Monday, September 23, 2019

FREED SLAVE COMMUNITY IN WILLIAMSBURG, VA

We don't always have the opportunity to read the historical markers we come across.  Many we pass while driving, and also traffic sometimes prevents us from stopping.  There is not always a place to park your car.  This time I was only able to get a quick photo as we headed out of town and after we had looked at the log cabins we found earlier.  

Later I looked it up and came across a website with information on those in three of the south eastern counties, and the one in the photo above.  It reads:

"Royal Governor William Berkeley, owner of nearby Green Spring Plantation, purchased the land here by 1652, then known as Hot Water.  After Berkeley's death, the Hot Water tract passed to the Ludwell and Lee families.  William Ludwell Lee inherited the property in 1796 and died in 1803.  
Lee's Will specified that his slaves be freed when they reached the age of 18.  They were allowed to live on the property for ten years at no charge, and "comfortable houses" were to be built upon the tract for them.  Lee's philanthropy gave rise to one of Virginia's early free black settlements located at Centerville."  

There is also a very interesting article here.

We came across the small community on our last visit to Williamsburg, our original intent to visit the botanical garden and not knowing about this place beforehand.  When we exited the garden we walked back to where we had parked our car.  
At the end of the parking lot Gregg noticed the sign and decided to explore further.  We are both very interested in history.




It was very quiet.  We were the only people there.  









When we stepped inside the doorways, we were blocked from going all the way inside by sheets of plastic from floor to ceiling, so you will see reflections in some of these photos.





















I'm assuming this interesting structure is a chicken coop.


























If you go to this link you will be able to read about the African American experience in this area.  You can also book a walking tour around Colonial Williamsburg here.
Added note: 9-24-19
I have added the map showing where Freedom Park is in relation to the Colonial Williamsburg Historical Area.  As we left the Williamsburg Botanical Garden (also located in Freedom Park) we turned left out of the gate, and then right.  It was a short walk up that road where we had parked the car in a parking lot on the left.  At the end of that parking lot is the sign, Free Black Settlement.  We followed the arrow and it wasn't too far before we found the community, another short walk.

Thank you for looking and enjoy your day.



32 comments:

  1. Denise we will make sure we visit Hot Water the next time we are in Williamsburg. Thank you again for telling us about this unique spot that obviously gets lost in the shadow of Colonial Williamsburg.

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    1. Thank you Martha Ellen. A little ways from Colonial Williamsburg and not too far from the garden we went to. I'm glad we found it to share, thanks to hubby's powers of observation when he saw the sign, which even though was near the end of the parking lot where we parked our car, was still hard to see. Very much worth the walk around for the history alone :)

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  2. Thanks for sharing about this interesting spot. Makes me want to visit if I'm ever in Williamsburg.

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    1. Hi GGG, you are very welcome, glad you enjoyed it.

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  3. I had no idea about this! What an amazing thing to stumble upon. You got very good pictures, considering they were through plastic. This seems like a lost piece of history.

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    1. Thank you Ginny :) We are finding more and more interesting places to see that are a bit off the beaten track.

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  4. What a FASCINATING excursion. Thank you so much. And kudos to Lee, who was well ahead of his time.

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  5. I've been to Williamsburg several times and have never seen this black settlement. Thank you so much for sharing this.

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    1. Hi Kay, I have added a map to show you where the community is located. Thank you, you are very welcome and am happy you enjoyed my post.

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  6. How interesting! My kind of place. Your photos are excellent.

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    1. I thought you would enjoy this one Linda, as I have enjoyed many historical places you have shared. Thank you :)

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  7. The internet is great for looking up facts after a visit to an interesting place and you want to learn more. An interesting post, Denise. Thank you for the links. The only one unable to access was the newspaper article - something to do with not being available to EU readers. Your photos are very clear and informative.

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    1. Hi Linda, it certainly is! One of my favorite things to do when we get back home, I turn on my computer and away I go. It is hard to take everything in - for me anyhow - on that first visit and I always want to know more.

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    1. Obrigado, estou feliz que você tenha gostado deste lugar. Uma boa semana continuada para você também :)

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  9. Poznaj wymowę
    This amazing place tells about difficult moments in history. I really enjoy this trip. Have a nice week :)

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    1. Thank you Lucyna :) I wish you a nice week also :)

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  10. Hello, I would enjoy walking through this historical settlement. Thanks for sharing your visit. Great photos. Enjoy your day, wishing you a happy new week!

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  11. this is truly and amazing story, I have never heard of this before. those little homes are wonderful, but I imagine there were many people in the tiny homes. I love the photos and you did an excellent job shooting through the protective sheets of plastic... to bad there were not more people who did this back then.

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    1. Thank you Sandra :) It is always interesting to learn the history of places. Probably so! I remember the tiny home made out of railway ties my father-in-law grew up in and there were nine children in his family. This was in the days of the Depression.

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  12. Enjoyed these beautiful photos today.

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  13. Hi Denise,
    What a wonderful place to visit with such an interesting history, the properties that were provided certainly appear substantial.
    Super images and some excellent links, not all available.
    All the best,
    John

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    1. Thank you John, it was extremely interesting. All the best to you too :)

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  14. Interesting post. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hi Linda, thank you and you are very welcome :)

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    1. Thank you William, history is very interesting and we should learn all aspects of it.

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