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Niagara Frontier Publications: Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Commission unveils Cataract House historic marker

By August 6, 2021August 16th, 2021Museums & Preservation

At a press conference on Thursday, The Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Commission and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation proudly unveiled a historic marker designating the site of the Cataract House at Heritage Park, across from Red Coach Inn.

A press release stated, “The Cataract House was a premier luxury hotel that catered to Niagara Falls’ booming tourist market from 1825 to 1945. The importance of the Cataract House as the center of Underground Railroad activism in Niagara Falls cannot be overestimated. The African American waiters who worked as Underground Railroad agents made this site one of the most important Underground Railroad nodes in the entire nation. John Morrison, head waiter at the Cataract House, often ferried people across the river himself. Morrison was publicly acknowledged at an Emancipation Day celebration on Aug. 1, 1856, the Niagara Falls community’s annual celebration of British West Indian emancipation (Aug. 1, 1834). Continuing this tradition, family reunions in Niagara Falls have occurred the first week in August for generations…

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