Huntertown was an African-American hamlet or “freetown” in Woodford County settled after the Civil War. On August 29, 1871, formerly enslaved Woodford County U.S. Colored Troop veteran Jerry Gatewood purchased the first 5-acre tract in what became known as the Huntertown community. Huntertown is clearly connected to our collective cultural heritage rooted in the African-American story of formerly enslaved people who became landowners, entrepreneurs, and community leaders. The story of the Huntertown hamlet is part of the wider Kentucky story, from Civil War to Civil Rights and beyond.
For over 130 years, Huntertown was a tight-knit community. Here, freed African Americans and their descendants lived the American dream – to have their own property, homes, and businesses; to send their children to a neighborhood school; to find work opportunities and their own paths to prosperity; and to pursue the lives of their choice. Families shopped at several small grocery stores, attended weekly prayer and church basket meetings, cheered on the Huntertown Sluggers baseball team, played horseshoes and swapped stories.
Huntertown embraces many chapters of Kentucky heritage: the African-American struggle from slavery to freedom, the sacrifice of African-American veterans who fought for our country yet were not treated as equals at home; the agricultural legacy of working and living off the land; the tradition of train travel when railroads connected the Commonwealth; the hard history of segregation and integration, and finally, the importance of embracing this history as our collective community story.
More historical profiles coming soon!
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