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WHO BUILT
BEVERLY?
A History of African Americans in
19th Century Beverly, West Virginia
Built in 1827-28 by slave labor, the
former Bosworth-Blackman is
currently home to the Randolph
County History Museum.
The store had a vault in the cellar
that was used to store valuables
until the bank was built. Used as a
commissary during the Civil War,
there is still graffiti visible left by
soldiers in the upstairs.
Located behind the Beverly
Heritage Center the slave quarters
housed the slaves who built the
Bosworth-Blackman store. Slaves
also lived and worked on farms of
most of the prominent founders of
Beverly.
A small number of freed African
Americans lived in Beverly around
the same time.
The road that passes through
Beverly is the historic Staunton-
Parkers burg Turnpike. This vital
east-west route allowed slaves to
travel secretly to cross the Ohio
River at Parkersburg to freedom.
Slaves and freed African Americans
are buried in Beverly Cemetery,
mostly in an unmarked plot toward
the back, the final proof of the
people of color who helped to build
this frontier town. By the end of the
1800s, almost all African Americans
had left Beverly. Today, Beverly is
98% white.

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Who Built Beverly? A History of African Americans in 19th Century Western Virginia

  • 1. WHO BUILT BEVERLY? A History of African Americans in 19th Century Beverly, West Virginia
  • 2. Built in 1827-28 by slave labor, the former Bosworth-Blackman is currently home to the Randolph County History Museum. The store had a vault in the cellar that was used to store valuables until the bank was built. Used as a commissary during the Civil War, there is still graffiti visible left by soldiers in the upstairs.
  • 3. Located behind the Beverly Heritage Center the slave quarters housed the slaves who built the Bosworth-Blackman store. Slaves also lived and worked on farms of most of the prominent founders of Beverly. A small number of freed African Americans lived in Beverly around the same time.
  • 4. The road that passes through Beverly is the historic Staunton- Parkers burg Turnpike. This vital east-west route allowed slaves to travel secretly to cross the Ohio River at Parkersburg to freedom.
  • 5. Slaves and freed African Americans are buried in Beverly Cemetery, mostly in an unmarked plot toward the back, the final proof of the people of color who helped to build this frontier town. By the end of the 1800s, almost all African Americans had left Beverly. Today, Beverly is 98% white.