Located in the Putnam Historic District of Zanesville, OH, the Old Stone Academy is one of the oldest and arguably the most historic building in Muskingum County. Constructed in 1809 by Dr. Increase Mathews, Levi Whipple, and Ebenezer Buckingham, in what was then the town of Putnam, it was designed to serve as the new state capitol building. Across the river in Zanesville, then a separate and rival community, John McIntire and others constructed a building of their own with the same goal. Zanesville was selected and served as the capital of Ohio from 1810 to 1812. The Stone Academy functioned as a school and a public building until it was converted to a private residence in 1840. In the 1830’s it was the center of abolitionist activity in Putnam. The Ohio Anti-Slavery Society held state conventions in the building in 1835 and 1839. On both occasions violence erupted when mobs of pro-slavery Zanesville “Tuckahoes” disrupted the proceedings. The building also served as a station on the Underground Railroad. It is now a museum that is open to the public. The museum’s most popular exhibit highlights a hidden trap door under the staircase that accessed a crawl-space where run-a-way slaves hid.