Experience the Underground Railroad
Bring your students to The Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence – a transformative and inspiring place to engage with the real story of the Underground Railroad movement and its relevance for today. Funding to support bus transportation and admission costs is available through Ticket to Ride, a program of The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, at http://www.eriecanalway.org/learn/teachers and through Teaching the Hudson Valley Explore Awards at http://www.teachingthehudsonvalley.org/grants/thv-explore-award/. For a one hour experience, students are $5 each, with one free adult for every 10 students. Additional adults are $10 each.
History Mystery Wants You!
Using your knowledge of Underground Railroad History, we need your help solving a missing person’s case. Click the button on the left to visit our History Mystery game page and help Dorian the Historian crack this mystery!
2017 Young Abolitionist Teen Scholars’ Institute
Five weeks of intensive learning and working, Learning the history related to The Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence, Learning to appreciate the value of preservation for us and for those who follow us, Learning how to listen, speak publicly, collaborate, problem solve, evaluate, think critically, write, laugh, and feel safe, Engaging in carpentry, gardening, mural design, and music research and production – this is how we spent our four weeks. Thanks to all those who made it possible. See you in 2018!
Touhey Family Foundation, Times Union Hope Fund, Stewart’s Holiday Match, M&T Bank, and Albany District Chapter of the Links
2017 Individual donors:
David Hochfelder, Ann Marie Hess, Sharon Robinson, Christina Cummings, Susan DuBois, Frank Wicks, Linda O’Malley, Heather Hewitt, Richard Melitta, Cordell Reaves, Glenna Spitz and Paul Nance, Susan Antos, Edward Fallon, Ralph Pennington,Jr.
2016 Young Abolitionist Teen Scholars’ Institute
Five weeks of intensive learning and working. Learning the history related to The Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence. Learning to appreciate the value of preservation for us and for those who follow us. Learning how to listen, speak publicly, collaborate, problem solve, evaluate, think critically, write, laugh, and feel safe. Engaging in an graphic design, photographic shoots, videography design, gardening, poetic expression as a critique of society, – this is how we spent our five weeks.
Thanks to all those who made it possible. See you in 2017.
Albany Rotary Foundation, Hannaford Charitable Foundation, Stewart’s Holiday Match, Women Against War.
2015 Young Abolitionist Teen Scholars’ Institute
Four weeks of intensive learning and working. Learning the history related to The Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence. Learning to appreciate the value of preservation for us and for those who follow us. Learning how to listen, speak publicly, collaborate, problem solve, evaluate, think critically, write, laugh, and feel safe. Engaging in an archaeological dig, photographic shoots, videography design, gardening, poetic expression as a critique of society, creating a beautiful garden out of weed choked lot – this is how we spent our four weeks. Thanks to all those who made it possible. See you in 2016.
Times Union Hope Fund
Touhey Family Foundation
Capital City Fund
Stewart’s Holiday Match
Albany District Chapter of the Links
Price Chopper’s Golub Foundation
Central Avenue Business Improvement District
Christine CummingsArlene Nock
Vera ‘Mike’ Michelson
2014 Young Abolitionist Teen Scholars’ Institute
The last day was like so many others with meetings and work. The young people did some final work on the grounds, did some evaluating and said their good byes to each other and the staff. It was a great summer! Thanks so much to our sponsors and funders. Keep an eye out for our future use of the videos, dance routines, photos and art work that were created this year and last year. Thanks to all who participated!
See you next year!
Thank you to our 2014 sponsors:
Times Union “Hope Fund’ of the Community Foundation of the Greater Capital Region
Touhey Family Foundation
M&T Charitable Foundation
First Niagara Foundation
Price Chopper’s Golub Foundation
Stewart’s Holiday Match
2013 Young Abolitionist Teen Scholar’s Institute Open House
Bonnets and Bayonets – a Young Abolitionist Fundraiser for URHPCR
Young Abolitionists are enjoying an evening of Victorian dancing at the fundraising program they organized called Bonnets and Bayonets: an Evening of Victorian Dance. The event included dance instruction, live music, refreshments, lively conversation, and lots of laughter. The dance party was held in a 19th century ballroom which added a lovely ambiance to the event.
A special thanks go to our sponsors Troy Councilwoman Lynn Kopka, Dean Michael Baumgardner, Evan Ducreay, Mrs. Eleanor Aronstein, and Ms. Claudia Grossi. All teens are welcome to join in the fun!
More than one-hundred-twenty people turned out for the Young Abolitionist Teen Scholars Institute Open House. We are deeply thankful for the wonderful turnout. We also had some good press for the event. This was a summer youth employment assignment for the bulk of the young people but it was a different kind of work involvimng thinking and creativity. They still havd to show up on time, do the work required, and perform responsibly. But they were asked to decide what direction their projects would go in and then were held accountable for their results. Everyone had a good time and the program was a great success. Nealy all of the program was held outside with some sessions held inside the Myers Residence.
Sponsors included Times Union “Hope Fund” of The Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region, First Niagara Bank Foundation, M & T Bank Charitable Foundation, Citizens Bank Foundation, and KeyBank Foundation, in cooperation with the Siena College Summer Service Scholars Program.
A Greenhouse Meeting – St. Anne Institute and URHPCR Collaboration
The Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region and Saint Anne Institute are partnering for a second year linking together both institutions’ long histories of being a bridge to personal freedom, education, and self-sufficiency. Using a greenhouse on Saint Anne’s property and the expertise of Master Gardeners who tend the garden on the Stephen and Harriet Myers Underground Railroad Historical Site, several young women are learning horticulture from experts. As they plant and tend the garden daily these young at-risk ladies see what hard work and determination yields and learn the invaluable skill and independence of growing their own fruits and vegetables.
Stephen and Harriet Myers would be overjoyed to see their principals still in action today. Born into slavery on or around 1800, Stephen Myers began his life a slave in Hoosick, NY. After gaining his freedom at 18 and beginning married life with Harriet (Johnson) Myers, Stephen quickly became active in assisting freedom seeking slaves at his residence and became very active in Albany’s African American community. Along with assisting hundreds with their journey to freedom, Stephen also was an outspoken proponent and advocate for work and education within the African American community. He was the first superintendent of the school at the Methodist Episcopal Church and started the Albany Suffrage Club, also serving for a time as the President of the New York Suffrage Association. Stephen wrote in several of the days Anti-Slavery papers, and for a time was responsible for publishing and contributing to The Northern Star and Freemans Advocate. Espousing education and job skills along with access to voting rights, Mr. Myers and his wife were dedicated to assisting the people of their community achieving fundamental human rights and access to education and employment.
Saint Anne Institute mirrors the principles of the Myers family in modern day practice. Established locally in 1887 by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, Saint Anne has acted as a haven for young women in need for over 120 years. Beginning as a “school of industry and reformatory of the Good Shepherd” the mission of the time combined work and learning. Several trades including commercial and trade sewing, fine needlework, homemaking, and commerce were taught, and in 1945 a full high school was incorporated as the roles of women in America began to change. With the evolution and changing needs of young women Saint Anne has created programs to support and educate at-risk young people. Currently operating a Regents accredited High School, Saint Anne also offers a Day Services educational program for students who require a more supported school environment, along with an accredited pre-school for children ages 3-4 displaying speech and learning delays. Group therapy, sexual abuse counseling, drug addiction counseling, and grief and loss counseling are all available to the young people who come to Saint Anne in a time of need. An on-grounds Work Experience program is also active: placing young ladies in various departments throughout the agency supporting them in the acquisition of basic job skills. Clerical work, kitchen preparation, the campus clothing shop, and assisting in the pre-school are just a few of the many locations the young women have the opportunity to work.
Both institutions have throughout their histories held one common theme: to provide temporary help in a time of need through education and the building of skills leading to self-sufficiency and personal growth. In the words of Stephen Myers, “We devote all our time to the care of the oppressed who come among us. Our pay is small, but yet we are willing to continue to do what we can for them.” To see the young ladies work with the Master Gardeners, and then plant on the site that Stephen and Harriet Myers helped so many on is a testament to the richness of Albany’s long history and both institutes’ commitment to fundamental human dignity and freedom.Learn More About The Gardening Committee
Mission Statement: Promote and honor the history of Stephen and Harriet Myers and their associates, and promote and honor their relationship with us today.
St. Rose Reach Out Day
Mary Liz talks to the 24 students that came today as part of the Saint Rose Service Day. She told them about the Myers Residence, what their help meant, about their contribution to historic preservation and restoring the neighborhood as well as the history of the house. The young people worked on erecting a fence, planted fruit trees, did some general grounds work, planted flowers and many other tasks. It was a great day! Community volunteers Cecila and Seth also shared in the day and very importantly Daniel added critical know how in helping erect the fence! Thanks Dan!
Among the many projects done by the Reach Out Saint Rose crew on Saturday was the erection of a fence on area bordering the Myers Property from the 99 Third Street property also owned by URHPCR. The fence is to prevent people from using the Myers lot as a cross through to a local convenience store. An alternate path has been created through the Johnson Garden a coupl eo f lots over. The Saint Rose students involved in the fence installation all seemed to be members of the basketball team.
URHPCR Youth in the Times Union
Schuyler Flatts Civil War Encampment
Some of the youth from the URHPCR Young Abolitionists participated in the Civil War Encampment at Schuler Flatts this weekend. We also had a table at the event where we passed out lots of literature about the Underground Railroad and our organization. Our approach to the UGRR stresses documentation, local people, and African American abolitonists, which is different from what most others do. The young people joined in with the other re-enactors. We have been developing a unit re-enacting the 26th USCT Infantry. Our youths joined in with the NY 125th Infantry volunteers for this weekend.
Members of the “Young Abolitionists” youth group meet at the Arbor Hill Library to strategize on grants and explore re-enactment around the story of the US Colored Troops of the Civil War.