News & Stories
January 18, 2024

The histories of the Freemantown and Shelton Family Cemeteries at Berry

Berry College recently hosted an educational event to discover the histories of the Freemantown and Shelton Family Cemeteries.

As part of Berry's Be Love Week and annual MLK Day of Service, Oak Hill & The Martha Berry Museum hosted open houses at the Freemantown Cemetery on Mountain Campus and the Shelton Family Cemetery at Possum Trot.

The cemeteries are what remains of two African American settlements developed by Thomas and Henrietta Freeman and Hardy and Mary Beardon Shelton, respectively. In the 1870s, these formerly enslaved persons purchased property and brought their families to the Flatwoods District in Rome, Georgia, which is now part of Berry’s Mountain Campus.

“Thanks to the dedicated and collaborative scholarship of the descendants of the Shelton and Freeman families and the Berry community, we are able to tell the compelling stories of the founders and families of these settlements,” said Rachel McLucas, curator for Oak Hill & The Martha Berry Museum.

Guides shared the histories of the communities and the biographies of the cemeteries’ residents. 

For more information, contact the Martha Berry Museum at 706-368-6789 and visit Oak Hill & The Martha Berry Museum, part of Berry College, is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.


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