MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - One of the best kept secrets in Memphis history was designed to be a well kept secret.
"I think part of me feels sad that this actually happened. Part of me feels kind of proud that they would do anything to be free and to live how they were supposed to live to be human to have equal rights," said tourist Morgan Hampleton.
Morgan Hampleton along with other kids at her school got a chance to check out a new exhibit called "Tools of Slavery" at the Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum. It included items such as shackles, whips, and a ball and chain, all used to restrain and enslave Africans to keep them in bondage.
"This is really real because if you read it in a book your like, oh. Like that would never happen. I'm sitting next to my friend Syncay over here, were best buddies but here you see the tools and you see those pictures and you're like, this really did happen, holy cow," said tourist Tristan Ropa.
This museum was once the house of Jacob Burkle. It was known as the secret network.
Slaves hid in a dark, damp cellar. They would stay until it was time for them to travel to Canada, where many slaves found freedom.
"In spite of the evil of slavery that existed here, there were indeed good people like Jacob Burkle who risked their lives to help their fellow man," said Elaine Lee Turner with the Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum.
Hanging on the wall is the Secret Codes of the Quilts. It was a secret way for slaves to communicate with each other. Tourists also got a chance to listen to a drum solo and watch a skit about Harriet Tubmann.
"It's really a treasure here in Memphis," said Turner.