CAPITOL HEIGHTS, Md. - If these walls could talk! A house in Capitol Heights that may have once been a stop along the Underground Railroad is for sale. The home is considered significant in the African American history of Prince George’s County.
This house is more than 200 years old and is like a living museum with evidence of its rich African American history still on display as soon as you walk through the front door.
It boasts nine bedrooms and three and a half baths. The four-story home on Mann Street stands out amongst the neighborhood and it is not just because of its fresh coat of radiant red paint.
This historic home was originally built for a slave owner Archibald Van Horn, who served in the Maryland House of Delegates and two terms as a U.S. Congressman in the early 1800s.
But in the early 20th century, as this area became a suburb for African American residents, it was purchased by Benjamin and Clara Mitchell from Tuskegee University in 1940. They were also prominent leaders within the Muslim faith.
A local historian said the Mitchells hosted a number of famous African American celebrities and historical figures inside this house over the years such as legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, civil rights activist Malcolm X, Elijah Muhammad, one of the early leaders of the Nation of Islam, Portia Washington Pittman, the daughter of Booker T. Washington, and Anwar Sadat, the former president of Egypt.
Adding to the mystery of the history of this house is reportedly a tunnel that runs underneath the home. It has been rumored to be part of the Underground Railroad, a secret network used by slaves. However, a local historian told FOX 5 there has never been any definitive proof about that.
But history buffs said this big red house on the hill still holds such special significance. They hope its new owners will continue to keep its rich history alive.
The 4,000-square foot home has been listed at $499,000.