It was built in the 1890's, too late for the underground railroad.We saw something similar in Framingham Mass (People's Republic of). If that house, or the parts with the hidden rooms, date back to the 19th century, congratulations - you had a station stop on the Underground Railroad. We didn't buy the Framingham one because there were parts of the foundation that had separated from the outside walls, and the heat was open-flame gas (would have cost as much as the asking price of the house to fix the problems).
It was heated by steam heated radiators with a coal fired furnace, it had been converted to oil in the 50's.
I replaced the unit myself with a gas fired unit about 70% smaller in size.
Never did figure out why they were there, they were not covered over after construction either but part of the original construction.
The neat thing was that it still had the original gas light along with the early knob insulator wiring.
Some of the lights were a combination of gas and electric which is what is need around here in the winter.
I brought some of them here and set them up with propane tanks as lights for hallways, added upright mantles to them.