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York’s African American Community at Charles Corner,
the Subject of September 15 Presentation
Submitted by Gail Whittaker

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The legacy of York County’s African- American community at Charles Corner is the subject of a free presentation at New Quarter Park on Saturday, September 15, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Attorney and family historian Vicki Simons will present her research on descendants of Anthony (1844-1904) and Octavia (1849-1912) Hundley, as well as other free and self-emancipated people who lived there before, during, and after the Civil War.

Since 2015, Simons and other members of the Hundley family have expanded efforts to capture and share the Charles Corner experience. Ms. Simons will share current efforts to preserve the community’s rich history and invites descendants and friends to join her and other Friends of Charles Corner in the effort.

Located on Naval Weapons Station property about a mile from New Quarter Park, the community’s roots extend to prehistoric times. Years later, European colonists founded Chiskiack Parish, which was renamed York- Hampton Parish. Robert Booth, son of the 1652 patentee of the property that is now New Quarter Park, was buried in the first parish church in 1692. By the late 18th century, Nathaniel Burwell of Carter’s Grove owned surrounding property and collected rents from free African-American tenants. Family names and legends connect them to the Charles Corner community. Seventy-seven families who lived there for generations were forced to leave Charles Corner as a result of a 1918 Executive Order by President Woodrow Wilson. The land was taken to build a Navy mine depot in preparation for entering World War I. Quick relocation was difficult for the families since African Americans experienced limited choices in the segregated South. Many resettled along Penniman Road.

New Quarter Park is located at 1000 Lakeshead Drive near the Queens Lake neighborhood. For more information or directions, call New Quarter Park at (757) 890-5840.

 





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