African American News and Genealogy

This site was developed to provide you with news that relates to African American Genealogy, History and News. Please feel free to forward this link to others. I hope you enjoy this site and good luck with your research! Cheers, Kenyatta D. Berry Managing Director

Monday, May 09, 2005

Preserving thier history

By Reed Williams / Daily Progress staff writer May 8, 2005 BARBOURSVILLE Tamika Carey remembers Careytown the way it was when she was 5 years old. It was a quiet residential area of a dozen unassuming homes with two dusty gravel roads. She recalls how she and her cousins gathered at the tree every morning to catch the school bus and how the smell of charcoal meant that everyone in the neighborhood was invited to a cookout. The little creek down the road was where her brothers went fishing, and where her aunt fell through the ice one winter. These are Carey’s earliest memories of her home. The lay of the land is much the same 21 years later in the tiny community off U.S. 33 behind Horton Vineyards in Barboursville. Most of the residents are related. Oral history traces their roots back to freed slaves who settled in the area after the Civil War, but an effort to establish Careytown’s beginnings through historical records began only recently. The old houses and mobile homes and the two “driveways” passing through Careytown make it seem like time has passed it by. But Careytown can surprise you. A major threat to the community’s lifestyle gave residents of this quiet hamlet a booming voice. General Shale, a multimillion-dollar brick-making giant, hadn’t expected such fierce opposition when it sought to move mining operations from Somerset to within 75 feet of Careytown. The Virginia Supreme Court ruled against the move after the company’s four-year legal battle with Friends of Barboursville, a grassroots group that includes some Careytown residents. Friends of Barboursville portrayed Careytown as one of few remaining communities of its kind. Opponents of the Barboursville mine feared it would ruin the rural area with environmental and noise pollution and damage Careytown’s water supply. Although the state Supreme Court’s decision against General Shale was based on a zoning technicality, the legal victory has given Careytown residents a new sense of pride and prompted creation of a project to trace the settlement back to its earliest days. “We took it all the way to the [Virginia] Supreme Court,” boasts William Waters, a long-time Careytown resident. “We had to do a lot of back scratching and begging and borrowing, but we did it. We had a whole lot to say. I think it kind of shocked their pants off.” Full Story:!news


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