Freedom Home

History lives Here


where history comes back to life.

The historic rivertown of Columbia, PA boasts some of the oldest architectural styles in America, gives direct access to trails, waterways, and river life, holds the secrets to the early days of our Nation’s birth – from civil war bridge burnings to the birthplace of the false-bottom railcars used in the underground railroad to free slaves – and you can now experience it all in one of its iconic homesteads from 1876.

FREEDOM HOME is named in honor of the historic crossroads of our rivertown and this region – from Columbia’s founding, to being a city of refuge and freedom-advancement during slavery, to the inspiring beauty of nature all around.

Rivertown Love.

The #FreedomHome is located directly across from the main gates of Mount Bethel Cemetery (1720) where guided historic tours through winding walkways showcase the incredibly preserved tombs of those pre-dating Samuel Wright’s establishing of the Columbia Borough (1788). Just one block’s walk from the library, park, and exciting eateries, antique shops, boutiques, gift shops, micro-breweries, and artisan shops where you can enjoy endless local fare.

The Columbia Market House (1869) is open on Saturday’s and features local goods, crafts, live music and entertainment, and plenty of food and fun. Don’t forget to tour the jail house under the floor where famed goonies like Big John spent a few nights (and even Thomas Edison)!

patti learn
patti learn
July 19, 2022.
Trustindex verifies that the original source of the review is Google.
We just finished a great family weekend in a beautiful, historical home with secret doors and gardens. The kids and I loved our stay at the beautiful #freedomhome ! The below is not an ad, my daughter wanted me to start off with that since she said it sounded like one lol. We found our way into the first Airbnb in Columbia, PA and had a chance to explore homes of the 1800's with beautiful rooms, loads of space, a courtyard worthy of morning coffee or afternoon tea, and hosts who cannot do enough for you. Columbia, PA may be a little known town (near Lancaster, York, and Harrisburg) but it is rich with history playing a significant role in forming our country. Right on the Susquehanna River, it offers something for everyone without the crowded neighborhoods or traffic snarls. And for those who love ice cream, Turkey Hill offers their own experience complete with tour and endless free samples. This town offers a couple of breweries, quite a few bakeries and restaurants, the Columbia Market House, the National Watch & Clock Museum, ghost tours, and tons of antique stores! Something for everyone. Thoroughly enjoyed our stay at #FreedomHome...the kids enjoyed finding the secret room, reading books, the game room, and plenty of super comfy beds for my entire family. Best of all...only a couple of hours north of DC so perfect for a quick weekend trip.
Richard DeVett
Richard DeVett
July 13, 2022.
Trustindex verifies that the original source of the review is Google.
Superb accommodations!! Gracious host! Great town to visit. Will certainly return for a stay!!


storied history.

The home was designed and built by William Hougentogler in 1876 – who served in the Civil War as a musician and then returned home. He designed and built homes in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and other Columbia homes – as well as the adjoining homes in the early 1900s. The home’s underground partial tunnel and secret attic room behind a removable bookcase have locals wondering if there is any Underground Railroad history connected with the home, but that is yet to be verified. What is certain is the rivertown boasts several verified UG homes with secret rooms and underground tunnels used to hide slaves in their quest for freedom. Columbia is the birthplace of the actual term “Underground Railroad” as this is where they designed and built false-bottom rail cars to move slaves through Harrisburg, Philadelphia, and on into Canada!

(Visitors to the home can book a 90 min walking tour by request led by local historian and expert Chris Vera from the Historical Society – which starts in the Markethouse leads groups around town on a walking tourwhere the UG homes are!)

The home then became the home and medical practice of Dr. Gardiner P. Taylor – who practiced as a physician and for whom the Taylor School was named after in Columbia.

Other notable owners were the Columbia Postmaster and Columbia Phone Secretary (Charles Taylor – 1930), a State House of Representatives and PA State Senator (Cleon Berntheizel – 1935), and the Deitrich family (1940s). Recently it was the Jonal Gallery – a gallery home for practicing artists and live music/theatre. 

5 bedrooms.


Nearby Attractions

Less than 30 mins away on a working Amish Farm

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