Southwest Charles Town: The Heart of the Black Business Community

By Linda Downing Ballard

Teacher and students at the St. Philip’s private school in 1896. (Picture is courtesy of the Jefferson County Museum.)

The history of Charles Town predates its name as evidenced by its locale in the Shenandoah Valley situated a few miles from the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers and within proximity of the Opequon Creek. The names of these landscapes are indicative of the societies who preexisted in the Valley before the boundaries of Charles Town were mapped. History is infinite and complex. It is written, invariably, in bits and pieces. An author must decide which pieces of history one will research, consolidate and preserve. This piece is written to preserve the history of the southwest district of Charles Town….

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