VF 01 Discovering Black History at the Niagara Historical Society Museum

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Welcome to the Niagara Historical Society Museum. This museum, founded by local teacher and historian Janet Carnachan, is the oldest purpose-built museum on Ontario, and is the repository of many of Niagara's historical documents and artifacts.

Before you begin the Voices of Freedom tour, you might want to explore the museum's displays that provide an overview of the role of the black community in the history of Niagara.

In their 1993 book 'Slavery and Freedom in Niagara', historians Michael Power and Nancy Butler reported that there were 104 blacks living in Niagara-on-the-Lake in 1861 - about 3.7 per cent of the population. By 1881, that number had dwindled to 21, as many blacks began to return to the United States after the US Emancipation Proclamation came into effect.

At the museum, you'll see many biographies and connections between the black community and other citizens of Niagara. The Museum has strived to tell their story alongside the other stories of our shared history.





Directions to next point on tour

After you have finished your museum explorations, head out the front door of the museum, onto Castlereigh Street, and turn right. Continue walking along Castlereigh Street towards King Street.