Between 1847 and 1854, the Falls Hotel housed the offices of The Iris, a newspaper with antislavery sympathies owned by editor George Hackstaff and printer William Tunis. Tunis also published tourist guides, operated a bookstore across the river in Ontario, and served as an agent for the Railway Express System, delivering New York City periodicals to inland cities. In 1860, African Americans lived in homes of both William Tunis and the proprietor of the Falls Hotel. The hotel burned in 1861.
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