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Sugar Bottom marker dedication Friday

With the widening of the 200 block of South West Street complete, town officials plan to unveil and dedicate a marker commemorating the Blair House and the nearby Sugar Bottom neighborhood at 2 p.m. Friday.
A group of local African-American citizens researched the area and helped provide the marker’s wording. The marker explains the history of Sugar Bottom, the predominately African-American neighborhood located in the area of the Antioch Baptist Church.

Virginia Dudley, Jean Turner-Brock-Gray, George Taylor Jr., Johnson Lane and Frederick Gray formed the committee that brought the history of the area to life and crafted the wording.
“They devoted time and resources,” said Culpeper Zoning Administrator Maxie Brown, who worked with the citizen committee. “The marker would not have been possible without their input.”

The marker will be placed on South West Street near where the Blair House once stood. The two-story house was built in 1924 and served as both a residence and at times as a barbershop and taxi business. It was demolished in May 2011, after no one or group wanted to take possession and relocate the structure.

Sugar Bottom was known as a tight knit community of African-Americans, who lived in small houses or “shanties,’ near the intersections of West Locust Street and South West Street.
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