Genealogist, Ms. Bertha, Seed For Deed, Land Grabbing During Post- Reconstruction.
In 1875, developers began selling The Serenola land to the slavery survivors who were once in bondage on the plantation. Miraculously, 250 acres that were sold from 1875 through 1885 were purchased by five black families. The freedmen and their families included: Harrison Lynch (1835-1916), with his wife Hannah and their four children; Mack Williams (1825-1898), with his wife Sally and their four children; minister Washington West (1853-1942), with his wife Nelly and their two children; Jerry Gregg (1845-1920), with his wife Jane and their five children; and Bina Gregg, a widow (1805-1896). During the early 1900s, West family members established Minnie Hill Baptist Church, located on the old road. After Washington West retired as pastor of Serenola Baptist Church, which he helped found in 1885, he attended the Minnie Hill Church until his death. That church was renamed Trinity Missionary Baptist Church in 1992.
The last of the Slavery Survivors and landowners from the Serenola plantation died in 1942. The main house and the slavery quarters no longer exist, but the surroundings remain much as they appeared in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A dirt road once known as Rocky Point Road, with its canopy of oak trees, still runs through what was the plantation. It became a public highway in 1889, and is now S.W. 17th Terrace.
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