This page offers the most typical questions we are asked. If your question is not listed, please e-mail it to us and we’ll post the answer for you. Thanks for contributing.
|Q. How can I learn more about your tours?
A. Depending on the tour … For more information, please see our Tours, e-mail us, or call us at (585) 482-5192. We look forward to serving you!
|Q. How many people can you have in a group?
A. What did you have in mind? Our customization keeps us flexible enough to host groups of various sizes. We take into account the length of the tour and the itinerary, along with the number of people. You may wish to add lunch and/or dinner for our extended tours (we’ll help you with recommendations), and some venues may have suggested seating or size requirements. We can plan around any such restrictions with staggered hours, simultaneous tours, or other creative strategies if you are planning a large tour.
|Q. What age groups are appropriate for the tour?
A. Most ages are appropriate. A general rule of thumb is to start with school-aged children and keep going as long as that person can handle the amount of walking (from light to long) inherent in your tour. We cannot recommend infants or toddlers; if you have any question with respect to age appropriateness, please contact us at (585) 482-5192 or via e-mail at your convenience.
|Q. Do you provide transportation?
A. Our tour price does not include the cost of transportation. We can, however, help facilitate your choice of a bus company. Based on your tour itinerary, we can also help answer questions regarding best arrival times at the Rochester International Airport, and what you may expect in the way of common security issues and practices, and how to navigate from the airport to your hotel.
|Q. Is the tour handicapped accessible?
A. We can customize your itinerary to favor handicapped accessible locations, and give you preferential treatment to ease any physical limitation you may have. We do need to know the breadth of your ability before we begin making tour suggestions and arrangements. We will advise you if a location you would like to explore does not meet Federal handicapped accessibility standards or if it does but may still pose discomfort for you. This is also a good time to tell us about any special needs you may have so that we may plan for them.
|Q. Is it a guided tour?
A. Very much so!
|Q. What time of year is best for the tour?
A. That depends on the type of environment you prefer. We start tours as early as April and continue, bearing in mind Rochester’s penchant for colder weather, as late as October. If you are invigorated by the first blush of spring, you’ll love trekking through historic Mt. Hope Cemetery after the hardy crocus raises its head. If you prefer the dependable warmth of bright sunshine, you can plan a summer tour. Just tell us what climate you prefer and we’ll customize the perfect tour for you!
|Q. What programs do you offer?
A. We feature programs with cultural reenactors (talented actors who bring documented histories and oral traditions to life). We have specialty programs for middle- and high-school educators including our residency program, and outside-the-box “edu-tainment” for conventions and family reunions like dinner theatre vignettes – a unique experience for mixed age groups!
|Q. Who coined the “Afro-Rochester” phrase?
A. Howard Wilson Coles. He was an author, humanitarian, sociologist, Realtor, civil rights activist, journalist, and Rochester NY’s first music/news host. He coined the phrase “Afro-Rochester” in the 1930’s. Read about Mr. Coles and his collection.
|Q. How can I learn more about your tours?
A. Thank you for your inquiry. You can check our “Tours” page, download our rack card, or e-mail us with your historical interest area.You can call us at (585) 482-5192, or visit if you are local or plan to be in the area prior to your tour date. Based on your feedback, we will use our expertise to select the historical events, and people and points of interest, that ultimately create your customized experience grounded in American history. When the big day arrives, you’ll embark upon the tour that’s perfectly right for you.
Let’s talk about Riverwalk:
|Q. Who used The Underground Railroad?
A. You walk in honorable footsteps when you tour The Underground Railroad.
Over and over again the escaping people repeated the cryptic directions whispered by the farmer, the preacher, and the agent who sent them on from the last station. They came running, walking, riding, concealed beneath produce-filled wagons; camouflaged by the forested night. Their goal was freedom; their beacon was a star … the North Star. Nowhere did it shine brighter than in Rochester, NY, declared by Frederick Douglass to be the city where he would always feel more at home than anywhere else in the country. Douglass’s 25 years in Rochester were energized by alliances and friendships with Harriet Tubman, Issac and Amy Post, and Susan B. Anthony, all abolitionist stars in their own right.
Let’s talk about Riverstroll:
|Q. What is The Riverstroll?
A. It’s a stroll through history! This itinerary showcases the life and times of three historical figures who settled in western New York during the 19th century: Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony. Collectively, they created an amazing mosaic in American History. Not only were they recognized nationally for their abolitionist activities, but also for their outstanding contribution to achieving peace, freedom and equality in this country.We explore the historical roots of Harriet Tubman, Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass in Rochester and their involvement with the Underground Railroad. A talented cast of reenactors bring these and other brave supporters, native to the area, to life with compelling accounts of historical incidents which allowed hundreds of fugitive slaves to pass through Rochester on-route to Canada and freedom.Some of the Underground Railroad ran along Main Street; sometimes it was the Genesee River. Douglass and other agents knew the street and the river route. You will learn them too. See Richardson’s barn and the Warrant Homestead; documented stops on the Underground Railroad. Visit Kelsey’s Landing, on the Genesee River, where Frederick Douglass helped fugitives board boats to Canada. You’ll see the bronze statue of Douglass, find his last house and his final resting place. And there’s still much more in store for you!
Let’s talk about Freedom Trail, East:
|Q. Can I add more stops to a tour?
A. Yes, you can!
Our “Freedom Trail, East” tour begins with a visit to the New York home of Harriet Tubman. Stops at the Women’s Hall of Fame and the Women’s Rights National Park can also be arranged.