Grape Belt Digital Collection

We are thrilled to introduce you to the dynamic Grape Belt Digital Collection, a treasure trove of photographs, newspaper articles, correspondence, physical objects, and promotional materials compiled by John Thomas Slater. We are adding new items weekly, ensuring there’s always something new to discover.

Visit the collection today!

The Lake Erie Grape Belt Archive is the result of 12 years of meticulous research conducted by John Thomas Slater, supported by a small study group of local historians and dozens of individual, organizational, and institutional contributors from northern Chautauqua County, New York and eastern Erie County, Pennsylvania. Fredonia’s Darwin R. Barker Historical Museum was one of the early supporters of and contributors to the research project. Comprised of thousands of photos, documents, ephemera, and other historical resources, the Archive served as the foundation for Slater’s book, LEGENDS OF THE CHAUTAUQUA-ERIE GRAPE BELT, published in late 2023 by Western New York Heritage. Since much of the material in the Archive was preserved in digital format, in mid-2022, the Barker Museum was selected to take the body of work to the next level, making the Archive accessible and available to the public via the Internet. – John Thomas Slater