Episode 24: Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center


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By Ayla Anderson. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

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This week we are in New York speaking with Joseph Malek, the Visitor Experience Specialist at the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center. Join us as we talk about the (not so underground) Underground Railroad and the important role Niagara Falls played in the fight for freedom. The Heritage Center focuses on the stories of individual freedom seekers, shining light on the dark history of slavery.
We learn about Nancy Berry, and how she crossed the river to freedom during her enslavers honeymoon at Niagara. Nancy escaped with the help of the black free men working at the infamous Cataract House. The Cataract House only hired black men and was once the premier hotel and dining of Niagara Falls, even serving Abraham Lincoln! It was an important “stop” along the Underground Railroad, with connections in free Canada, just a ferry ride away.
We also talk about the brave men at the Cataract Hotel, who were an integral part of the Underground Railroad, helping men like Patrick Sneed. The Cataract Hotel only hired black men and these workers had a strong network to help people cross the border to Canada.

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