Historical Significance Established in 1886, Zion Poplars Baptist Church is one of the oldest independent African American congregations in Gloucester County. Oral tradition holds that the founders first met for religious services under seven poplar…

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…

Historical Significance Opened in 1995, the Watson Reading Room is a non-circulating research library of African-American history and culture. It is named in honor of Charles and Laura Watson, African Americans who amassed large landholdings in…

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 In 1903, the Independent Order of St. Luke moved into its brand-new national headquarters in the St. Luke Building. The Order of St. Luke was initially founded in Baltimore in 1867 by Mary Prout, a formerly enslaved woman, to…

Historical Significance Petersburg's location on the Appomattox River at the fall line (head-of-navigation of U.S. East Coast rivers) caused the city to become a strategic place for transportation and commercial activities during the early growth of…

Historical Significance The Reverend John Jasper founded Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church in 1867. Typical of the desperate conditions for many African-Americans in Richmond immediately after the Civil War, Sixth Mount Zion was originally organized…

Historical Significance Built in 1885, the Schaffer Memorial Baptist Church shared its grounds with the Old Christiansburg Industrial Institute (now known as Christiansburg Institute). The church began informally two decades earlier in 1866 when…

Historical Significance Robert Orrick was a prominent black citizen of Winchester born into slavery in 1841. Shortly before the Civil War, his owner, Joseph Kean (or Cain) allowed Orrick to establish a livery stable in Winchester, and Orrick…

Historical Significance Poplar Lawn was originally purchased in the 1840's by the city of Petersburg for use as a public park. During the Civil War, the site was used as a hospital for black soldiers and a retention camp for black prisoners after…