The Rise and Decline of Hangroot: A Once Vibrant Round Hill Road-Area Community of Native and African Americans Contributed to Town’s Cultural Heritage

New York Times Journalist and Genealogy Specialist Sheds Light on the History and Humanity of the Native and African Americans in Hangroot through Her Ancestors’ Experiences

Greenwich Historical Society Zoom Lecture: April 20, 6PM

COS COB, March 29, 2021 – Historian and cultural anthropology specialist Teresa Vega will present the rise and decline of Hangroot, a little known and long-lost Greenwich community of Native and African Americans that preceded the 1640 founding of the town. Ms. Vega will provide a fresh perspective on the local inhabitants’ experiences in Hangroot, drawing from her ancestors who lived there for generations.

The Hangroot community was in the area between Lake Avenue, Pecksland Road, Clapboard Ridge Road and just north of Glenville Road, although these boundaries changed over time with the ebb and flow of the African American population. The name “Hangroot” refers to the use of root cellars and storage of winter vegetables hanging from rafters in the basements.

The seminar will offer a fascinating glimpse of the struggles of the Native and African Americans who resided in Greenwich when the town was primarily composed of European settlers. Teresa Vega will also discuss her extended family’s fight to save their “Colored Cemetery” in Byram.

Ms. Vega was featured in a February 28 New York Times article on a young man’s search to discover his ancestry which led him to the once vibrant Hangroot community.

The seminar is part of a series of events sponsored by the Greenwich Historical Society that shine a light on the history, humanity and contributions of enslaved individuals who resided in Greenwich as early as the 1600s. The final event on May 27th will be the installation of “Witness Stone’ markers to recognize four enslaved persons who lived and worked in the Bush House, now Bush-Holley House.

Ms. Vega has a degree in Anthropology from Bowdoin College and worked as an adjunct professor in Cultural Anthropology. She is a member of the NJ and NY Chapters of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society and a BlackProGenLIVE panelist.

For more information and to register:

About Greenwich Historical Society
Greenwich Historical Society was founded in 1931 to preserve and interpret Greenwich history to strengthen the community’s connection to our past, to each other and to our future. The circa 1730 National Historic Landmark Bush-Holley House witnessed slavery and the American Revolution and became the site of Connecticut’s first American Impressionist art colony from 1890 to 1920. Its landscape and gardens are restored based on documentation from the site’s Impressionist era. The campus also includes a nationally accredited museum, library and archives, a museum store, café, and a community education center. Greenwich Historical Society educates thousands of school children annually and connects visitors to the history of this globally influential community through exhibitions, lectures, programs, and events. It receives no town funding and relies on donations and grants to continue its work in education and preservation. Learn more at

Media Contacts
Cai Pandolfino, Greenwich Historical Society,
Laura McCormick, McCormick PR,