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Old Burying Ground Gets New Marker

News and notes from the Town of Huntington.

Old Burying Ground Get New Marker

Town officials, representatives from the Town’s African-American Historic Designation Council and Historic Preservation Commission, and the Huntington Historical Society, recently unveiled a new interpretive marker at the historic Old Burying Ground on Main Street in Huntington.

The Old Burying Ground is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is also a locally designated historic landmark within the Old Town Hall Historic District. Over the course of 300 years, from the first European settlement of the town in the mid-seventeenth century until 1957, as many as 6,000 to 8,000 people may have been buried there. Only 1,250 markers remain. During the American Revolution, British troops built a fort at the top, damaging many of the gravestones.

After it ceased to be used as the Town’s main cemetery, the Old Burying Ground was neglected, resulting in an overgrowth of trees that caused widespread damage. The local chapters of the Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution began cleanup efforts in 1911. The Town assumed regular maintenance starting in the 1920s.

Vandalism increased during and after the suburban population boom of the 1950s. The Town, with matching funds from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, committed itself to the conservation, restoration and preservation of the Old Burying Ground and undertook a multi-year restoration project starting in 2004.

Beginning in 2010, the Town’s African American Historic Designation Council has sponsored semi-annual tours of the burying ground highlighting the African American aspect of its history. It is estimated that about four hundred African Americans, whose graves are interspersed evenly among the majority of European Americans, are buried here. That includes the first recorded African American resident of Huntington, who was enslaved in Africa, brought to Huntington in 1657 and died in 1690. As an outgrowth of those tours, the AAHDC suggested the Town place a detailed historic marker at the site to explain its history.

The marker describes the history of the Old Burying Ground and includes a section entitled, “The African American Connection.”

Tulip Festival Scheduled for Sunday

The Twelfth Annual Huntington Tulip Festival will take place on Sunday, May 6, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Heckscher Park in Huntington. Organizers are anticipating to an even bigger community-driven event this year with activity booths for children, live entertainment, art exhibits and a children's parade

The Festival's performance schedule is as follows:

12:00-12:45 p.m. Chapin Rainbow Stage Performance: Broadhollow Theatre presents “Rapunzel–The Musical” – A Tangled Fairytale! Let down your hair and join Rapunzel, her Prince, and the evil witch for a performance of hair-raising hi-jinx! Presented by the Huntington Arts Council.

1:30-2:15 p.m. Chapin Rainbow Stage Performance: “Pirate School!”- David Engels playing “Billy Bones” presents this comic stage show with an on-their-feet action section. New recruits learn well-crafted “Pirate Lessons” on how to stand, talk, laugh, eat, walk, sing and swashbuckle like pirates. They’ll encounter silly challenges, engage in nonsensical competitions; hear a pirate poem, rap song or alphabet, meet an amazingly life-like puppet – his furry first mate Rocky – and receive a Pirate School diploma at days end.

2:15-2:30 p.m. Historic Children’s Parade: Put your “Pirate” on! – Pirate School’s Billy Bones will lead our re-enactment of the annual children’s parade that followed the 1920 dedication of Heckscher Park. Parade will leave from and return to the Stage audience area (Parents: Please accompany your child in the parade. The Town cannot assume responsibility for your child.)

3:00-3:45 p.m. Chapin Rainbow Stage Performance: “The Broccoli Rob Show”– Singer/Songwriter Robert Poe plays a Super Veggie Hero named
“Broccoli Rob.” Along with other characters (Bruce Leek & Elvis Parsley
among them), he stresses the importance of eating fruits, vegetables
and other high nutrient foods, combining music, comedy, fitness, dance,
and martial arts into an interactive and highly entertaining show.

Visit the Town's website for more information: www.huntingtonny.gov.

Free Boaters Safety Course Offered

A free Boaters Safety Course will be instructed by the Town’s Department of Maritime Services in the Town Board room of Town Hall on Saturday, May 12, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Attendees will receive their boating certificate at the completion of the eight hour program.
 
The course is available for those 10 years and older and it is designed as a comprehensive course teaching fundamentals of safe boating operation including accidents and emergencies, boat operation, equipment, fueling, and navigation.

For more information or to register, please contact the Huntington Harbor Master's office at 351-3255. Residents are also encouraged to visit the NY State Parks website: www.nysparks.com or to call toll free: 1-888-274-6121 to request information.

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