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Site of the Ferry Landing

Site of the Ferry Landing

Before the War of 1812, an 80-foot-long ladder was constructed directly at the base of the American falls. It was destroyed during the War of 1812. Three years later, at the request of Augustus Porter, Parkhurst Whitney built the first stairs at this location in 1818, echoing a similar staircase on the Canadian side. In 1820, Whitney started regular ferry service with small rowboats, to carry passengers across the river. Many Africans Americans escaped to freedom on the ferry. The dramatic escape of “Martha” and her husband, as they were chased down a steep staircase to the Ferry Landing by a would-be band of bounty hunters, is among the most notable. Accounts also exist to document Nancy Berry’s (much less dramatic) ferry ride, as well as Patrick Sneed’s unsuccessful attempt to cross the river at this location. John Morrison, head waiter at the Cataract House, often ferried people across the river himself.

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Freedom Crossing Exhibit

Freedom Crossing Exhibit

The Underground Railroad Exhibit at the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center (NACC), “Freedom Crossing: The Underground Railroad in Greater Niagara,” tells the story of the Underground Railroad Movement in Buffalo Niagara—and of the people who risked their lives, all for freedom.

The Freedom Crossing Exhibit depicts the people, places, and events of the Underground Railroad Movement in the Buffalo Niagara region through historic photographs, artifacts, and real life stories. The Exhibit is housed in the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center (NACC) situated just minutes from Niagara Falls, at 1201 Pine Avenue. There is free parking available adjacent to the NACC. The Center is handicapped accessible.

Visitor Information

Hours of Operation: Mon-Fri: 10am- 4pm Sat and Sun: 12pm-4pm

General Admission: Free
($2/person donation recommended)
Guided Tours: $5/person
*Additional cost for workshops

Phone: 716.282.7530
Fax: 716.282.7533
Email: Tours@thenacc.org

Hidden History Tours

Led by specially-trained docents, the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center (NACC) offers exciting group tours of Freedom Crossing: The Underground Railroad of Greater Niagara. Scheduled guided tours are $5 per person.

The NACC also offers Bus Tours and School Group Tours. Please contact the NACC, Tours@thenacc.org or 716.282.7530, for more information.