Lewiston in Niagara County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Freedom Crossing Monument
Lewiston was final stop for countless escapees on what was called the Underground Railroad - a series of secret back roads and safe houses that were used by the enslaved to find freedom in the North.
Josiah Tryon, the man with the "Rainbow Heart" who embraced people of all creeds and colors, was the leader of the local volunteers and helped escort the fugitives across the river by rowboat. When his small boat touched the Canadian shoreline, the escaping slaves knew they were finally free after a long and trecherous journey.
Local author, Margaret Goff Clark, published her book, Freedom Crossing, in 1969.
The fictional heroine of the book, Laura Eastman, a young teenage girl, is depicted in the Monument (her outstretched arm is pointing the way to Canada across the river) to memorialize the book and the ideals that symbolize the courage of both the freedom seekers and the volunteers who helped them escape.
It's called the House of 4 Cellars and was built in Lewiston on the bank of the Niagara River in 1830 by Amos Tryon. Amos built it as a residence, but his wife Sally Barton, refused to move from her existing home in the Village. After that, it was called "Tyron's Folly." However, when Josiah Tryon, Amos' younger brother, figured out that it was an ideal spot to smuggle fugitive slaves fleeing to Canada, it became anything but a folly. After 1850, it was a crime to help the enslaved, but Josiah and his band of volunteers continues to assist and protect them from bounty hunters who were paid to return the fugitives to the South.
Josiah Tyron (1798-1886) lived to see the day when slavery was abolished. He is considered Lewiston's greatest
Today, Tryon's Folly is a private residence and is not publicly accessible.
Location. 43° 10.409′ N, 79° 2.94′ W. Marker is in Lewiston, New York, in Niagara County. Marker is on Center Street near North Water Street. Touch for map. This historical marker is in a community park that is located along the American shoreline of the Niagara River. It is situated along a park walkway that runs down towards the Niagara River, very near to the actual "Freedom Crossing Monument.". Marker is in this post office area: Lewiston NY 14092, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Freedom Crossing Monument (a few steps from this marker); The Battle of Queenston Heights (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named The Battle of Queenston Heights (within shouting distance of this marker); Barton House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Hennepin Park (approx. ¼ mile away); The Cibola Anchor (approx. 0.4 miles away); Kiwanians Promoting Peace (approx. 0.4 miles away); Little Yellow House - 1816 (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lewiston.
Categories. • Abolition & Underground RR • African Americans •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 30, 2013, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page has been viewed 587 times since then and 25 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 3, 2013, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.