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Niagara Falls
Friday, February 3, 2023
Exploring Photos with the NOTL Museum: Black school at St. Andrew’s

Religion plays an important part in putting down roots in a community and many of our early Black residents belonged to the local churches, including the former Methodist Church that previously stood where the “Negro Burial Ground” is today. St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church established a school in 1802 for Black children in the upstairs of the Sexton’s House. Herbert Holmes was the teacher and, according to a former student, he was very strict but could also be kind. Sometimes he would walk the students to a local store, run by a woman from the Black community, and buy each of them a treat. Sadly, Holmes was killed trying to free Solomon Moseby during the Moseby Affair of 1837. The school operated until 1843. Unfortunately, we have yet to find any images of the schoolhouse. Today, you can find a plaque on the site along the Gage Street side of the church yard.

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