Buried Histories at Chimborazo Park Event

October 27, 2023 admin 0 Comments

Recently on Sunday October 29th, I presented part of my current dissertation research to the public at Chimborazo Park in Richmond, Virginia. The event was called “Buried Histories at Chimborazo Park” and was sponsored by the National Park Service’s Richmond National Battlefield Park. The Confederate Medical Museum is on site at Chimborazo Park, which is today managed by NPS. My PhD dissertation examines the history of the different institutions and communities who lived on Chimborazo Hill’s site over time, before the space was a park and museum.

For the presentation in Richmond, I discussed the different “buried” histories of Chimborazo Hill in the post-Civil War era and highlighted histories of African American residents who lived and worshipped on Chimborazo Hill alongside the Freedmen’s Bureau for over a decade. I especially detailed how the community was affected by the construction of the city park in the late 1870s.

Over 45 people attended the event, and most people told me they were from the larger Church Hill neighborhood. Some community members represented their local institutions, such as Fourth Baptist Church, the modern-day church that used to worship on site at Chimborazo Hill in the post-war era. The church has since relocated but still exists in the Church Hill area today, and members of Fourth were excited to see parts of their history represented. Other attendees represented people from the Church Hill neighborhood Association, Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of Richmond, Richmond Public Library, and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.

Overall, it was a great event where I was able to meet and connect with the public about my research. It took a lot of planning and coordinating beforehand, but it was absolutely worth it. Thank you to everyone who came out!

If you are interested in hearing more about this history, or would like to connect more about Chimborazo Park and/or the Church Hill neighborhood, feel free to contact me at lbranna@gmu.edu.

 Please note: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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