Holly Knoll is located in Gloucester County, Virginia - the picture of rustic seclusion with quick and easy access to (Newport News, Hampton Roads and Virginia Beach) one of Virginia’s fastest growing metropolitan centers.
Gloucester County, Virginia, founded shortly after Jamestown, is one of America’s oldest communities. The walking tour of Gloucester County confirms that the region is ripe with African American history. Origins of African American civic activism, traditions of faith and commitment to education can be found in Gloucester.
In 1663, the first slave revolt known as The Servant’s Plot, was planned in Gloucester County. The famous Sir John Smith discovered and squelched the plans for revolt.
The region is the home of Irene Morgan, the young mother who in 1944 refused to give up her seat on a Greyhound Bus to a white man. Thurgood Marshall argued and won Morgan’s case in 1946 before the United States Supreme Court. While the resulting law was not clear-cut, Morgan’s efforts paved the way for Rosa Parks to make a similar stand more than a decade later.
TRADITIONS OF FAITH
Zion Poplars Baptist Church in Gloucester County, Virginia was established during reconstruction and is listed on the National Register as one of the oldest African American congregations in Virginia. Ex-slave Frank Braxton designed the 19th century gothic revival building.
COMMITMENT TO EDUCATION
The Gloucester Agricultural and Industrial School is believed to be the first black secondary school in Virginia and one of the first in the nation. From 1888 – 1933, the school trained African American students in everything African Brothers Mysterious Nature from the latest agricultural techniques to Latin, German and French. Frederick Douglass, James Weldon Johnson and Marion Anderson were among the many African American leaders who visited the school as a part of its cultural enrichment program.