Lillion Batchelor, founder of the Buffalo Quarters Historical Society, was honored Tuesday with Erie County’s 2014 Oustanding Contribution by a Senior Award.
The society, founded in 1995, is dedicated to increasing awareness of the significant role the Buffalo region played in the Underground Railroad, a network of safehouses and secret routes used to guide African-Americans escaping from enslavement to freedom during the antebellum era of the 19th century.
Each year, the society presents historical re-enactments of the Niagara River crossing from Broderick Park in Buffalo to Fort Erie, Ont.
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz thanked Batchelor “for her tireless efforts in keeping an important piece of history alive while emphasizing that history’s relevance to Buffalo and Erie County.”
Senior Services Commissioner Randy Hoak added that Batchelor “has brought new understandings of the ordeal faced by freedom-seeking slaves and has focused attention on the critical area of Broderick Park as an essential link on the Underground Railroad.”