2-Day Niagara African American Heritage

Edward Nash House

Edward Nash House

Day 1 You'll See: 

Day 2 You'll See:



Castellani Art Museum - Start your fun Niagara Falls region adventure here at the Castellani Art Museum, Niagara County’s only collecting art museum located in Lewiston. The museum is centrally situated on the main campus of Niagara University in Lewiston. Castellani serves as an excellent cultural resource for both the University and the surrounding Niagara community, as well as a popular attraction for regional and international tourists. Inside this gorgeous white grey marble structure (the marble imported from Italy) you and your group will find the works of nationally known and emerging contemporary artists, as well as traditional folk artists. Enjoy the aesthetics of the structure itself with its 12 impressive pillars, interior sculpture courts, and seven galleries around the 20 foot high central exhibition hall. Enjoy exploring the impressive permanent collection, holding over 5,700 works from such famous artists as Picasso, Miro, Dali, Calder, and Warhol!

Freedom Crossing Monument  - Many students across the nation have delighted in the assignment of reading Margaret Clark’s highly popular and historically famous book, Freedom Crossing, and will delight in the opportunity to visit the actual spot featured in the epic novel. Freedom Crossing is an  iconic and highly historic spot in Lewiston, New York, that contains the final stop in the famed Underground Railroad, the secret path leading thousands of slaves to freedom in the 1800s. The entire route runs from the southern United States to Canada, the final and most epic traversing spot being here, with the boat ride across the Niagara River into Canada. As in the book you can see the site of Tryon's Folly, the 1830s home owned by Amos Tyron. This home is located along the Lower River Road, the surrounding land that of which a bronze monument was made in honor of the epic history and novel Freedom Crossing.

Silo Restaurant - Next stop, The Silo, a highly popular Lewiston restaurant that won several local awards plus had a major network debut as a feature stop on Travel Channel’s Man V. Food. While the food, awards, and architecture of The Silo are all points of extreme interest, perhaps the most interesting to us is the history behind this eatery! In the 1930s Lewiston was known as Hojack Country and served as one of the central meeting points for the famous Great Gorge Railway, the silo itself holding that oh-so-precious coal that fueled the many steamers to pass through here.The food here is amazing, ranging from the famous Silo Dixie Dog, complete with coleslaw, BBQ sauce, bacon, and french fries, to the Old English Fish n Chips or Smelt Basket. Try the famous Haystack while here if you have room, as seen on Man V. Food, and enjoy the unique combination of rib-eye, mozzarella, and hash browns all served smothered with mayo on a hoagie!

Marble Orchard Ghost Walk - The Marble Orchard Ghost Walk is a Lewiston classic attraction that combines the very best of history, education, and thrills all in one. This seasonal after-dark stroll through Niagara’s history will leave you feeling a bit unsettled and a lot informed. The Ghost Walk itself takes place only each September through October, an annual historic festival that is considered to be one of Western New York’s most popular fall attractions! While there is a certain time in which you can participate in the authentic tour, you can come here at any time and still see the same historic buildings on a self-guided stroll (you can even get all the same information from Niagara USA Tourism and make your own ghost walk). If you do happen to make it for the real deal, however, be sure to get here well before 7 pm, when the tour departs nightly, and also wear comfortable shoes and bring a flashlight!


Murphy Orchards - Start your New York morning off right with a visit to the historic and fiercely fresh Murphy Orchards, located about 12 miles north of Lockport and three miles south of the shore of Lake Ontario. This 65-acre family owned and operated fruit farm holds several different and amazing attractions, such as their pick your own fruit selection, fresh fruit store, country barn store, tea rooms, gift shop, fresh apple and jam sales, and even historic Underground Railroad site! Learn the intriguing history of this farm, an in-production facility since the early 1800s. The home, farm, barn, and even soil is all the same as when the farm first began in the 1800s, and you will get all the best insider info on the McClew family’s secret slave smuggling room used consistently from 1850 to 1861. This is a great way to get into nature, get some exercise, and immerse yourself in the local culture and agriculture, not to mention learn some more great history tidbits of the area!

Buffalo Nash House - The Buffalo Nash House, otherwise known as Rev. Edward Nash House Museum, is the "home where a community was built," located adjacent to downtown Buffalo. This historic house served as the humble home of Reverend J. Edward Nash, Sr., from 1925 to 1987. Reverend Nash was a highly influential African American rights advocate in the area, as well as a respected pastor of Michigan Street Baptist Church from 1892 to 1953. Reverend Nash is an outstanding leader and overall presence in the African American community, arguably one of the most respected of his time. This entire historic property is a seriously integral part of the surrounding Michigan Street Preservation Corporation and is positively full to the brim with interesting and historically accurate stories of various African American leaders who stayed as the Reverend's guests, as well as their combined influence on the community and nation as a whole.

Michigan Street Baptist Church - Last stop on your extremely fun and extremely informative Niagara two day tour is the historically famous Michigan Street Baptist Church, one of the town's oldest properties. Not only is this church a central part of African American history and culture in Buffalo, but it is also an Underground Railroad station. This church served as a secret sanctuary for hundreds of slaves crossing the river and Canadian border, as well as a public sanctuary for countless African American families attending the official "first black church in Buffalo." This church served as the central meeting place for abolitionists and activists alike, first established in 1845 and retiring its services in 1962. This red brick cornerstone church is a member of the National Register of Historic Places, as well as the home of famous guests such as Frederick Douglass, William Wells Brown, W.E.B. DuBois, and Booker T. Washington!