7. Attend a Tour of Seneca Village

A tour group at the Seneca Village site in Central ParkPhoto courtesy Central Park Conservancy

In the lead up to Valentine’s Day, honor Black History Month with a tour of Seneca Village, a middle-class, mostly African American village in what is now Central Park from 81st to 89th Streets that prospered in the first half of the 1800s. Seneca Village, founded in around 1825, had about 250 residents, several churches, and a school. The village was one of the first African-American enclaves of the time and allowed African-American residents to escape from the racism that lingered after the 1827 abolition of slavery in New York. However, in 1853, the New York State Legislature enacted a law setting aside 775 acres of land for the creation of Central Park, and by 1857 all Seneca Village residents had to leave.

For Untapped New York Insiders only, there are still spots open on our February 16th tour that explores the history of the village and recent archaeological discoveries. Led by Central Park Conversancy’s Historian Marie Warsh, the tour will include remnants of historical features such as the Village’s churches, individual houses, and natural features.