Restoring the Historic Salem Chapel

Preserve the Legacy of Harriet Tubman & the Freedom-Seekers!

The Salem Chapel in St. Catharines, Canada, is a small 7-member church with an enormous legacy. Would you consider joining Ray Adamyk, Unity Day LA and Spectra Company in restoring it to its proper place in history? 

The Legacy

Harriet Tubman is one of the most lauded and recognized figures in U.S. history. Born in Maryland around 1822 into slavery, she successfully escaped in 1849 to Philadelphia. Once free, she returned to Maryland no less than 13 times over the course of a decade to rescue others from the community, guiding them approximately 415 miles through the Underground Railroad—a series of secret places and routes—until they were finally safe.

In 1850, the U.S. Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act, making it legal for runaway slaves to be captured and returned to their owners. Since the northern states were no longer safe for escaped slaves, Harriet Tubman extended the Underground Railroad to a small church in a small city located 15 miles into Canada. As the last stop of the Underground Railroad, Salem Chapel ended up being the place where American slaves were finally free.

As Harriet Tubman was devoutly religious, and Salem Chapel became the church where she worshipped from 1851 to 1861. It was recognized by the government of Canada as a National Historic Site in 1999, and in 2005, Harriet Tubman received a national designation.

Today, the Salem Chapel continues to serve as a religious institution, as well as a “Sacred Destination" and international tourist attraction. 

The Problem

Fast-forward to today. Salem Chapel is a 165-year-old building, and needs a construction partner with expertise in historical reconstruction in order to fully restore it as a monument to its historical landmark status.

Upon learning of the cause and history of the church, Ray Adamyk—a childhood resident of St. Catharines and owner of Spectra Company—decided to take on its mission to renovate the Salem Chapel.

Our goal is to restore Salem Chapel to its original grandeur, so that when a visitor comes in, they’ll find themselves standing in a place that Harriet Tubman herself determined to be a suitable haven for worship and shelter for her friends and family.

As it is restored, the Chapel will bring thousands of visitors from all over the world to St. Catharines. And as they stand on this hallowed ground, they will learn about the person of Harriet Tubman and visible testimony of how diverse communities can come together for the welfare of slaves and refugees—regardless of race, nationality, or religion. The site will also house a museum.

If we don't preserve Salem Chapel, we will lose the physical monument to Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad in Canada. We will also lose her legacy and message of sacrifice and service for others, and the unification of communities will be diminished.

“I feel a spiritual connection to Harriet,” said Adamyk. “She wanted freedom for others, and I do as well. Harriet wanted people to unite around the undoing of evil, which in her time was the material slavery of persons. In my time, I want to see people unite around the undoing of other evils, namely the division fueled by hate, bias, prejudice, racism and ignorance that not only enslaves us to these vices, but also holds our culture back from being truly free.”

“There is something very powerful about the term ‘Freedom-Seeker’,” continued Adamyk. “We are all freedom-seekers in some form. I want to use this special connection to Harriet and the Salem Chapel to remind people that that freedom belongs to all, and we can unite around reconciliation, repentance, forgiveness, and building a future where we are free from any kind of shackle—material, economic or spiritual.”

Will You Help?

We can’t do this alone. We need YOU and the broader community to support this campaign and carry on the legacy of Harriet Tubman.

Be a vital part of this movement. Consider what you can give, and help us spread awareness to others!

All contributions to this campaign will be tax deductible.

To learn more, visit our website: https://www.Ptowne.com/UnityDayLA

 

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Organizer

Ray Adamyk 
Organizer
Pomona, CA
Village Pomona 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.