Calvary Church in Hagaman – Historic Marker
15 Church Street, Hagaman
The Montgomery County Anti-Slavery Society was organized at the Presbyterian church (now the Calvary Reformed Church) in Hagaman in 1836. This was the county’s first official stance against the institution of slavery. Many local abolitionists were instrumental in organizing this society. A marker is placed outside of the church signifying its importance in the anti-slavery movement.
Green Hill Cemetery in Amsterdam – Self-guided Walking Tour
23 Cornell Street, Amsterdam
Abolitionism and African American Life in Amsterdam: Amsterdam, referred to by some as “the abolition hole,” was a hotbed of activity in the anti-slavery movement that swept the country in the years leading up to the Civil War. Many of the local prominent residents participated in the cause to assist those seeking a life of freedom. The area’s black residents also participated in the fight to end slavery with the Civil War. A number of those participants, black and white, have their final resting place here at Green Hill Cemetery.
Canajoharie – Self-guided Walking Tour
Begin on Cliff Street, Canajoharie
The walking tour focuses on the sites associated with the African American residents and the anti-slavery movement in the Village of Canajoharie. The brochure identifies sites with the village, those still existing and those that are gone with the passage of time.
James Mereness – Historic Marker at Ames Museum
611 Latimer Hill Road, Ames
Dr. James Mereness participated and organized anti-slavery meetings for the western part of Montgomery County for many years prior to the Civil War. Reports indicate that fugitive slaves seeking freedom from their lives in servitude sought shelter in Mereness’ home as part of the Underground Railroad network. Dr. Mereness died in 1872, at which time, he continued his interests in improving the lives of African Americans through bequests to educate them.
The top floor of the 1835 Ames Museum, used as an academy from 1839 to 1959, houses many local artifacts featuring Ames’ hey-day as the hops-growing capital of 19th Century America. This building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.
For copies of the Green Hill Cemetery and Canajoharie tour maps and more information on the Underground Railroad, Abolitionism and African American Life in Montgomery County project, please contact the Montgomery County Department of History & Archives at (518) 853-8186.