On June 19th, 1865, Texas became the very last state in the country to abolish slavery. Each year, a celebration is held in commemoration of that momentous day in African American history, and to honor those people and practices of prior generations. This past Saturday, volunteer members of the field school and myself made the trip over to a neighborhood known as “The Hill” in Historic Easton to participate in a public archaeology display to rouse public interest in The Hill’s African American heritage and to celebrate alongside members of the community in their Juneteenth festivities.
While community members set up tables and entertainment along South Street, our group set up to dig shovel test pits (STPs) in the back yard of the Talbot County Women’s Club around the corner on Talbot Lane. The Women’s Club was founded in 1930 by 12 women who wanted to help their community. Before the acquisition of their club house, the women met at each others’ homes, sewing garments for needy children within the community. As time wore on, more members joined the Women’s Club and their projects expanded to hot lunches and milk for under-privileged children, and informational programs such as guest speakers, singers, readers, and political discussions. As the club membership club grew, the women realized they needed to acquire a club house in which they could hold their meetings and events. They settled on an old double house, part of which was 150 years old at the time. Club members wrote a musical comedy, which they convinced the men’s glee club to participate in with them, and through sales from the show, they were able to raise enough money to purchase the house. The Women’s Club continues to use the house, which is now more than two centuries old, for their club activities. Their mission is still to help those in need within the community, and they are doing great things for Easton.
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