“The citizens of our patriotic town are erecting a fine town hall which is to cost from $10,000.… Mr. Isaac Johnson, a colored gentleman from West Winchester, Ont. is the contractor and one of the best architects in the country.”
This statement from the Gouverneur Free Press in July, 1884 references a construction project in Waddington under the supervision of an African American stone mason who recently moved his family from Canada to this small community in St. Lawrence County located between Ogdensburg and Massena. After having been born into enslavement in the South before the War Between the States, Johnson became a self-made, polished professional. » Continue Reading.