Anonymous donor helps save Peter Crippen House from demolition
A piece of Huntington's Black history was set to be demolished but is now being preserved
An anonymous donor is matching up to $10,000 in donations through March 31 to expand an ongoing archaeological study of the Peter Crippen House to find artifacts that show how slaves in the 1800s lived.
The Peter Crippen House has been around since the mid-1600s and served as the town's first mill before being turned into a residency.
The plan was originally for the controlled demolition and careful preservation of the house. But when a donation came in in 2020, the town of Huntington opted for an archaeological study.
"We want to make sure that anything that is there, any precious memories and part of the Crippin legacy, we can preserve," says Town of Huntington Councilman Salvatore Ferro. "And then once we do that, we can start looking at when we preserve the home."
The 1653 Foundation joined Huntington in 2021's crowdfunding campaign for the expanded dig - the project was easy to get behind.
"Because that is our mission," says Barry Lite, a member of the 1653 Foundation. "To be a part of, to highlight and show all the aspect of the rich history that is Huntington and preserve those stories, those symbols and that history."
The foundation says it has raised over $6,000 as it continues to work toward its goal of raising $20,000 to $25,000 in hopes of preserving the house and possibly building a museum to showcase its history.