Created By: The History Center in Tompkins County
Aunt Elsie Brooks, born a slave in Maryland, came to Dryden in 1812. After New York abolished slavery in 1827, she lived with her husband at 24 Wheat Street, and worked as an herbalist and washerwoman. She was important to the African American community with contacts in the white community as well. When she died in 1875, over 800 people attended her funeral at St. James A.M.E. Zion church. It was so well attended that additional supports were needed to keep the floor from falling.
This point of interest is part of the tour: The Southside Loop