The Center for AntiSlavery Studies


By 1840 the black population of Montrose had reached 48 and a group of black residents organized an official congregation by 1844. The assemblage met in a small building erected on Spruce Street. On December 17, 1847, David Post deeded a lot on Berry Street to Charles Hammond containing about 3280 square feet.

AME Church Old

The AME Zion Church and its congregants in the 1940's

Charles Hammond was a former slave who had escaped from Maryland in 1842 via the Underground Railroad with local help from the Post families. This property became the site for the A.M.E. Zion Church built in 1859.

The Reverend Jermaine Loguen, known as "The Underground Railroad King of New York State," himself a former slave, pastored the Berry Street Church from 1861 to 1864 in conjunction with the Trinity A.M.E. Zion Church in Binghamton, New York. His personal friendships with all the nationally known Underground Railroad personalities such as Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, and John Brown, to name a few, lend credence to the idea that these people, too, may have passed through Susquehanna County.

The little church closed its doors permanently in 1975, becoming abandoned by the larger conference. CASS acquired a lease on the property in the late 1990's with hopes of restoring it for use as a worship center, a meeting place and a museum. Current status includes:

Processing narratives to acquire status on the National Register of Historic Places.

Refurbishing the basement for office space and meeting room

Seeking grant monies to restore the sanctuary and to preserve the integrity of the structure

AME Church New

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