An official Path Through History Site! Founded in the 1820s, Seneca Village, on the island of Manhattan, was the first significant community of African American property owners in Manhattan and became home to several other minorities as well, including English, Irish, and German immigrants. It existed from 1825 through 1857, when it was torn down for the construction of Central Park. Archaeological excavations of Seneca Village took place in the summer of 2011. They excavated over 250 bags of artifacts, such as the bone handle of a toothbrush and the leather sole of a child’s shoe. Today, the site of the village is interpreted through guided tours that focus on the historic community, its inhabitants, and life in New York City at that time.