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Michigan Street Baptist Church Archaeological Dig
Fridays & Saturdays, June 1st - August 31st, 2024


The Buffalo Niagara Freedom Station Coalition, owners of the Michigan Street Baptist Church,  is thrilled to announce the continuation of its excavation project with the University at Buffalo Archaeological Survey. Since 2021, UB’s dedicated team has been meticulously working at the site, unearthing significant findings that shed light on the rich history of the church and its surrounding community.


To date, the excavations have successfully re-located several foundational structures and unearthed over 2000 artifacts. These findings offer invaluable insights into the lives of those who built and frequented this iconic establishment, further solidifying its place in Buffalo's historical narrative.


Archaeological Demonstrations for the Public

Starting June 1st and running through August 31st, 2024, we will be hosting an archaeological dig for community observation only, tentatively scheduled for Fridays and Saturdays. These events will offer a unique opportunity for community members and visitors to observe our team in action, ask questions, and learn about the fascinating discoveries being made at this historic site. This includes insights into the life of Mary B. Talbert, whose home once stood on the land we are excavating. 


Born on September 17, 1866, in Oberlin, Ohio, Talbert graduated from Oberlin College in 1886 and quickly advanced in her career in education, becoming assistant principal of Union High School in Little Rock by 1887. After moving to Buffalo in 1891, she became an active member of the Michigan Street Baptist Church and helped establish the Phyllis Wheatley Club of Buffalo in 1899. Talbert also served two terms as President of the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs, playing a vital role in advocating for civil rights and women's suffrage.


Event Details:

Dates: Fridays & Saturdays, June 1st - August 31st, 2024

Location: Michigan Street Baptist Church, 511 Michigan Ave, Buffalo, NY

Time: 10am-3pm

About the Buffalo Niagara Freedom Station Coalition

The Michigan Street Baptist Church holds a special place in the history of Buffalo and the nation. As one of the oldest Black churches in Western New York, it played a crucial role in the Underground Railroad, serving as a beacon of hope and refuge for countless individuals seeking freedom. The Buffalo Niagara Freedom Station Coalition was formed in 2001 by Bishop William Henderson to help manage the maintenance and restoration of the historic Church. 


About Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor

As an advocate for the community, the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor Commission endeavors to integrate the African American cultural significance and impact on Buffalo’s history through public engagement, community education that will encourage cultural appreciation, preservation, and community development.


About University at Buffalo Archaeological Survey

The Archaeological Survey is part of the Department of Anthropology and the University at Buffalo (UB). We manage artifact collections and information about archaeological sites in western New York. Our site files contain information on over 4,500 different archaeological sites and represents the most comprehensive information source pertaining to cultural resources in western New York. We also have an extensive reference and map library.

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