Scott County [Kentucky] African American VillagesThis entry was written and submitted by Willa Relford Gentry: received via Facebook Messenger on April 9, 2022.
Scott County African American Villages
Due to segregation, discrimination, and other factors, shortly after the end of slavery, small African American villages sprang up in Central Kentucky and the Southern States. Most of them, by necessity, were both socially and economically self-sufficient. They usually had a dry good store, a lodge, a school, and a church. The families grew their own vegetables and raised their own livestock such as pigs, milk cows, and chicken to feed their families.
In Scott County, African American villages like Boston, New Zion, and Zion Hill still exist, while others like Boydtown, Clabberbottom, Pea Ridge and Watkinsville have only one or two families who are descendants of the village and are still living in the area. Others like Flintroy and Kelly town, have been swallowed up by the city of Georgetown. Still others like Blackburn Town, Blacktown, Carter Town, Crane Town, Hummingtown, Josephine, Pension, Stonetown and White Sulfa no longer exist.
All of these villages have similar stories and histories. It is our duty to tell their story. By telling their story, future generations will know what made us the people we are today and who we will be in the future.
“It takes a village to raise a child.,” generations to come depend on it.1. Blackburn town [Blackburntown]
2. Blacktown - (Go down Happy Lane off Cynthiana Road).
4. Boydtown [Boydville]
5. Cartertown [Carditown]
6. Clabberbottom - Located on Clabberbottom Lane. In the early days, the village had its own school, church, and cemetery. Originally called Pleasant Point, according to local folklore the village got it’s name because it was located about four miles from Georgetown and four miles from New Zion. Villagers would go to New Zion or Georgetown to get milk but by the time they got home with the milk the milk had clabbered. Thus the name of the village became Clabberbottom.
7. Crane town [Cranetown]
8. Davis Court
9. Duval Station
10. Flintroy - (Inner city, Georgetown) Flintroy Street off of Bourbon Street.
11. Great Crossing -When the slaves in this area was freed, they formed a small village near the plantation where they could walk to work.
12. Hummingtown [Hummington] - (Yarleton Road & Iron Works).
13. Josephine - (Between Stamping Ground and Sadieville).
14. Kelly town [Kellytown] - (Inner city, Georgetown) Kelly Street.
15. New Zion -According to the 1870 Scott County Census, the African American village of Briar Hill was populated by 165 former slaves with fifty others living on and owing farms nearby. According to a deed in the Scott County Courthouse, former slaves Primus Keene and Calvin Hamilton purchased twenty-three acres of land on November 23, 1872, from a prominent white hemp grower and livestock farmer for a total of $2,172.68. Mr. Hamilton brought the southern sixteen acres for $1,345.68, and Keene brought the adjoining acres for $827.00. Both men sold lots to other former slaves, forming the village of Briar Hill which was later named New Zion. Through oral histories, it is believed that the village was settled as early as 1868. Hamilton sold lots to residents for the building of homes and Keene donated part of his purchase to the village for construction of a well, church, lodge, and a school. New Zion is located on Newtown Pike on the Scott/Fayette County line.
16. Pea Ridge - One of the oldest families in the Watkinsville and Pea Ridge area was Isaac Boots. He brought about ten acres of land across from Coghill General Store on the corner of Pea Ridge and Woodlake Road. He was a carpenter, farmer, hunter, and fisherman. He built his home and outbuildings, tilled his land, and raised his food, including an orchard of various fruit trees. Isaac was a tall cooper-colored man who wore his hair in two long braids and was very independent. Some would have considered him eccentric; he didn’t believe in borrowing or lending. --Josephine Bell
17. Pension - Located near Clabberbottom. According to one of the elders, Pension got its name because everyone who lived there received a pension check.
18. Stonetown - In the late 1700s, slaves were brought to the area with their masters as part of a ‘traveling church’ from Virginia. In 1877 many of the former slaves moved west to newly settled Nicodemus, Kansas. The former slaves that remained in this area purchased land forming the village of Stonetown. The village had it’s own school and two churches.
19. Watkinsville -Shortly after the Civil War, Lee Watkins sold thirty-five acres of land to Black people. The land was three miles west of Stamping Ground on Woodlake Pike near the Franklin County line. The Black people named the village Watkinsville. About 1878, Rev. Isaac Coleman, a native of the village, and Rev. Robert Martin of First Baptist Church of Frankfort, organized the Watkinsville Baptist Church. --Josephine Bell
20. White Sulphur [White Sulfa] - Located on Work Road near Old Frankfort Pike, the village was the home to Zebulah Baptist Church, which was organized in January 1871. The village had its own school and cemetery, as well as the church. Although the village no longer exist, the old cemetery remains. Some of the families buried in the old cemetery are Joe Coleman; William Wallace Relford; Will, Fannie and Clara Bell; H. Frances McIntyre; Taylor Madison, Sr.; Taylor Madison, Jr.; J. and Emma Barnes; Catherine and Jackson Bonds; and Georgia and John Rogers.
21. Zion Hill - See NKAA Entry
To find additional information about the people, schools, churches, and other activities in the communities listed above, search the Kentucky newspapers in the following databases.
1. Kentucky Digital Newspaper Program
2. Chronicling America
3. Newspapers.com ($)
4. Visit the Scott County Public Library in Georgetown, KY, to view the Newspaper Collection. See also the local newspapers online.
5. For a few of the communities, there will be founding and ending dates, post office locations, and other information in the title Kentucky Place Names by Robert M. Rennick.
Alternate name spellings for some of the communities are in backets (above). Try all spelling options when searching within newspapers and other sources.