This oddly shaped two-story octagon house stands near downtown Dansville. The small town is on M-36 about 25 miles southeast of Lansing. The historic octagon house was built in 1863 by Doctor. D.J. Watson. Rumors have claimed the house was used on the Underground Railroad. Legend has it, escaping slaves would hide in the basement while lookouts stood watch in the cupola. There was a tube that ran down the cent of the house for the lookouts to alert the slaves. If they needed to escape supposedly a tunnel leading out the back of the house to a wooded area whey they could leave undetected. None of the rumors have been proven to be true. A tube did run from the cupola to the basement but it was used for ventilation. It was also believed a tunnel was in the basement, but that had lead to a garage that is gone now.
Rumors are also circulating that the house is haunted by the spirits of runaway slaves that may have died in the house. But they are probably just imaginative ghost stories to go along with the Underground Railroad theories. Whether or not the house was used on the Underground Railroad, it is a unique house that has stood since the time of the Civil War. It is one of only a few Octagon Houses standing in Michigan.
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