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Reclaiming Our History series

We have a story to tell. Black history is intertwined with the history of Caroline Furnace and the Shenandoah Valley.

As shared by Shenandoah Stories: “The first African Americans were brought to Shenandoah County as [enslaved people] during the 18th century. The exact date of their arrival is unknown, but we do know that by 1783 there were 362 [enslaved people] in the county. That number would grow to 2,423 in 1820 when one in seven people were [enslaved]. These individuals were considered to be property, had no rights, and were viewed as less than human. Almost everyone accepted and participated in this system. Records indicate only a few individuals ever openly opposed slavery in this area.

Few of the [enslaved people] are remembered today. They left behind almost no written records. The only physical reminders of their presence are their burial sites and the buildings they were forced to construct for their masters.”

Stay tuned as we continue to reclaim the history that surrounds this place we love, Caroline Furnace, in Fort Valley VA.

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