New Philadelphia, Illinois, established in 1836 by Frank McWorter, was the first town planned in advance and legally founded by an African American in the United States. The history of the community entails compelling stories of African Americans and European Americans residing in a town founded by an exceptional figure during times of extreme racism. Members of the local and descendant communities, archaeologists, historians, and genealogists have worked together for the past decade to advance research into the remarkable crossroads of families, merchants, farmers, and artisans, and to enhance their place in the national memory and heritage. In considering ways to present the town site and its lessons to broad audiences of visitors, divergences in design preferences can emerge among popular views held by community members and professionals. The New Philadelphia Archaeology Project was initiated in 2002 with principal research efforts combining anthropology, archaeology, history, and African-American studies.