Gainesville in Alachua County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
In 1857, David Rogerson Williams II (1822-1907) of Darlington Co., SC, purchased 1,000 acres, including this site bordering Paynes Prarie, and developed them as a plantation known as "Serenola." The 1860 census shows 120 slaves lived in 24 houses on the plantation, where cotton, sugar cane, and corn were grown. By 1870, the plantation's land and tenements were owned by Capt. Garth W. James (1845-1883), a Union veteran of the 54th Regiment Massachusetts Colored Infantry, and William R. Robeson (1845-1922), an attorney from Boston, MA. In 1875, Robeson began selling some of his Serenola land. Among the grantees in 1880 was industrialist Andrew Carnegie. More remarkable were the 250 acres that Robeson sold from 1875 through 1885 to five black families, most of whom had once served as slaves of Williams, the original owner of the plantation. The freedmen and their families included: Harrison Lynch (1835-1916), with his wife Hannah and their four children; Mack Williams (1825-1898), with his wife Sally and their four children; minister Washington West (1853-1942),with his wife Nelly and their two children; Jerry Gregg (1845-1920), with his wife Jane and their five children; and Bina Gregg, a widow (1805-1896).
Erected 2010 by The Serenola Community Cemetery, Inc. and the Florida Department of State. (Marker Number F-705.)
Location. 29° 36.794′ N, 82° 20.605′ W. Marker is in Gainesville, Florida, in Alachua County. Marker can be reached from SW Williston Road (State Road 331) 0.1 miles west of SW 13th Street (U.S. 441). Touch for map. Located in Squirrel Ridge Park near parking area. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1603 SW Williston Road, Gainesville FL 32608, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Jesse Johnson Finley (approx. 2 miles away); Evergreen Cemetery (approx. 2.2 miles away); Boulware Springs Water Works Building (approx. 2.2 miles away); Gainesville’s Only Artesian Spring (approx. 2.2 miles away); Trains Rumbled Overhead (approx. 2.4 miles away); A Cattle Economy (approx. 2.4 miles away); Living Links to Florida's Past (approx. 2½ miles away); Florida Extension (approx. 2½ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Gainesville.
Also see . . . David Rogerson Williams at FindAGrave.com. (Submitted on September 18, 2013, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.)
Categories. • African Americans • Agriculture • Industry & Commerce •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 15, 2013, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. This page has been viewed 703 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on August 15, 2013, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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