The Underground Railroad Movement in Greater Niagara - Contemporary Reflections by Houston Conwill
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Contemporary Reflections

In 1988, Artpark, located in the Village of Lewiston, commissioned a temporary public art project for its summer season. The Stations project, by African American artist Houston Conwill, was made up of seven sculptures that honor the people who were part of the Underground Railroad Movement along the Niagara Frontier.

The sculptures recall the “safe houses” that sheltered escaping slaves. Each includes an “attic” and a moveable “trap door” that leads to a “cellar.”

Following the installation, the Castellani Art Museum and a team of community members worked to identify permanent homes for the sculptures. These locations are listed below, along with their significance to the regional history of the Underground Railroad. The sculptures are located at outdoor sites that may be visited by the public, except where noted.

Locations of Seven Station Project Sculptures:

1. Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University, Senior Drive, Niagara University, NY
This sculpture recognizes the museum's role in finding permanent homes for the Stations.

2. YWCA Niagara, 33 Cottage Street, Lockport, NY

The current YWCA Niagara is located in the former home of Abijah Moss, an Underground Railroad conductor.

3. St. John's African Methodist Episcopal Church, 917 Garden Avenue, Niagara Falls, NY African American churches and clergy played a central role in the Underground Railroad.

4. First Presbyterian Church, 505 Cayuga Street, Lewiston, NY

Underground Railroad conductor Josiah Tryon and his brother Amos attended this church and are buried in its cemetery.

5. Root Home, Pekin, NY

(Please note: This is a private home and not open to the public.)
This site is the former home of abolitionist Thomas Root and his wife Martha Orton Root. Family records show that fugitive slaves were hidden in the kitchen’s root cellar. 

6. David Barker Park, Main Street, Barker, NY

The village of Barker was named for pioneer settler and abolitionist David Barker. He and his wife Vania are said to have sheltered runaways in their home on nearby Quaker Street.

7. Parliament Oak School, 325 King Street, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

The school is located on the site where the Anti-Slavery Act of 1793 was signed. A bronze bas-relief sculpture depicting the signing is located on the front of the school.