Online Registration

Newtown Historical Walking Tour

This ½ mile walking tour will help members learn about the history of Harrisonburg's Newtown community, built following the Civil War by and for African-Americans.

Our EdVenture will begin at 1:00 p.m. at the Lucy F. Simms Continuing Education Center, 620 Simms Avenue, with an introduction by local NAACP President Monica Robinson.

We will then visit four community sites to learn about historic landmarks and leaders who had a transformative impact on local life.
Two leaders were the famous educator Lucy F. Simms, who lived and taught in Harrisonburg for more than 50 years until 1934, and Elon Rhodes (1922-2006), the first African-American to serve on the Harrisonburg City Council and local school board. Both have educational facilities named in their honor.
Our tour will include visits to the historic Newtown Cemetery, where both Rhodes and Simms are buried, and the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, which was established in the late 19th Century and maintains an active congregation.

Representatives from three nonprofit organizations serving the Newtown community will be our guides.
They represent the Northeast Neighborhood Association (NENA), whose focus is on historical preservation and neighborhood revitalization; the Shenandoah Valley Black Heritage Project (SVBHP), which conducts research that helps illuminate and share African-American history of the Valley; and the local chapter of the NAACP, whose mission is to ensure equality of rights for all persons and eliminate race-based discrimination.

Price per person: Free for LLI members; limited to 18 participants. (Register by May 1)

There are no scheduled sessions at this time. Sign up to be notified when this course is available.

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