With February being Black History Month, the Winchester Food Tour thought it appropriate to give our followers a “taste” of Black History in and around Winchester, Virginia.  And there is a lot of it!  This year we’re sticking to our penchant for sharing stuff that is less “well known” as many outlets cover all of the more popular places and exhibits in and around town.  Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!  However, it’s the less well known places and people that add to the charm of our historic town and we touch on a few of these spots in this year’s segment.

In brief, we stopped at five locations that we often say we “pass by every day without even giving them a second glance” – but we have all of this rich and diverse history all around Winchester.  Quick snapshots are here, but you can watch the video for more in depth information about each of our locations.  Our five stops this year included:

  1. Winchester Colored School.  Located at 304-306 East Piccadilly Street, Winchester’s first school for Blacks opened officially in 1878!
  2. The Orrick Home. Located at 15 South Braddock Street and featured previously on the blog as one of Winchester’s Historic Buildings, The Orrick House – Robert Orrick was born into slavery.  After the Civil War, as a free man, he continued to grow and prosper as a business man in various ways, and when he died in 1902 had a net worth of approximately $25,000 which is approaching $1 million in 2019 dollars.
  3. Brown’s Barber Shop. Opened on 439 North Cameron Street in 1943, barbers Spottswood Brown, William Brown, and Archie Burns worked there, creating a social gathering place for Blacks in Winchester.  Lots of historical events and organizations were born during these gatherings which we talk about in the video, including the establishment of the first local chapter of the NAACP in the 1940s.
  4. Cartwright Funeral Home.  Currently located at 232 East Fairfax Lane, this funeral home has served Winchester for nearly a century!  It was first established in the 1930s by Robert S. Painter as a funeral home for Black residents of Winchester.  The Cartwright Family took over in 1940 and is still in the Cartwright Family today!
  5. Negro Day Nursery.  Located on 533 Fremont Street, we were surprised to learn that this location still operates today as the Fremont Street Nursery, much as it did when it was born as the Negro Day Nursery in 1938.  Established by the Civic Club of Winchester with support from the United Fund, it served working mothers of the day.To find out a few more historical tidbits about the above-listed stops for Black History Month 2019, watch our short video visits to each location!

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