Historic District or Historic Community

Site Type curated by: The African American Historic Sites Database Team

Historic Districts & Communities in Virginia

Locations for Site Type

Historical Significance Birdville was annexed to Petersburg in 1816 and remained undeveloped into the 1870's, except for the City Almshouse and the cemeteries which have since been removed. By the early 1900's, it had become a predominantly black…

Historical Significance Blandford was established as a town in 1748 and became part of the city of Petersburg in 1784. Blandford Church (1735), is the oldest surviving building in Petersburg today. During the antebellum period, two clusters of free…

Historical Significance African-American life in Alexandria began in the Bottoms. The area was settled in 1798 by two Free Black families who built small frame houses on South Alfred Street. The houses fronted a dirt road that led to a swampy area…

Historical Significance Bunker Hill was annexed to Petersburg in 1816 and was fairly well-populated by 1860. A white middle-class population lived in the north, near Poplar Lawn, while a small black population lived in the southern section. Black…

Historical Significance Charles B. Holt was born in North Carolina in 1872. Eventually he moved to Charlottesville, where he worked as a carpenter, locksmith, and umbrella and furniture repairman. Holt became proprietor of his own repair shop and,…

Historical Significance The Cross Canal neighborhood was a quiet rural area during the Civil War, named for its position just across the Alexandria Canal at the northeast tip of the city. Barges moved cargoes of grain, whiskey, lumber, or coal…

Historical Significance The African-American community at Dry Fork began around 1880, when freed slaves purchased land in the area, and remains Bland County's only African-American district. Most of Dry Fork's 250 residents live today on tracts of…

Historical Significance Within three years after gaining his freedom in 1800, Dominick Barecroft (formerly known as "Dominy") was running a grocery store and tavern on the west side of North Fairfax Street. By 1804, Barecroft had saved the $59…

Historical Significance The historic community of Edenmont was annexed to Petersburg in 1816. It is bounded on the west by the Petersburg Railroad (now CSX), which was built in the 1930's. Edenmont remained largely undeveloped until after the Civil…

Historical Significance Eureka, also known as the Fifth Ward, was annexed to Petersburg in 1816. Originally part of the Pridesfield neighborhood to the north, in the early 19th century the area developed in response to the growth of the canal basin,…

Historical Significance 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…

Historical Significance The Hayti neighborhood grew from a nucleus of free black homes in the 1790s to become one of the most influential black neighborhoods in Alexandria. Like its Caribbean namesake, Hayti was an island of relative security for…

Historical Significance Education was a gateway through which African Americans could secure opportunity in a segregated society. It is not surprising then that the two original anchors of Danville's Holbrook-Ross neighborhood were the Danville…

Historical Significance The "Hill," or "Vinegar Hill" as it was sometimes called, was one of five new black neighborhoods that developed during and after the Civil War. The community connected the two antebellum black neighborhoods, the Bottoms and…

Historical Significance Developed in the late 19th century, the Hump was one of five new African-American neighborhoods formed in Alexandria during and after the Civil War. Around the time people settled in the Hump, the abutting Alexandria Canal…

Historical Significance In 1890, formerly enslaved George P. Inge moved with his family from Danville, Virginia, to Charlottesville. Mr. Inge, a graduate of Hampton Institute, taught for two years at Jefferson School on 7th Street. On July 1, 1891,…

Historical Significance Jackson Ward was one of the most significant black neighborhoods in the United States in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The area that would become known as Jackson Ward was first inhabited by people of Italian, Jewish,…

Historical Significance The Jamestown fort was built in 1607. A circa 1619 letter written by colonist John Rolfe stated that "20. and odd Negroes" were brought to Point Comfort aboard a Dutch man-of-war whose crew had captured them from the Spanish.…

Historical Significance Joseph Jenkins Roberts (1809-1876), Liberia's first President from 1848-1856 and 1872-1876, was born free in Norfolk, Virginia. His father is rumored to be a Welsh planter to whom his mother, Amelia, was once enslaved and…

Historical Significance Nauck is an historically African-American community in Arlington County bounded on the northeast by the Army-Navy Country Club and South Glebe Road, on the northwest by South Walter Reed Drive, on the southeast by Shirley…

Historical Significance Pocahontas Island, named after the daughter of a Powhatan chief, is probably Petersburg's earliest predominantly black neighborhood. Some of Petersburg's first enslaved African Americans were brought here in 1732 to work in…

Historical Significance In the early 1870s, formerly enslaved John Coles and Benjamin Brown purchased land from former slaveholder W.G. Carr in exchange for labor, beginning settlement of the district that would come to be called Proffit. In 1876,…

Historical Significance The Ravenscroft neighborhood was incorporated into Petersburg in 1784 and developed soon after. It is bounded on the west by Halifax Street, an important early transportation and commercial corridor leading from Halifax,…

Historical Significance The Heights, earlier known as Delectable Heights, received its name in the early 19th century when it was contrasted with the unhealthy lowlands of the city of Petersburg. It was annexed to the city in 1816, and although lots…

Historical Significance The Triangle, also known as The Avenue, was Petersburg's black business center until the 1970's. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, New Market on South Avenue was the marketplace for black and white farmers from…

Historical Significance The Truxtun Historic District was the nation's first wartime government housing project constructed exclusively for blacks. Named for the naval hero Thomas Truxtun (1755-1822), Truxtun is a forty-two acre neighborhood of 250…

Historical Significance Uniontown, a small African American community located east of Staunton, was settled predominately by African Americans immediately after the Civil War. The community included the former Federal Cemetery (known today as the…

Historical Significance Uptown, located at the western edge of Alexandria, started as a cluster of homes before the Civil War. Much smaller than the city's older black communities, the Bottoms and Hayti, Uptown was the first black neighborhood…

Historical Significance In 1890, Steven and Carolina Warren purchased land at the current intersection of Warren Street and West Court Street in Rocky Mount, Virginia. Out of this purchase grew the historic African-American settlement of Warren…

Historical Significance The town of Waterford, Virginia was a place of refuge for African Americans for over 200 years. Waterford was founded in the 1730's by Northern Abolitionist Quakers who were soon outnumbered in the community by other…

Historical Significance The town of Smithfield, first colonized in 1634, is located on the Pagan River near Jamestown. Known to the Nottoway people as "Warascoyack" or Warrosquoyacke", meaning "point of land", the area was renamed "Isle of Wight…

Historical Significance In what was once known as the colony's capital, Williamsburg, Virginia, enslaved individuals worked as artisans: carpenters, joiners, coppers, masons, blacksmiths, shoemakers, cabinetmakers, and coach makers. Others worked in…

Historical Significance The African-American community at Zenda, originally called Athens, formed around 1880 in the Linville Creek District of Rockingham County. Freed slaves stayed in the area to work following the Civil War, purchasing former…