Among the artifacts unearthed in this patch of Arbor Hill: shards of china. Chunks of ceramics. A rusty steel disc. A little white stem from a clay pipe manufactured by Peter Dorney. A swamp-root kidney cure produced by a doctor in Binghamton. Such morsels of history were exhumed from a freshly dug series of pits in a rear lot on Livingston Avenue, where instructors and students in the University at Albany Archaeology Field School worked a summer course focusing on African-American history and Albany’s role in the abolitionist movement.
Also missed is the narrative behind all the slavery-era routes and safe houses: “Really great history, and really great stories” that bring to life a critical era in the history of the nation, the city and Arbor Hill, he said. Stephen and Harriet Myers lived at 194 Livingston Ave. for just a few years in the 1850s — back then, it was 198 Lumber St. — but the four-story brick town house hosted significant abolitionist gatherings, and it’s the only former Myers home still standing.
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