A new heritage trail highlights important sites of African American history in Pender County.
Pender County Tourism launched its driving tour of the Pender County African American Heritage Trail on June 19, 2021, or Juneteenth, the day of celebration that commemorates the end of slavery.
The trail encompasses all of Pender County and includes highlights such as Canetuck Community Center, a restored Rosenwald school, the community of Edgecombe’s Manhollow Missionary Baptist Church and Sloop Point School, Poplar Grove Plantation, which is part of the Gullah Geechee National Corridor, the Pender County Courthouse, and Moores Creek National Battlefield’s Old Stagecoach Road.
“This project could not have been accomplished without the help of 23 local historians and families who want to preserve the history and legacy of African Americans in Pender County,” says Pender County Tourism Director Tammy Proctor.
The African American Heritage Trail draws upon family history, such as the community of Edgecombe, where five families can trace their ancestry to the children of an enslaved couple named Tuney and Janey.
Months of research, interviews and committee meetings have led to the start of a project that will continue to expand.
“We selected sites in this inaugural launch where visitors can park and see a location,” says Pender County Tourism Assistant Olivia Dawson. “We hope visitors will take selfies and photographs as they travel the African American Heritage Trail and send them to us to share on Facebook.”
The African American Heritage Trail in Pender County is an ongoing project.
“We will continue to expand and add to the trail as more fascinating histories are uncovered,” Proctor says.
Want to go?
The trail is featured on the app, Pocketsights.com. The to the trail is https://pocketsights.com/tours/tour/Hampstead-Pender-County-African-American-Heritage-Trail-5823.
The link to the African American Heritage Trail can be found on visitpender.com and Pender County Tourism’s Facebook page or download the Pocketsights app onto a smartphone through Google Play or the Apple Store.