Historic Oak View County Park, Local Churches honored with Anthemion Award for Community Research Partnership


Historic Oak View County Park staff and representatives from New Bethel Christian Church and In the Beginning Missionary Baptist Church were on hand the evening of September 17, 2012 to accept one of nine Anthemion Awards presented by Capital Area Preservation at an event held at Union Tavern in downtown Raleigh.

The award recognizes the partnership between Historic Oak View and the Southeast Raleigh churches in researching the history of the enslaved people who once lived and worked at the historic farm and their descendants in the community. The project began by accident, when staff found an 1841 deed of sale for Eliza, a nineteen year old girl, given to Benton Williams, the founder of Oak View. This discovery led to more research, more names, and a search for descendants in the neighborhoods that surround the park today. Partnering with New Bethel Christian Church and In the Beginning Missionary Baptist Church an event was held on February 25, 2012 at New Bethel that brought more than sixty members of the local community to hear the names and stories of all that is known of Oak View’s enslaved people and to share their own stories and histories. The partnership will culminate in several new permanent exhibits at the park in the coming years that will tell a more complete story of the history of Oak View and its place in the larger story of North Carolina before and in the decades following the Civil War.

Capital Area Preservation’s Anthemion Awards are presented annually to recognize and honor outstanding dedication and commitment to excellence in historic preservation in Wake County and are inspired by a classical design element seen on many Wake County buildings.


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From left to right:  Wake County Commissioner Erv Portman, In the Beginning Missionary Baptist Church members Portia Johnson and Reverend Gwen Horton and Historic Oak View staff members Katie Spencer, Sara Drumheller and Emily Catherman accept an Anthemion Award from Capital Area Preservation, September 17, 2012.