The Salem Chapel in St. Catharines needs help to preserve the church and the legacy of Harriet Tubman.
The church is raising a minimum of $100,000 through the GoFundMe.com page to take care of urgent repairs.
According to the page “The church is located in a very visible high traffic area. We need cable wire or earthquake straps with turnbuckles placed in the attic and underneath the sanctuary floor to secure the 162 year old log frame. We would like the wires or straps in place before the construction work for a new municipal building behind the church begins. We need to replace the deteriorating front door awning and a few weather damaged window sills.”
“Built in 1855 by African American freedom seekers (runaway slaves and free blacks) with financial help from local residents and others in Canada and the United States, this church was very important during the UGRR era that it was personally “dedicated to the Service of Almighty God” by the prominent AMEC Bishop, Daniel A. Payne.”
Rochelle Bush, a trustee of the church noted in an email reply to Mosaic Edition, “It’s very important to me because of the historical significance of the church. Some of my ancestor’s helped construct the church and one was the minister-in-charge for a period of the time. Also, it was the place of worship for the famous freedom fighter Harriet Tubman when she lived in St. Catharines and was a conductor of the Underground Railroad. I am proud to serve and preserve the scared church they established.”