Donald R. “Donnie” Parks, Hendersonville’s First African-American Chief of Police.   Photo by Terry Ruscin   The real estate bounded by Kanuga, Barnwell and South Church Streets once hosted “Black Bottom,” a hamlet of stilt houses occupied by members of Hendersonville’s African American townspeople. The houses, 

St. Paul Tabernacle AME Zion Church

St. Paul Tabernacle AME Zion Church

St. Paul Tabernacle AME Zion Church. Founded in 1878, St. Paul is one of the oldest African American churches in Hendersonville.   Shaw’s Creek A.M.E. Zion Church had begun in 1865 when a group of people from Horseshoe, N.C., persevered in their desire to worship 

The Kingdom of the Happy Land

From A Brief History of the Black Presence in Henderson County by Gary Franklin Green Throughout the history of Henderson County no other chapter is perhaps so intriguing and yet so veiled in mystery as the efforts of a group of freed slaves to establish 

Black-owned Businesses 1950-1970

The period from 1950 through 1965 brought change to Henderson County. The transition from the injustices of segregation to the equal rights guaranteed under the Constitution was a quiet, slow, and relatively smooth process. It did take courage to complete the process, but for the 

Black-owned Businesses 1900-1950

1900-1920 By 1910, 46 Blacks owned at least 30 acres of land with three of these farmers owning 100 acres or more: M. R. Anderson of Mills River Township (230 acres), Martin Herrin (100 acres) and Washington Shipman (100 acres) both of the Hendersonville Township. 

Black-owned Businesses

Henderson County’s Black middle class, through diligent efforts, made an independent living through their own enterprises and stand out for their entrepreneurial spirit and hard work. Most often Black-run businesses at the turn of the century had to make a choice of focusing their trade either 

Carl Sandburg Home

Enslaved people built much of the original Carl Sandburg Home before the Civil War.

Black Bottom

The people of Black Bottom in southern Hendersonville had a community group to govern and police the neighborhood to avoid crime.

Flat Rock’s Rosenwald School

Julius Rosenwald, President of Sears, donated funds to build 5,000 schools for African Americans in the 1920’s.  One of them was in East Flat Rock.

The Kingdom of Happy Land

Freed slaves founded the Kingdom of Happy Land in the 1870’s near today’s Lake Summit. With money they earned as porters carrying packages up the mountain to Saluda, they bought land from the Davis family’s plantation, Oakland.  There is little documentation about the Kingdom and