Kelsey’s Landing should join National Network to Freedom of the National Park Service. To the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Site Selection Committee:

We are writing on behalf of the Lower Falls Foundation, to offer our endorsement of the proposal to include the historical Kelsey’s Landing site in the National Network to Freedom of the National Park Service.

kelseys-landingAlexander Kelsey and associates built Kelsey’s Landing around 1844, at the Lower Falls, along the banks of the Genesee River. Cargo steam ships conveyed lumber and flour across Lake Ontario, to Detroit and Canadian markets. Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman led freedom seekers onto these same ships, arriving from as far west as Ohio, and as far east as Maryland.

After several private owners and recreational ventures, the city of Rochester purchased the land in 1904, and commissioned the Olmsted Brothers firm to design a park encompassing this historic and popular recreational area with a view of the Lower Falls.

The site stands today as Seneca Park West, added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.

The city of Rochester enjoys a prominent and long-standing relationship with the legacy of Frederick Douglass. This relationship is the foundation of our nomination. Douglass first published his North Star newspaper in 1847, at the first African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church at Spring and Favor Streets in Rochester. The church was also a stop on the Underground Railroad. Douglass lived in Rochester until 1872…

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Editor’s note from Minority Reporter article: The following is a letter written by Gandhi Earth Keepers International Founder George Payne on behalf of the Lower Falls Foundation, in an effort to include Kelsey’s Landing site in the National Network to Freedom of the National Park Service.