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Jun 30, 2015 1:19 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Pyrrhus Concer Memorial and Dedication Set For August

The existing monument in Agawam Park for Pyrrhus Concer.
Jul 1, 2015 10:30 AM

A historic marker and a street sign dedication of Pond Lane near Southampton’s Agawam Park will be unveiled Sunday, August 16, to celebrate the legacy of Pyrrhus Concer.

The marker will be placed alongside a memorial already located on the property of Mr. Concer’s former home at 51 Pond Lane. In addition, a dedication to Mr. Concer will be added to the Pond Lane street sign.

Mr. Concer was a freed slave as well as a business owner and sailor, and a special guest at the dedication will be Joseph McGill, founder of the Slave Dwelling Project, which seeks to preserve former slave dwellings. Through the nonprofit project, Mr. McGill travels around the country staying overnight in the former homes of slaves, and sheds light on the history of slave dwellings and the people who lived in them. His mission is taking form in New York for the first time ever with the help of the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities and the Halsey House in Southampton Village, where Mr. McGill will be staying during his time here.

Southampton Village Mayor Mark Epley and Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst are two of the other dignitaries scheduled to attend the dedication.

Mr. Concer was born a slave in 1814. He was freed in 1827, then joined a whaling crew out of Sag Harbor and in that capacity was one of the first Americans to visit Tokyo in 1845. He also had owned a water taxi company and captained a small ferry on Lake Agawam.

According to Brenda Simmons, assistant to the mayor and chairwoman of the African American Museum of the East End, officials will be invited to ride on the recently launched Pyrrhus Concer ferry on August 16.

Mr. Concer’s Pond Lane home was demolished in 2014 after much controversy and a lawsuit by the present owners, David Hermer and Silvia Campo, who applied to rebuild on the property, but never rebuilt. Southampton Village salvaged elements of the building, which will be used to reconstruct the historical home. The original, approximately 0.8-acre plot is on the market for about $5 million.

Ms. Simmons said that there may be a possibility of the house being reconstructed at its original site someday, although nothing is set in stone. “This looks like it’s going to be a good ending to his story,” she said of Pyrrhus Concer.

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... Seriously? Epley and Anna can point to where his house used to be - "it was right over there". Move on - let it go - you can't recover from this travesty.
By William Rodney (559), southampton on Jun 30, 15 3:04 PM
1 member liked this comment
I hope the new marker will state that Pyrrhus Consor was born free, and was a servant until age 21. Having been born to a slave mother after July 4, 1799, he was born free. according to New York State law. He was treated like a slave (e.g.) when he was sold for $25 to Elias Pelletreau, in 1819. The sale was conducted despite New York State Legislature's 1817 "Act Relative to Slaves and Servants", which reiterated the servant status of children in Pyrrhus' circumstance. It makes great copy to describe ...more
By JoysettaPearse (1), on Jul 8, 15 5:05 PM