Rider's Inn

From Ohio History Central

Located in Painesville, Ohio, Rider's Inn was a stop on the Underground Railroad.

Joseph Rider opened Rider's Inn in 1812. Over the years, the tavern expanded, providing fine accommodations and food for travelers in northeastern Ohio. During the early 1800s, Rider's Inn served as a stop for stagecoaches traveling between Buffalo, New York and Cleveland, Ohio. During the 1840s and 1850s, the tavern's owners also provided runaway slaves, who were traveling along the Underground Railroad, with a safe haven. Ohio was the home of many safe houses for African Americans, as runaway slaves could not truly gain their freedom unless they left the United States of America entirely. Many runaways fled to Canada, seeking freedom.

The Rider family operated the inn until 1902. George Randall eventually purchased the inn, expanding it and opening a speakeasy during Prohibition. The Lutz brothers acquired the inn in 1940, and they operated it until 1979. Rider's Inn continues to welcome guests today.

See Also


  1. Ohio Division of Travel and Tourism. "Ohio's Underground Railroad Freedom Stations: Traveling the State's Underground Railroad." N.p.: n.p., n.d.