Historic Stagville Celebrates 153rd Anniversary of Emancipation for Juneteenth


More than 900 people were freed at Stagville Plantation, one of the state’s largest, at the end of the Civil War in 1865. Visit Historic Stagville Saturday, June 9, noon to 5 p.m., to discover the story of the end of slavery in North Carolina. The Juneteenth celebration will include performances, historic cooking demonstrations and interactive activities for all ages.

Cheyney McKnight, historian and founder of Not Your Mama’s History, will lead a historic cooking demonstration. She will recreate festive meals cooked by freed people in celebration of their freedom.

Visitors can visit original slave quarters, and see how families renovated and transformed those houses in freedom. Civil War reenactors of the 2nd Regiment, U.S. Colored Troops, will capture the spirit of those who fought for freedom. Historic interpreter Caroline Evans will perform dramatic stories about the origins of Juneteenth and the reunion of families separated in slavery.

Visitors can try woodworking, fence building, or gardening, and see how craftsmen used their skills in freedom. Children can make a fingerprint medallion to take home, just like the fingerprints enslaved craftsmen left in the Stagville bricks.

The Friends of Oberlin Village will present artifacts and stories about the freedmen’s community in Raleigh, including their connection to the Stagville plantation. Educators from the Historic Russell School will share the story of African American education after 1865, and highlight the history of the local Rosenwald Schools. For a hands-on lesson in school history, experience a schoolhouse lesson in one of the historic houses. Learn what education would have been like for freed families eager to learn! 

Although slavery ended in April, Stagville celebrates Emancipation at Juneteenth, the traditional June 19 holiday that commemorates when the last enslaved people in Galveston, Tex., were informed that they were free. 

For additional information about this event, please call (919) 620-0120. Historic Stagville is located at 5828 Old Oxford Highway, Durham, N.C., and is part of the Division of State Historic Sites within the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

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