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When you arrive at the corner of Harrison Street and South Lane, stop for a moment and note the church at the end of South Lane. Asbury Methodist Church is one of the landmarks on The Hill, a beacon of freedom for African Americans throughout the centuries. You’ll learn more about this church at Stop 10.
The survey stone marked XXIII that sits by the white fence at the corner of Harrison Street and South Lane was placed here in 1786 to mark the corner of Lot 23. This was the location of the Friends School which was operated by the Quakers.
The rose brick house you see at 28 South Harrison Street was considered one of Easton’s grandest homes when it was built in 1790. Temperance Skinner lived here with her son Walter while employed by the Hambleton family. Like Temperance, many African American women throughout Easton’s early history worked as domestics.
Temperance (1850) and her sister Ann Eliza (1843) were born to free parents and were raised with four other siblings near Bloomfield Road outside Easton. The Skinner family was associated with the Joseph Bartlett family, steadfast anti-slavery Quaker elders.
While neither Temperance nor Eliza could read or write in 1870, they both negotiated for employment and living quarters from Easton’s most prominent professional families. Both young women used these positions to better their families over time. Eliza retired to keeping her own house by 1880. You can find out more about her life at Stop 9. Walter became a successful Chicago maître d’hôtel and inherited real estate from his Aunt Eliza.