A whole new source of information on the Underground Railroad is opening next weekend in Niagara Falls, starting May 4. I’m excited because it will offer more in-depth background for my historical novels in The Dauntless Series, featuring abolitionists Daniel Read Anthony and his sister Susan.
Here’s the scoop on the new museum:
Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center
825 Depot Avenue W.
Niagara Falls, NY 14305
Why is this new museum important?
States bordering Canada, particularly in the East, were the last frontier for enslaved people seeking freedom before the Civil War. Niagara Falls, NY, just across the river from Canada, admitted many freedom seekers traveling through New York State. I am familiar with many such stories that took place near my home in Rochester, and always wondered what happened to those travelers after they left here.
The opening weekend includes a gala on Friday, a dinner on Saturday, and community day (for the general public) on Sunday. Thereafter it will assume a regular schedule. Read all about it here.
Their website offers some intriguing and detailed stories about an organized group of African-American waiters who risked their lives and businesses to help enslaved people to cross the border. Visit “Underground Railroad Sites” to read about these individuals and some of the places where those escapes occurred.
For those of us who love the grandeur of the falls at Niagara, it’s just one more reason to visit this well-known northern city. Hope to see you there!
The Anthony Connection
Daniel and Susan B. Anthony lived in Rochester, about 60 miles from the famous falls at Niagara. Each of them, but especially Daniel, lent a hand to escaping fugitives. It would not have been unusual for either of them to visit Niagara Falls, since it was already a well-known tourist attraction during their time. Already my mind is conjuring up images of them speaking to a waiter and setting foot on one of the paths that led to river crossings.