Gillfield, one of Petersburg's earliest black neighborhoods, was first included within Petersburg's boundaries in 1784, but was not annexed into the city until 1798. During the antebellum period, a number of Free Blacks owned and operated businesses on Gill and Halifax Streets, while hired-out enslaved laborers worked in the nearby tobacco factories and warehouses. After the Civil War, many new black businesses flourished and by 1900, Gillfield was one of the largest black neighborhoods in Petersburg, continuing to be an important black commercial and residential neighborhood into the mid-20th century. In the 1970's, urban renewal cleared most of the old neighborhood, displacing hundreds of families.
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Geographical and Contact Information
Around Gill and Halifax Streets Petersburg, VA 23803
Cite this Page:
Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, “Gillfield Neighborhood,” African American Historic Sites Database, accessed November 23, 2017, http://www.aahistoricsitesva.org/items/show/172.