Emancipation Park

Celebrations of "Juneteenth"--the anniversary of the June 19, 1865 emancipation of Texas slaves--were first held in homes and churches. Later, festivities took place outdoors. By 1915, Huntsville blacks, led by former slave Jane Ward (d. 1933), had moved the annual observance to this site, known as Emancipation Park. Dave Williams, another former slave, organized the Band and Park Association to raise the down payment on the property. In 1933, R. A. Josey, a white businessman, completed purchase of the land for use by the black community. The 9.04 acre site became a city park in 1963.

Images

Emancipation band and park association in 1931.

Emancipation band and park association in 1931.

Source: Walker County Treasurers View File Details Page

Two young girls at Emancipation Park in 1950.

Two young girls at Emancipation Park in 1950.

View File Details Page

Street Address:

302 Avenue F, Huntsville [map]

Cite this Page:

Texas Historical Marker, “Emancipation Park,” East Texas History, accessed June 26, 2017, http://easttexashistory.org/items/show/206.

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