Come discover the rich multicultural history of the Kilvert area Saturday, August 6, 2016, beginning at 1;00pm at the Kilvert Community Center.
Interested in cultural history? Want to learn about how a white former slave owner came to the Ohio Valley and purchased land to begin a community for those he freed? The story of the Tabler and Munn families is filled with emotion and bravery during a time when life was hard and a person of color’s life was uncertain.
Kilvert, also known as Tabler Town will be celebrated with an introduction to oral history of the Tablers, a video presentation, an exhibit of historical items and more. There will be a tour of the cemeteries and the unveiling of a commemorative plaque. Residents of this unique community will gather to exchange information, stories and shared history. All are welcome!
For more information please contact David Butcher at 740-590-6368 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE FOLLOWING IS AN ARTICLE PUBLISHED IN THE A NEWS BY FRED KIGHT
The story of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings is pretty well known: the third president of the United States had a relationship with one of his slaves and fathered several children.
Nearly 200 years ago a similar drama played out here in Athens County and it will be remembered on Saturday, Aug. 6. And two days later a non-profit organization will roll out a new African American heritage program for the region.
The Tabler and Munn Family Celebration will be held in Kilvert at the Community Center.
David Butcher is largely responsible for organizing the gathering. Butcher is a Tabler descendant who lives in the Stewart area.
He says it’s not just for the families and that everyone is invited, especially those interested in cultural history and the “unique community” of Kilvert. For GPS directions the address is: 21120 McGraw Road, Stewart, Ohio 45778.
The village is located in eastern Athens County off State Route 329. Originally it was called Tablertown, after Michael Tabler, a white, former slave owner from Virginia.
Tabler fathered six children by Hannah – a slave – and he and the six children settled in the area around 1830. Six years later he purchased land from Francis and Sarah Munn to begin a community for the family he emancipated.
“The story of the Tabler and Munn families is filled with emotion and bravery during a time when life was hard and a person of color’s life was uncertain,” according to a news release from the Southeast Ohio History Center.
The celebration will include an introduction to an oral history of the Tablers, a video presentation, and an exhibit of historical items. There will also be a tour of the cemeteries and the unveiling of a commemorative plaque.
The exhibit will be a smaller version of one that was staged several years ago at Ohio University’s Kennedy Museum of Art called, “People of Color.” It tells the story of “a rainbow of different ethnic groups” that lived around Kilvert, according to Butcher.
“This amazing history needs to be kept alive,” said Butcher, who plans to ask the Ohio Department of Transportation to help with that. He wants ODOT to put a sign on U.S. Rt. 50 marking the way to Kilvert, which he believes “historically has been left out.”
Butcher is not the only one trying to encourage public awareness of past events in the region.
Ohio’s Hills Country Heritage Area is hosting a two-day guided bus tour called “Crossing the River: African Americans in Southeastern Ohio.” The tour is scheduled to start Monday, Aug. 8, and will cover Athens and four other counties.
“Hidden in the steep hills and narrow valleys of southeastern Ohio are remarkable stories of men and women who bravely broke the color barrier after they and their families crossed the Ohio River into Ohio’s Hill Country throughout the 19th and 20th Century,” according to a news release from the non-profit heritage-promotion group. “The tour will be led by a team of regional historians and community activists who are intimate with inspiring and provocative stories.”
For tour information and registration go to www.ohiohillcountry.org.
NOTE: For GPS directions the address is: 21120 McGraw Road, Stewart, Ohio 45778.