Brooklyn woman fights to keep her historic home

A Brooklyn woman is fighting to keep her historic home, which scholars believe has connections to the Underground Railroad.

Joy Chatel describes her fight to keep her home as a never-ending battle. The conflict started last summer when the city threatened to take Chatel?s property by eminent domain. Now, Chatel is facing foreclosure. Despite her ailing health, she says she will fight to keep her house as long as she has to so that young people can come to her house to experience history.

While it hasn?t been confirmed that Chatel?s home was a part of the Railroad, one historian says losing the building, located at 227 Duffield St., could mean losing a piece of history.

?By saving the building we have the time to do the conclusive fact finding and research these kinds of sites require,? Cheryl Laroche says.

Community members came out to a benefit Friday night to support Chatel and to preserve her house. The benefit was part of a series of upcoming fundraisers aimed to raise enough money to prevent foreclosure of Chatel?s house and to restore it and turn it into a museum.

Chatel?s house is currently open to the public as a cultural center.

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