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Among those buried in the cemetery at Lakeville (Credit: Jesse Newman)

Among those buried in the cemetery at Lakeville AME Zion Church in Manhasset are several of the church's original founders and veterans from the Civil War and the Spanish-American War as seen in this Jan. 12, 2011 photo. Built in 1833, the church, its cemetery and several houses to the north are all that is left of the historic free black village of Success. The rest of the village has been swallowed up by time, replaced by the North Shore Hospital and Community Drive Medical Center. The corridor of Community Drive that includes the church was designated the Valley Road Historic District by the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. In 2001, the church itself received historic landmark designation. It has been renovated - given new exterior siding - but the interior remains almost unchanged. A steep, narrow staircase winds upward to a second floor full of pews. A wire cable holds the ceiling in place. Among those buried in the cemetery are several of the church's original founders and veterans from the Civil War and the Spanish-American War. Parishioners of the church now number in the tens and are led in prayer on Sundays at 11 a.m. by Reverend Norma Joseph.

Touchstones of black history

Black History is evident at a number of local sites. Some are tucked away; others we pass every day, oblivious to their significance.

One of Samuel Ballton's houses in Greenlawn is
(Credit: Jesse Newman)

One of Samuel Ballton's houses in Greenlawn is 23 Smith Street in Greenlawn. In this photo, the original stairs, taken Jan. 14, 2011. Samuel Ballton was born into slavery on a plantation in Westmoreland, Virginia in 1838. In 1861 he married a slave from a neighboring plantation, named Rebecca. At the start of the Civil War, Ballton was hired out to work as a section hand on the Virginia Central Railroad in the Blue Ridge Mountains. He escaped from slavery several times but always returned to visit his wife. Finally, they escaped together, walking 50 miles in 14 hours to Fredricksburg, and freedom. In 1873, after fighting for the north in a Massachusetts regiment, Samuel and Rebecca arrived in Greenlawn. Ballton was a sharecropper on the Alexander Gardiner farm "the largest farm in Greenlawn" and found success growing pickles and cabbages. He earned the title "Greenlawn Pickle King" in 1899 when he raised 1,500,000 pickles in one season. Ballton also worked as a buying agent for a large Boston pickle house, earning 10 cents per thousand for all that he purchased. Borrowing money from local white farmers, he began to buy land around Greenlawn, build homes, and re-sell the developed plots for a small profit. Ballton brought other black workers from the South to work on his farms and houses during the summer. A successful farmer and landowner and an astute businessman, Ballton encouraged the development of Greenlawn and became a founding member of the community there there. Some of the houses he built are still standing today.

Bicyclists ride by one of Samuel Ballton's houses
(Credit: Greenlawn Historical Association)

Bicyclists ride by one of Samuel Ballton's houses in Greenlawn in this undated photograph. Samuel Ballton was born into slavery on a plantation in Westmoreland, Virginia in 1838. In 1861 he married a slave from a neighboring plantation, named Rebecca. At the start of the Civil War, Ballton was hired out to work as a section hand on the Virginia Central Railroad in the Blue Ridge Mountains. He escaped from slavery several times but always returned to visit his wife. Finally, they escaped together, walking 50 miles in 14 hours to Fredricksburg, and freedom. In 1873, after fighting for the north in a Massachusetts regiment, Samuel and Rebecca arrived in Greenlawn. Ballton was a sharecropper on the Alexander Gardiner farm "the largest farm in Greenlawn" and found success growing pickles and cabbages. He earned the title "Greenlawn Pickle King" in 1899 when he raised 1,500,000 pickles in one season. Ballton also worked as a buying agent for a large Boston pickle house, earning 10 cents per thousand for all that he purchased. Borrowing money from local white farmers, he began to buy land around Greenlawn, build homes, and re-sell the developed plots for a small profit. Ballton brought other black workers from the South to work on his farms and houses during the summer. A successful farmer and landowner and an astute businessman, Ballton encouraged the development of Greenlawn and became a founding member of the community there there. Some of the houses he built are still standing today.

Rebecca Ballton, wife of Samel Ballton, stands in
(Credit: Greenlawn Historical Association)

Rebecca Ballton, wife of Samel Ballton, stands in her apron. Samuel Ballton was born into slavery on a plantation in Westmoreland, Virginia in 1838. In 1861 he married a slave from a neighboring plantation, named Rebecca. At the start of the Civil War, Ballton was hired out to work as a section hand on the Virginia Central Railroad in the Blue Ridge Mountains. He escaped from slavery several times but always returned to visit his wife. Finally, they escaped together, walking 50 miles in 14 hours to Fredricksburg, and freedom. In 1873, after fighting for the north in a Massachusetts regiment, Samuel and Rebecca arrived in Greenlawn. Ballton was a sharecropper on the Alexander Gardiner farm "the largest farm in Greenlawn" and found success growing pickles and cabbages. He earned the title "Greenlawn Pickle King" in 1899 when he raised 1,500,000 pickles in one season. Ballton also worked as a buying agent for a large Boston pickle house, earning 10 cents per thousand for all that he purchased. Borrowing money from local white farmers, he began to buy land around Greenlawn, build homes, and re-sell the developed plots for a small profit. Ballton brought other black workers from the South to work on his farms and houses during the summer.

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The kitchen where Jupiter Hammon likely worked in
(Credit: Jesse Newman)

The kitchen where Jupiter Hammon likely worked in Lloyd Manor, Lloyd Harbor taken Jan. 13, 2011. Jupiter Hammon was born into slavery on Oct. 17, 1711, on the Lloyd estate at what was then called the Manor of Queens Village, on Lloyd's Neck. He was first owned by Henry Lloyd, then passed down through several generations to Joseph Lloyd, and finally, John Lloyd. Hammon enjoyed special favor at Lloyd Manor. Records indicate that he lived inside the house instead of in the slave quarters behind the manor. He received an education in the schoolhouse, learning to read and write alongside other children at the manor, and was granted use of the library. Throughout his life, Hammon's masters encouraged his interest in writing and religious poetry. Hammon handled small financial transactions for the Lloyd family. In 1733, he purchased a Bible with Psalms from his master, Henry Lloyd, for seven shillings and sixpence. Hammon was the first published black poet in America.

Booker T. Washington had a summer home in
(Credit: Jesse Newman)

Booker T. Washington had a summer home in Fort Salonga Jan. 14, 2011. Booker Taliaferro Washington was among the most influential African American leaders and educators of his time. Born a slave in 1856 in Hales Ford, Virginia, Washington rose to prominence as the founder of Alabama's Tuskegee Institute in 1881. As a result of his work as an educator and public speaker, Washington also became influential in business and politics. Washington owned a home in Fort Salonga beginning in early 1911 and spent several summers there. The two-story house near Cousins Lane stands tall though it is in desperate need of repair. It is perched on a hill with a view of the Long Island Sound. During the summers he lived here, he worshiped at the church at Bethel A.M.E. Church in Huntington, where he also taught Sunday school. On May 21, 2003, the town of Huntington placed a historic marker on Cousins Lane to commemorate the spot where Washington and his family spent their summers.

A copy photograph taken Jan. 13, 2011 of
(Credit: Jesse Newman)

A copy photograph taken Jan. 13, 2011 of the "Address to the Negroes in the State of New York", by Jupiter Hammon. Hammon was the first published black poet in America. He was born into slavery on Oct. 17, 1711, on the Lloyd estate at what was then called the Manor of Queens Village, on Lloyd's Neck. He was first owned by Henry Lloyd, then passed down through several generations to Joseph Lloyd, and finally, John Lloyd. Hammon received an education in the schoolhouse, learning to read and write alongside other children at the manor, and was granted use of the library. Throughout his life, Hammon's masters encouraged his interest in writing and religious poetry. Hammon handled small financial transactions for the Lloyd family. In 1733, he purchased a Bible with Psalms from his master, Henry Lloyd, for seven shillings and sixpence. He wrote throughout his life. The last piece he published in 1787, entitled "An Address to the Negroes in the State of New-York." Many critics accuse Hammon of encouraging slaves to be submissive and subservient to their white masters. While he approved of liberty for his fellow slaves, he did not appear want it for himself, "... for my part I do not wish to be free, yet I should be glad if others, especially the young Negroes, were to be free; for many of us who are grown up slaves, and have always had masters to take care of us, should hardly know how to take care of ourselves; and it may be more for our own comfort to remain as we are."

Pyrrhus Concer's tombstone stands in the North End
(Credit: Jesse Newman)

Pyrrhus Concer's tombstone stands in the North End Cemetery in Southampton. Pyrrhus Concer (March 17, 1814 - August 23, 1897) was a former slave from Southampton. After being freed, he became a whaler and piloted ships for Mercator Cooper. Concer was aboard Cooper's ship, "The Manhattan," when it became the first American ship to visit Tokyo, in 1845. In 1845, The Manhattan's crew picked up shipwrecked Japanese sailors in the Bonin Islands. The American boat was allowed to enter Tokyo Harbor under escort to return the sailors. Concer was an object of great curiosity to the Japanese and is depicted in Japanese drawings of the event. The Manhattan preceded Commodore Matthew Perry's expedition to Japan in 1852. In 1849, Concer became a '49-er, heading west as part of the California Gold Rush. Later, he returned to Southampton to operate a ferry service on Lake Agwam. A monument to Concer stands on Pond Lane at the northwest corner of Lake Agwam. He is buried in the North End Cemetery in Southampton, with his wife. The inscription atop his tombstone reads: THOUGH BORN A SLAVE / HE POSSESSED THOSE /VIRTUES, WITHOUT WHICH, / KINGS ARE BUT / SLAVES.

Among those buried in the cemetery at Lakeville
(Credit: Jesse Newman)

Among those buried in the cemetery at Lakeville AME Zion Church in Manhasset are several of the church's original founders and veterans from the Civil War and the Spanish-American War as seen in this Jan. 12, 2011 photo. Built in 1833, the church, its cemetery and several houses to the north are all that is left of the historic free black village of Success. The rest of the village has been swallowed up by time, replaced by the North Shore Hospital and Community Drive Medical Center. The corridor of Community Drive that includes the church was designated the Valley Road Historic District by the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. In 2001, the church itself received historic landmark designation. It has been renovated - given new exterior siding - but the interior remains almost unchanged. A steep, narrow staircase winds upward to a second floor full of pews. A wire cable holds the ceiling in place. Among those buried in the cemetery are several of the church's original founders and veterans from the Civil War and the Spanish-American War. Parishioners of the church now number in the tens and are led in prayer on Sundays at 11 a.m. by Reverend Norma Joseph.

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Among those buried in the cemetery at Lakeville
(Credit: Jesse Newman)

Among those buried in the cemetery at Lakeville AME Zion Church in Manhasset are several of the church's original founders and veterans from the Civil War and the Spanish-American War as seen in this Jan. 12, 2011 photo. Built in 1833, the church, its cemetery and several houses to the north are all that is left of the historic free black village of Success. The rest of the village has been swallowed up by time, replaced by the North Shore Hospital and Community Drive Medical Center. The corridor of Community Drive that includes the church was designated the Valley Road Historic District by the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. In 2001, the church itself received historic landmark designation. It has been renovated - given new exterior siding - but the interior remains almost unchanged. A steep, narrow staircase winds upward to a second floor full of pews. A wire cable holds the ceiling in place. Among those buried in the cemetery are several of the church's original founders and veterans from the Civil War and the Spanish-American War. Parishioners of the church now number in the tens and are led in prayer on Sundays at 11 a.m. by Reverend Norma Joseph.

Frances Terry, 95, plays the piano at a
(Credit: Jesse Newman)

Frances Terry, 95, plays the piano at a Sunday worship service at Lakeville AME Zion Church in Manhasset on Jan. 16, 2011. Terry has been playing piano since she was 9 years old.

Mattie McCloud prays at a Sunday worship service
(Credit: Jesse Newman)

Mattie McCloud prays at a Sunday worship service at Lakeville AME Zion Church in Manhasset Jan. 16, 2011. Built in 1833, the church, its cemetery and several houses to the north are all that is left of the historic free black village of Success. The rest of the village has been swallowed up by time, replaced by the North Shore Hospital and Community Drive Medical Center. The corridor of Community Drive that includes the church was designated the Valley Road Historic District by the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. In 2001, the church itself received historic landmark designation. It has been renovated - given new exterior siding - but the interior remains almost unchanged. A steep, narrow staircase winds upward to a second floor full of pews. A wire cable holds the ceiling in place. Among those buried in the cemetery are several of the church's original founders and veterans from the Civil War and the Spanish-American War. Parishioners of the church now number in the tens and are led in prayer on Sundays at 11 a.m. by Reverend Norma Joseph.

Parishoners pray at a Sunday worship service at
(Credit: Jesse Newman)

Parishoners pray at a Sunday worship service at Lakeville AME Zion Church in Manhasset Jan. 16, 2011. Built in 1833, the church, its cemetery and several houses to the north are all that is left of the historic free black village of Success. The rest of the village has been swallowed up by time, replaced by the North Shore Hospital and Community Drive Medical Center. The corridor of Community Drive that includes the church was designated the Valley Road Historic District by the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. In 2001, the church itself received historic landmark designation. It has been renovated - given new exterior siding - but the interior remains almost unchanged. A steep, narrow staircase winds upward to a second floor full of pews. A wire cable holds the ceiling in place. Among those buried in the cemetery are several of the church's original founders and veterans from the Civil War and the Spanish-American War. Parishioners of the church now number in the tens and are led in prayer on Sundays at 11 a.m. by Reverend Norma Joseph.

The Harold Avenue Cemetery is located west of
(Credit: Jesse Newman)

The Harold Avenue Cemetery is located west of Old Mill Road between Lawrence Place and Harold Avenue in Wantagh. Now a wooded area that lies between two houses on a residential street, it was used by the Jackson family between 1808 and 1862. In 1808, Thomas Jackson, a white Revolutionary War Veteran, sold the 20-acre property to an African American man named Jeffrey Jackson for 20 pounds. Records suggest that Jeffrey Jackson was a former slave of Thomas Jackson. The African-Atlantic Genealogical Society was instrumental in a recent, successful petition to obtain landmark status for the one acre of cemetery ground that had not yet been developed. (Jan. 11, 2011)

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The Harold Avenue Cemetery is located west of
(Credit: Jesse Newman)

The Harold Avenue Cemetery is located west of Old Mill Road between Lawrence Place and Harold Avenue in Wantagh. Now a wooded area that lies between two houses on a residential street, it was used by the Jackson family between 1808 and 1862. In 1808, Thomas Jackson, a white Revolutionary War Veteran, sold the 20-acre property to an African American man named Jeffrey Jackson for 20 pounds. Records suggest that Jeffrey Jackson was a former slave of Thomas Jackson. The African-Atlantic Genealogical Society was instrumental in a recent, successful petition to obtain landmark status for the one acre of cemetery ground that had not yet been developed. (Jan. 11, 2011)

This house at 34 Taylor Avenue is one
(Credit: Jesse Newman)

This house at 34 Taylor Avenue is one of Samuel Ballton's houses in Greenlawn taken Jan. 14, 2011. Samuel Ballton was born into slavery on a plantation in Westmoreland, Virginia in 1838. In 1861 he married a slave from a neighboring plantation, named Rebecca. At the start of the Civil War, Ballton was hired out to work as a section hand on the Virginia Central Railroad in the Blue Ridge Mountains. He escaped from slavery several times but always returned to visit his wife. Finally, they escaped together, walking 50 miles in 14 hours to Fredricksburg and freedom.

This house, at 75 Boulevard, is one of
(Credit: Jesse Newman)

This house, at 75 Boulevard, is one of Samuel Ballton's houses in Greenlawn, taken Jan. 14, 2011. Samuel Ballton was born into slavery on a plantation in Westmoreland, Virginia in 1838. In 1861 he married a slave from a neighboring plantation, named Rebecca. At the start of the Civil War, Ballton was hired out to work as a section hand on the Virginia Central Railroad in the Blue Ridge Mountains. He escaped from slavery several times but always returned to visit his wife. Finally, they escaped together, walking 50 miles in 14 hours to Fredricksburg and freedom.

Samel Ballton looks out at the camera in
(Credit: Greenlawn Historical Association)

Samel Ballton looks out at the camera in this undated photograph. Samuel Ballton was born into slavery on a plantation in Westmoreland, Virginia in 1838. In 1861 he married a slave from a neighboring plantation, named Rebecca. At the start of the Civil War, Ballton was hired out to work as a section hand on the Virginia Central Railroad in the Blue Ridge Mountains. He escaped from slavery several times but always returned to visit his wife. Finally, they escaped together, walking 50 miles in 14 hours to Fredricksburg, and freedom. In 1873, after fighting for the north in a Massachusetts regiment, Samuel and Rebecca arrived in Greenlawn. Ballton was a sharecropper on the Alexander Gardiner farm - the largest farm in Greenlawn - and found success growing pickles and cabbages. He earned the title "Greenlawn Pickle King" in 1899 when he raised 1,500,000 pickles in one season. Ballton also worked as a buying agent for a large Boston pickle house, earning 10 cents per thousand for all that he purchased.

Samel Ballton, stands in uniform in this pendant.
(Credit: Greenlawn Historical Association)

Samel Ballton, stands in uniform in this pendant. Samuel Ballton was born into slavery on a plantation in Westmoreland, Virginia in 1838. In 1861 he married a slave from a neighboring plantation, named Rebecca. At the start of the Civil War, Ballton was hired out to work as a section hand on the Virginia Central Railroad in the Blue Ridge Mountains. He escaped from slavery several times but always returned to visit his wife. Finally, they escaped together, walking 50 miles in 14 hours to Fredricksburg, and freedom. In 1873, after fighting for the north in a Massachusetts regiment, Samuel and Rebecca arrived in Greenlawn. Ballton was a sharecropper on the Alexander Gardiner farm, the largest farm in Greenlawn, and found success growing pickles and cabbages. He earned the title "Greenlawn Pickle King" in 1899 when he raised 1,500,000 pickles in one season. Ballton also worked as a buying agent for a large Boston pickle house, earning 10 cents per thousand for all that he purchased. Borrowing money from local white farmers, he began to buy land around Greenlawn, build homes, and re-sell the developed plots for a small profit. Ballton brought other black workers from the South to work on his farms and houses during the summer.

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Rebecca Ballton, wife of Samel Ballton, stands on
(Credit: Greenlawn Historical Association)

Rebecca Ballton, wife of Samel Ballton, stands on a porch. Samuel Ballton was born into slavery on a plantation in Westmoreland, Virginia in 1838. In 1861 he married a slave from a neighboring plantation, named Rebecca. At the start of the Civil War, Ballton was hired out to work as a section hand on the Virginia Central Railroad in the Blue Ridge Mountains. He escaped from slavery several times but always returned to visit his wife. Finally, they escaped together, walking 50 miles in 14 hours to Fredricksburg, and freedom. In 1873, after fighting for the north in a Massachusetts regiment, Samuel and Rebecca arrived in Greenlawn. Ballton was a sharecropper on the Alexander Gardiner farm, the largest farm in Greenlawn, and found success growing pickles and cabbages. He earned the title "Greenlawn Pickle King" in 1899 when he raised 1,500,000 pickles in one season. Ballton also worked as a buying agent for a large Boston pickle house, earning 10 cents per thousand for all that he purchased. Borrowing money from local white farmers, he began to buy land around Greenlawn, build homes, and re-sell the developed plots for a small profit. Ballton brought other black workers from the South to work on his farms and houses during the summer.

Remnants and houses of the old community of
(Credit: Jesse Newman)

Remnants and houses of the old community of Success still stand in Manhasset such as those in this Jan. 12, 2011 photograph here. Success was an historic free black village that has now mostly been swallowed up by time, replaced by the North Shore Hospital and Community Drive Medical Center. The small community of Success was built on land that was originally used as a black and Native American slave camp. Records dating back to the 1700s indicate that the Matinecock Indians sold the land to an Englishman named John Cornell and were then enslaved there. They married members of the black slave community and together settled on Valley Road. When slavery was abolished in NY in 1827, freed men came to the area in search of homes and land. They too settled on Valley Road and formed the community of Success. Under the leadership of George Smith, a free Mohawk Indian, Success grew into a thriving community of 30 homes. Local residents organized the Lakeville AME Zion congregation in 1820, welcoming escaped and freed slaves, Matinecock Indians and others who were not allowed to worship elsewhere.

Booker T. Washington had a summer home in
(Credit: Jesse Newman)

Booker T. Washington had a summer home in Fort Salonga Jan. 14, 2011. Booker Taliaferro Washington was among the most influential African American leaders and educators of his time. Born a slave in 1856 in Hales Ford, Virginia, Washington rose to prominence as the founder of Alabama's Tuskegee Institute in 1881. As a result of his work as an educator and public speaker, Washington also became influential in business and politics. Washington owned a home in Fort Salonga beginning in early 1911 and spent several summers there. The two-story house near Cousins Lane stands tall though it is in desperate need of repair. It is perched on a hill with a view of the Long Island Sound. During the summers he lived here, he worshiped at the church at Bethel A.M.E. Church in Huntington, where he also taught Sunday school. On May 21, 2003, the town of Huntington placed a historic marker on Cousins Lane to commemorate the spot where Washington and his family spent their summers.

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