New Guinea Community

This page is hosted and curated by the Dutchess County Historical Society in support of the work the Town of Hyde Park is doing to raise the profile and understanding of the men, women and children of the New Guinea community. ~ Bill Jeffway, Executive Director.

First Profiled by DCHS in 1939

The site of the pre-Civil War free Black community at Hyde Park’s Hackett Hill Park is now on the national register of historic places, and was first profiled in the DCHS Yearbook of 1939. DCHS is proud to have earned the trust of the Town of Hyde Park as the archival repository of the archaeological artifacts owned by the Town. We are delighted to support the Town of Hyde Park’s ambitious and notable plans to raise the visibility of the stories of the local men, women and children who blazed trails, who lived, worked and died at a transformative time in American history with a view to having a more ambitious and accessible educational experience by the 200th anniversary of the end of Slavery in New York State.

Right: Two articles from DCHS Yearbooks 1939 and 1941 give good background on the site and general location.

Below: Bright Spark in Freedom’s Pursuit Documentary

Artifacts from archaeological work

Fifty archival boxes hold artifacts owned by the Town of Hyde Park from an archaeological project of several years.

These fireplace thongs are particularly interesting because they were found in the basement of the Primus Martin house.

The date is not legible on the penny found at the New Guinea site, but you can see what the coin would have looked like when new.

Above right: nails found onsite. Above left: ad for Hunting Sherrill nail factory. Sherrill owned and sold to free Blacks a good deal of land around Fredonia Lane. His factory was on the Crum Elbow Creek south west of Fredonia Lane.