Joseph Hough Harris lived in this house and began anti-slavery work here, using the house as a station on the underground railway. Fugitives from slavery traveled the Grafton Turnpike (now Canaan Street) on their way from Portsmouth, Salem or Boston toward Canada. The underground railway route roughly followed Route 4, with stations in Concord, the Canterbury, and then Canaan.
After John Harris married James Furber, they all lived in this house and worked together to make the house a frequent and welcoming stop. James Furber transported fugitives north from this house to the next station in Lyme about one=ce every two weeks.