Underground Railroad: Uncovering Ithaca's Rich History

ITHACA, N.Y.(WENY)-- St. James AME Zion Church in Ithaca is the oldest standing church in upstate New York, and many professors as well as Ithaca residents, point to documents that link this historic church directly to the Underground Railroad. 

In September of 2020 Reverand, Terrance King along with trustee Nick Sledziona teamed up with archaeologists and Professor Gerard Aching from Cornell University to perform ground penetrating scans in hope of finding remnants of the Underground Railroad. 

“We have records going back at least until the 1890s and some even further into the 1850s  of this site and the historic church it was built on and so we can see what changed about this landscape,” said Adam Smith, Distinguished Professor of Arts and Sciences in Anthropology at Cornell University. 


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Professor Gerard Aching