The Path to Freedom: The Eliza Story:

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Date(s) - 10/08/2022
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Samuel Center for Canal History


The story of an escaped slave who found freedom in upstate New York will be told in a play held on Saturday, October 8, 2022. The public is invited to attend the free performances at the Samuel Center for Canal History in Port Byron. (The former St. John’s Catholic Church on Rt 31.) now operated by the Canal Society of New York State.  Two performances will be held on Saturday, October 8, 2022, with a matinee at 2 PM and in the evening at 7 PM. 

 Eliza’s path to freedom will be told by tracing her steps from enslavement on a Staten Island plantation-style Inn to finding freedom on the 19th Century 3500-acre Sibley Estate on Howland’s Island in the Seneca River. The role of Eliza will be played by Robin Nowell, a member of the Black Storytelling League of Rochester. Robin’s performance will reflect her strong belief these stories need to be told to show the “strength, perseverance, and endurance of African-Americans and the roles they have played in our history.” 

The program is sponsored by the Montezuma and Port Byron Lock 52 Historical Societies. The event is funded in part through the generous grant support of the Cayuga County TourismNYS Canal Corporation, and the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. For more information, please visit the website at


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