The Niagara Falls National Heritage Area (NFNHA) recently received a grant for a Historic Marker to designate the former site of the Cataract House, a hotel that served a vital role along the Underground Railroad. 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. Famous cases included a failed rescue attempt in 1847 and the successful escapes of Cecilia Jane Reynolds (1847), a woman named Martha (1853), and waiter Patrick Sneed (1853). John Morrison, head waiter at the Cataract House, often ferried people across the river himself. The Cataract House burned down in 1945 and was demolished in 1946.
To celebrate the unveiling of the Marker, the NFNHA hosted a press conference. In preparation for the event, we crafted and sent out media advisories and press releases to strategic publications to help draw local and regional coverage of this influential moment. The result was a large crowd with major media outlets, as well as local leaders, in the audience. Overall, the client was extremely pleased with the outcome and the recognition of the importance of the Cataract House in Niagara Falls’ history.