Items believed to be used by slaves found at Lott House in Marine Park

The Lott House in Marine Park holds items with historical significance, especially during Black History Month.

News 12 Staff

Feb 14, 2019, 12:49 PM

Updated 1,890 days ago

Share:

Items believed to be used by slaves found at Lott House in Marine Park
The Lott House in Marine Park holds items with historical significance, especially during Black History Month.
The Lott family lived on a plot of land in Marine Park when it was known as the town of Flatlands. At one point, the family owned a dozen slaves to take care of their farmland. 

"At a time New York had the second highest per capita of enslaved persons in the United States, second only to Charleston, South Carolina,” says Alyssa Loorya, vice president of Friends of the Lott House.
A portion of the house was built in 1720 and the other half in 1800. While doing archaeology work in 1999, crews noticed a trap door that only locked from the outside. They they found astaircase and the stairs would come out into the kitchen.

"On one side we had the corn cobs in the shape of a cross or an “x” a mark that is tied to the Bakongo Cosmogram, and on the other side we had other items which later we realized to be a spirit cash, a pouch tied with hemp string, pelvis of a sheep or a goat, an oyster shell that had a spat, a little baby oyster on it,” says Loorya.

It is believed they were ritual items used by some of the enslaved people on the property.

"It would make sense to have some kind of a warding, what can I say, a warding symbol in there to keep them safe. They would have wanted it,” says H. Arthur Bankoff, professor of Anthropology and Archaeology at Brooklyn College.

The slaves on the property were all freed by 1805. Years later, it may have been a stop on the underground railroad. 

"The room at the top of the stairs that had a closet within a closet,” says Bankoff.

Both Bankoff and Loorya believe the house is not only important to black history, but the history of New York City.
They say they will continue to work on restoring the home and digging up more archaeological finds.


More from News 12
2:05
Police: 2 men wanted for stealing $2,000 from Bay Ridge store at gunpoint

Police: 2 men wanted for stealing $2,000 from Bay Ridge store at gunpoint

1:48
Dreary and gusty with cool temperatures for NYC; tracking rain for Friday night

Dreary and gusty with cool temperatures for NYC; tracking rain for Friday night

1:58
Explore the seasonal flora and fauna unique to Prospect Park in Brooklyn

Explore the seasonal flora and fauna unique to Prospect Park in Brooklyn

0:25
Police: Person of interest in custody following bomb squad investigation in Midwood

Police: Person of interest in custody following bomb squad investigation in Midwood

1:44
Dyker Heights elementary school students send letters and care packages to at-risk military veterans

Dyker Heights elementary school students send letters and care packages to at-risk military veterans

0:24
NYPD: Man walks into East Flatbush hospital, dies from gunshot wounds

NYPD: Man walks into East Flatbush hospital, dies from gunshot wounds

0:23
Man hospitalized following brutal stabbing in Brownsville, police say

Man hospitalized following brutal stabbing in Brownsville, police say

0:23
Spring Arrival: Hummingbirds heading to New York

Spring Arrival: Hummingbirds heading to New York

1:34
NYPD says new campaign has lowered crime citywide; some New Yorkers don’t buy it

NYPD says new campaign has lowered crime citywide; some New Yorkers don’t buy it

2:18
Landlord battling pancreatic cancer fighting to evict squatter

Landlord battling pancreatic cancer fighting to evict squatter

2:10
NYS Federation of Taxi Drivers offer $5,000 reward after string of carjackings and robberies

NYS Federation of Taxi Drivers offer $5,000 reward after string of carjackings and robberies

2:09
Federal civil rights complaint filed against NYC Public Schools Athletic League

Federal civil rights complaint filed against NYC Public Schools Athletic League

1:37
Affordable housing projects coming to Boerum Hill

Affordable housing projects coming to Boerum Hill

1:42
NY Road Runners announce new initiative with NYC Public Schools

NY Road Runners announce new initiative with NYC Public Schools

1:59
Police: Around $62,000 worth of jewelry stolen from 2 Williamsburg stores in separate incidents

Police: Around $62,000 worth of jewelry stolen from 2 Williamsburg stores in separate incidents

Police: Driver arrested in crash that killed 10-year-old girl in Williamsburg

Police: Driver arrested in crash that killed 10-year-old girl in Williamsburg

1:54
Brooklyn residents flock to Brooklyn Museum for pop-up 'Flower Flash'

Brooklyn residents flock to Brooklyn Museum for pop-up 'Flower Flash'

1:37
Parents fight to stop Visitation Academy in Bay Ridge from closing

Parents fight to stop Visitation Academy in Bay Ridge from closing

0:32
Group of parents launches coalition to deal with class sizes in New York City

Group of parents launches coalition to deal with class sizes in New York City

2:39
Man fatally shot in Mount Eden identified by police

Man fatally shot in Mount Eden identified by police