson Street
Hours of Operation (May - September):
Wednesday thru Sunday 1-4 pm
(Other hours by appointment)
Adults $5.00 Students $1.00
Located in the Putnam Historic District, The Stone Academy is one of the oldest and arguably the most historic building in Muskingum County. Constructed in 1809 by Dr. Increase Mathews, Levi Whipple, and Ebenezer Buckingham, it was designed to serve as the new state capitol building. Across the river in Zanesville, then a separate and rival community, John McIntire and others constructed a building of their own with the same goal. Zanesville was selected and served as the capital of Ohio from 1810 to 1812.
The Stone Academy functioned as a school and a public building until it was converted to a private residence in 1840. In the 1830's it was the center of abolitionist activity in Putnam. The Ohio Anti-Salvery Society held state conventions in the building in 1835 and 1839. On both occasions violence erupted when mobs of pro-slavery Zanesville "Tuckahoes" disrupted the proceedings.
The building also served as a station on the Underground Railroad. The museum's most popular exhibit highlights a hidden trap door under the staircase that accessed a craw-space where run-a-way slaves hid.
Another popular exhibit features boos written by author, actress, and activist Elizabeth Robins who lived in the building in the 1870's.
Other highlights include historic portraits of John and Sarah McIntire and others, several murals, Allwine and Bailey furniture, pottery, Native American artifacts, an historic timeline of Putnam, exhibits from Zanesville's old bridges including the famous Y-Bridge, a tribute to John Glenn, and many other items illustrating the history and culture of Muskingum County.
To read more historic accounts of the Stone Academy click on the link below:
Stone Academy garners national attention
The Stone Academy is arguably the most historic building in Zanesville and Muskingum County. It is the only public building from the early 1800's still standing in Ohio. Its role in the anti-slavery movement that preceded the start of the Civil War is well documented. The building's connection to the Underground Railroad is widely recognized.
American Heritage Magazine
As part of its recognition of the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, American Heritage magazine and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) have identified locations throughout Appalachia that "represent the high quality and diversity of Civil War 'home front' attractions in Appalachia." Of over 500 sites nominated, the Stone Academy is one of only 150 selected as a "Featured Site" for a new, one-of-a-kind map guide, included in the magazine's Spring 2011 issue. Featured sites selected for the guide convey stories about people and events on the "home front", away from battles and battlegrounds. A total of 500,000 map guides will be distributed "to help travelers discover the rich Civil War heritage that thrives throughout Appalachia." (Kostas C. Skordas, ARC) For more information about Civil War: the Home Front click on Visit Appalachia.
The National Park Service
Following a lengthy application process requiring extensive documentation, the Stone Academy was accepted by the National Park Service (NPS) as part of the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. Referring the Stone Academy, NPS Regional Director Stephen E. Adams wrote, "We found that it makes a significant contribution to the understanding of the Underground Railroad in American History and that it meets the requirements as a site.
The Network to Freedom was created in 1998 by Public Law 105-203, which directs the National Park Service "to establish a program that tells the story of resistance to the institution od slavery in the United States through resistance and flight." According to the NPS, "this story is illustrative of a basic founding principle of this Nation, that all human beings embrace the right of self-determination and freedom from oppression. through the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom, the NPS is demonstrating the significance of the Underground Railroad not only in the eradication of slavery, but as a cornerstone of our national civil rights movement." For more information click on Network to Freedom
State Representative Troy Balderson, P&HS President Bob Jenkins, Nancy Sams of the Belphre Historical Society, and Underground Railroad Historian Henry Robert Burke are pictured below with the new Ohio Historical marker at the Stone Academy.
The Muskingum Music Makers perfom at the Stone
115 Jefferson Street • Zanesville, Ohio 43701 • 740.454.9500