The Southern Indiana Railroad Freighthouse was not only a freight depot but also the site of an interesting story of one escaped enslaved man’s quest for freedom. Alexander McClure, an enslaved man from Tennessee, attempted to escape his bondage by having himself hidden in a wooden box and shipped to abolitionist and Underground Railroad stop activist Levi Coffin in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The box was too small for Alexander to stretch out. He had to stay in a crouched position for the entire trip. In Bowling Green, Kentucky the box was tipped upside down leaving him to travel head downward. At some point the box sustained damage. In Seymour, it was opened to find out if the contents had suffered in transit. There, Alexander was discovered. He was sent to Louisville, where his owner picked him up and took him back to Nashville. It is not clear what happened to Alexander after this, but some evidence suggests he was living near Nashville after the Civil War working as a tinner.
To learn more of Alexander McClure’s story, please click here.
The Southern Indiana Railroad Freighthouse is the last railroad depot standing today in Seymour. Today, it is used as a visitor center. The shape of the building is essentially unchanged, and the interior kept in a close approximation to the original floor plan. The old offices were updated and the single bathroom turned into two handicap-accessible restrooms.