Gaston, an enslaved young man in the Peter Hammond household, had a role in the founding days of Hammond.  His notable resting place with one of the founding families of Hammond creates an air of intrigue around the details of his relationship with the Hammonds - especially since it appears that he is the only enslaved person whose remains lay in this site.

We are not sure what his role was in the family, however.  All we have confirmed at this point is:

The headstone for gaston currently reads, "unnamed slave boy"

The headstone for gaston currently reads, "unnamed slave boy"

1.    Remains that have yet to be officially identified by name lay in the Peter Hammond grave site

2.    These remains are currently known as "Unnamed Slave By" by a head stone

3.    Before the current headstone, the grave was not formally marked

4.    Peter Hammond owned 8 enslaved people as of 1850

5.    The City of Hammond was entrusted with the Peter Hammond grave site upkeep in 1992

 

The Hammond Historic District's role in this project is currently to facilitate research and move forward with the story of Gaston via the following three-part plan:

FIRST:  There was a wreath-laying ceremony at the grave site on Wednesday, November 1st (All Saints' Day), 2017.  This was to honor this individual who has laid there without much recognition for more than 150 years. 

SECOND:  Solicit the help of the community to find out more about this individual - in particular to confirm his name. 

THIRD:  Plan a ceremony to celebrate the changing of the current marker.

While this is just one project, the intention is to use it as a template in moving forward with other projects celebrating inclusion in the history of Hammond.  If you have an idea for another project, feel free to reach out to the office at historicdistrict@hammond.org!


 
Velmarae Dunn Article Page 1.jpg

Through a 1969 Hammond Vindicator Article called "The Mighty Hammond Oak"...

... a name has preliminarily been found for the "Unnamed Slave Boy" who is currently in the Peter Hammond grave site! 

However, since this is only one source, the Hammond Historic District Commission is now looking to confirm that name as well as research more into Gaston's life.  Hammond is an historic community and therefore we need your help to uncover more about Gaston!

What documents, connections, or lore might your family or friends know of that could lead to Gaston?  What unique locations do you think details might be found?  Leads can come from everywhere and are unpredictable!  Check out the research we have done so far to discover how you might be able to assist.

Or you can click around the Table of Contents above to search the site for more info and helpful links.

 


 

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