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Celebrate African American History In Onslow County

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Onslow County is rich in history.  We have many historical sites, memorials, and museums across the county that reflect our sense of pride and patriotism.   For those looking to learn more about the impressive history and lasting difference the African American community has made, past and present, we encourage you to discover the African American Heritage Trail.

The Jacksonville Onslow African-American Heritage Trail is a joint project of Onslow County Tourism, the Onslow County Museum, and the Business Diversity Council of the Jacksonville Onslow Chamber of Commerce.  Announced in February 2010, the trail is comprised of historical markers and sites throughout Onslow County that highlight African-American heritage as well as significant individual contributions to the Onslow County community.  The initial sites were developed in 2011-2012.  Additional historical, cultural and other sites will be identified and added to the Heritage Trail in the future.  For information on any upcoming scheduled guided tours, please contact the Jacksonville Onslow Chamber of Commerce.  Sites on the trail include:

  1. Harrison Chapel A.M.E. Church
    Recognized as an architectural-historical structure, Harrison Chapel stands proudly in its history. It is a church with strong ties, strong convictions, and a strong faith.
  1. Verona Loop Cemetery
    With approximately 639 graves, Verona Loop National Cemetery was built for the African-Americans whose bodies were initially buried at Camp Lejeune. Many headstones date back to the early 1800s.
  1. Georgetown High School
    The only black high school in Onslow County, Georgetown High School was chartered in 1908 for “the education of children of colored race”.

The many stops on this heritage trail remind us always of the important contributions and achievements of African Americans in our county as we celebrate and engage with the community.

As the newest addition to Lejeune Memorial Gardens, The Montford Point Memorial strives to forever capture and preserve the unique history of African American Marines from 1942 to 1949 by displaying the largest collection of photos, documents, papers and artifacts of the Montford Point Marines. During the 1940s these courageous men traveled a road that was not paved. They graduated to become Marines and brought the American people and the U.S. Marine Corps into a new era. The memorial features 20,000 gold stars representing the African American lives lost in war, we pay tribute to them for their sacrifices for us. Today many of the Marines who traveled through this groundbreaking period of American and Marine Corps history have contributed their life’s successes to the pain, sacrifices, and rewards that were earned at Montford Point.

Find more information on memorials in Onslow County here.