Town Honors Black Pioneer With Street Renaming

Huntington officials honored an African American pioneer Wednesday by adding his name to Creek Road where his home still stands.

Peter Crippen, who was born about 1809 on a Virginia plantation, came to Huntington to work in a brickyard about 1836. He was one of seven founders of the African Methodist Ebenezer Church in Huntington, which became Bethel AME Church, where he served as a trustee. He was a leader in the Black community of Huntington and was the first Black  property owner in town. He died in 1875.

His home on Creek Road, which is now also Peter Crippen Way, is in dilapidated condition but the town is studying ways to preserve the historic structure. Members of the Crippen family lived in the home for more than 150 years, and it was acquired by the town in 2019, with the intention of tearing it down to make room for a parking lot. But residents protested, and the town agreed to preserve it for its historical value.

Several town officials, including Town Council members Ed Smyth, Mark Cuthbertson, Joan Cergol and Gene Cook and Supervisor Chad Lupinacci,  members of the African American Historic Designation Council, the Crippen family, State Sen. Jim Gaughran and others participated in renaming the street.  They also placed a historical marker on the property and Gaughran presented the family with a proclamation from the State Senate.

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