Archaeological Dig Conducted at The Peter Crippen House

The Peter Crippen House, a site of significance to the Town of Huntington’s African American history, was the subject of a recent archaeological study directed by Dr. Allison McGovern. Sarah Kautz, Preservation Long Island’s Director of Preservation and Advocacy Services, attended the second day of the archaeological dig that began on January 7, 2021.

Preservation Long Island supports the project and is proud to be a part of this important work with community stakeholders including the Town of Huntington’s African American Historic Designation Council, Huntington Town Historian, and descendants to document and recognize this historic Peter Crippen homestead.

The property was purchased in 1864 by Peter Crippen (ca. 1807–February 6, 1875), an African American man born into a free family of color living on a plantation in Virginia. This plantation was owned by a devout Quaker abolitionist named Thomas Crippen (ca. 1760–1786) and his daughter Sarah “Sally” Crippen (1784–1856), who originally manumitted all of the enslaved people at their plantation as early as 1782, including members of Peter’s family, who continued to live there.

Peter Crippen eventually came to Huntington in the 1830s, arriving to work at the Crossman brickyards on Lloyd Neck in 1836. He became a prominent member of Huntington’s African American community and a founding member of the African Methodist Ebenezer Church in Huntington (currently the Bethel AME Church). For more information, please see the property’s official Determination of Eligibility for the National Register of Historic Places issued by the New York State Historic Preservation Office in November 2020.

The Peter Crippen House is among the nominees for Preservation Long Island’s 2021 Endangered Historic Places Program. We look forward to working together with the Town of Huntington and local community members to learn more about the property and the Crippen family!

Some early findings from the archaeological dig at the Peter Crippen House in January 2021. (Credit: Town of Huntington)

To learn more about the Peter Crippen House Archaeological Dig, we have provided links to recent media coverage about the project:

Town of Huntington Press Release