A Drive Through History

A Drive Through History

Charles Town – An idea took form when members of the Jefferson County Black History Preservation Society viewed a state map that pointed to a few Jefferson County sites with regard to African American history.  The local group, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in September 2010, decided to expand on the idea and has produced the Jefferson County African American Heritage Trail map and brochure which highlights 37 locations in the county pertaining to the rich history and heritage found here.

Members of the committee who began work on the project include James Green and James Tolbert, along with Linda Ballard, James Taylor and George Rutherford.  “We gathered and made a list of possible places that could go on the map,” Green said.  “We looked at and researched sites where you could actually see something in most places,” he continued.

The group has researched the history of the county extensively and didn’t have to search too hard to find the sites to place in the brochure.  The map comes with GPS coordinates which allow it to be used as a self-guided tour.  The group credits the county’s GIS and mapping department with assistance on the coordinates.

After four to five months spent working on the project, the group has produced, with the help of the American Public University System who helped fund the printing, a brochure outlining such sites as Storer College which took on a national significance during the Niagara Movement; the Jefferson County Courthouse which saw the trial of John Brown; Zion Baptist Church which was organized by former slaves in 1881

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