Last updated: May 24, 2022
Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits, Parking - Auto, Playground
African American Heritage Driving Tour Stop 9: The Community of Harlem Heights
Harlem Heights, a historic African American community within the city of Oak Hill, was different than most communities in the New River region. Black residents worked in a variety of occupations as teachers, mining inspectors, seamstresses, and ministers. Although there were a few coal miners, they did not represent the majority. Unlike a coal town where homes were owned by the company, most of the residents of Harlem Heights were homeowners.
The people of Harlem Heights took pride in their community by keeping it clean and attractive. They actively supported their churches, civic clubs, and fraternal organizations. Through all of these efforts, it grew to become a rather upscale African American community, eventually gaining its own voting precinct. Today, the community has a Masonic Lodge and three churches.
For the full story go to The Community of Harlem Heights
Other nearby places of interest:
Driving Directions:Physical Address: 10 Broadway Avenue, Oak Hill, WV 25901
GPS Coordinates: N37.998485 -W81.131346
From Beckley, WV: Take Highway 19 north to the exit for East Main Street (Oak Hill). Turn right at top of exit and travel 1.5 miles. Turn right at Russell E. Matthew Park and playground onto Broadway Avenue. Tour Stop is the playground parking lot on the left. Please feel free to drive through the community of Harlem Heights.
From Fayetteville, WV: Take Highway 19 south to the exit for Lochgelly Road. At the top of the exit, turn right on Lochgelly Road. The road will turn in to Highway 16 (Main Street). Travel 5/10 of a mile to playground at Russell E. Matthew Park. Turn left onto Broadway Avenue. Tour Stop is the playground parking lot on the left. Please feel free to drive through the community of Harlem Heights.
Directions to next Tour Stop:
Physical Address: Hwy 25/2, Thurmond, WV 25936
GPS Coordinates: N37.957095 -W81.078851
From the park, turn right on Hwy 16 North. Travel .6 of a mile to Highway 19 South and turn left. Travel on Hwy 19 South to the Greentown Exit and turn left on to Highway 16 South. Travel 2 miles to Glen Jean and turn left at the crossroads. Follow the brown signs 7 miles to Thurmond. Tour Stop and parking is at the Thurmond Depot.
The Community of Harlem Heights (Audio Narration)
Written by: Dr. Brucella Jordan Narrated by: Dr. Brucella Jordan and Adrienne Jenkins (quote) Music: “In Time” - written by Lady D and Robert Gray Robert Gray - keyboard and bass Dan Bailey - guitar and bass Doris A. Fields (Lady D) - vocals
- Date created: