Timeline of history of Africville in Halifax

The Canadian Press
July 13, 2014 05:00 AM

HALIFAX - A look at the history of Africville in Halifax:

1848: The first black settlers buy land in Africville, establishing the community as a home for African-Nova Scotians. The area's five original land purchases are made by five families: Arnold, Brown, Carvery, Fletcher and Hill.

1849: Residents build Africville's first church. Seaview United Baptist Church serves as the community's spiritual and cultural centre.

1866: The term "Africville" is used for the first time on a land deed. The area was earlier referred to as "Campbell Town" and the "Black Settlement."

1850s-1950s: A city prison, an infectious disease hospital, a slaughterhouse and a city dump are built and operate in the surrounding area.

1948: Halifax approves funds to connect Africville to water and sewer services, but these are never installed. This, along with years of neglect, eventually leads the city to formally label the community a slum.

1964-70: Halifax evicts the residents of Africville in the name of urban renewal, relocating some of them using city dump trucks. Aaron (Pa) Carvery sells his property for about $14,000 on Dec. 30, 1969, making him the last person to leave. Africville is demolished and Seaview Park is built in its place.

1983: The Africville Genealogy Society is formed and soon afterwards begins looking for redress from the city for the destruction of the Africville community.

June 5, 1996: Heritage Canada designates Africville a national historic site, recognizing the location as a tribute to the African-Canadian community and a symbol of the country's struggle against racism.

Feb. 24, 2010: The City of Halifax offers a formal apology to the residents and descendants of Africville. "Today we can barely imagine the sense of uprooting and loss ... and we are profoundly sorry," says then-mayor Peter Kelly. "All our histories have been forever altered because of the loss of Africville." The settlement includes a hectare of land on the former community site to rebuild the community church and $3 million towards the building's reconstruction. A replica of the original church is opened the following year.

2014: The Africville Heritage Trust approaches the City of Halifax about decommissioning the off-leash dog park in Africville Park. "It's an issue of respect," says chairwoman April Howe.

June 24, 2014: Halifax City Council votes to decommission the dog park, but not until a suitable replacement is found.


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