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Arlington in Arlington County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Welcome to Jennie Dean Park

 
 
Welcome to Jennie Dean Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, March 29, 2019
1. Welcome to Jennie Dean Park Marker
Inscription.  The surrounding neighborhood of Nauck, also known as Green Valley, is one of the oldest African American communities in Arlington County. Its history traces to 1844, when freedman Levi Jones purchased land to build a home and farm here. The neighborhood grew after the Civil War when recently emancipated African Americans settled in the area.

By the 1930s, residents played sports at Green Valley Ball Park, a property then owned by James B. and Lettie L. Peyton. In 1944, Arlington County purchased this property, which became one of the first parks developed by the Arlington County Department of Recreation. This park's name honors Jennie Dean, a freed slave who became a noted advocate and fundraiser for education. In 1894, Dean established the Manassas Industrial School for Colored Youth to meet the need for vocational and liberal arts education in this area.

[Asides:]
In 1952 clay tennis courts were completed and the sport was added to the Negro Section of the Arlington Department of Recreation's offerings. Adult classes were held five nights a week at Four Mile Run; children's daytime classes
Welcome to Jennie Dean Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, March 29, 2019
2. Welcome to Jennie Dean Park Marker
were also offered.

Also in 1952, flood lights were installed for the hardball diamond and playground equipment was installed on the tot lot.

This 1949 drawing shows a very ambitious plan for the park which was, at the time, the county's sole recreation area for African American citizens. Plans included a pool, bath house, and a field house, which were never built. In 1950 the park featured one softball and one baseball diamond, three grandstand sections, a basketball court, two horseshoe courts, an outdoor fireplace, two picnic tables, and a drinking fountain.

Opening Day at Jennie Dean Field, ca. 1948
At far left is Ernest Johnson, Supervisor of the Negro Section of the Arlington Department of Recreation.

 
Erected by Arlington, Virginia.
 
Location. 38° 50.604′ N, 77° 5.314′ W. Marker is in Arlington, Virginia, in Arlington County. Marker is on 27th Street South east of South Nelson Street, on the left when traveling west. On the grounds of Jennie Dean Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2710 South Nelson Street, Arlington VA 22206, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Welcome to Jennie Dean Park (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); This is W&OD Trail: Shirlington!
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(approx. 0.2 miles away); Washington and Old Dominion Trail (approx. 0.2 miles away); Tracks Into History (approx. 0.2 miles away); Nauck: A Neighborhood History (approx. 0.2 miles away); Elizabeth Pfohl Campbell (approx. 0.2 miles away); Margaret Elizabeth Pfohl Campbell (approx. 0.2 miles away); Edmund Douglas Campbell (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Arlington.
 
Categories. African AmericansParks & Recreational AreasSports
 

More. Search the internet for Welcome to Jennie Dean Park.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 29, 2019. This page originally submitted on March 29, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 83 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on March 29, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.
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