Neighbors opposing the proposed demolition of the William Penn Inn in Lower Merion presented information Monday suggesting that the building might have harbored runaway slaves.
At a meeting of the township Historical Commission, a resident of the inn showed photographs of a trapdoor panel and a hiding place between the second and third floors.
Gerald A. Francis, president of the Lower Merion Historical Society, said it would be nearly impossible to prove that runaways passed through, but "it would make sense" given its location near other known safe houses.
Joseph Price, one of Lower Merion's most notable Quaker forefathers, built the inn in 1799. In his diaries, Price wrote of giving money to slaves and helping them on their way to freedom, Francis said.