An anonymous donor who has pledged to match donations for the Peter Crippen House project has extended his offer through March 31.
“We Huntingtonians are proud of our rich history, but in the past, we have failed to recognize the role played by people of color in building our community,” the donor said. “I’m heartened to see this changing through the efforts of the African American Historic Designation Council and local historical societies with the support of the Town Board.”
Donations will be used to fund the completion of the archaeology study begun in 2021, and additional funds would assist in moving the dilapidated house to a nearby site better suited to its long-term preservation, and restoring the house to its 19th Century appearance.
The offer was first made in October, with approximately $1,600 in donations collected so far. Donations can be made at https://1653foundation.org/
“We have a chance to do something special with this historic home and help rectify the past neglect of Huntington’s African American history,” said Supervisor Ed Smyth. “Our residents and businesses have the unique opportunity right now to help save a unique piece of Huntington’s Black history before it’s too late.”
Barry Lites of the nonprofit 1653 Foundation said, “As a new Board Member of the 1653 Foundation, I am thrilled to be a part of discovering Huntington’s rich past, especially as it pertains to the Crippen House. The monies we raise go directly to uncovering and revealing what was once thought to be gone, allowing us to preserve it for generations to come.”
The current exhibit at the Huntington History and Decorative Arts Museum at the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Building includes a display on the Peter Crippen House and plans for its future preservation.
The property on Creek Road served as the home of Peter Crippen, an early African American community leader, and his family for nearly 140 years. Crippen was a founder of Bethel AME Church, the first African American church in Huntington.