Black History Month: Tying history to future is legacy of Germantown’s Fair Hill Burial Ground

February kicks off the celebration of the significant achievements and history of African Americans. While this is Black history, it’s really the history of the country and the history of its people, knowing how important each person is to the next.

Right in the middle of Germantown, among rowhouses and businesses, is history.

"Fair Hill is situated in Germantown, right on Germantown Avenue and is significant because it’s the location of the burial place for Lucretia Mott and Robert Purvis, two individuals who were involved in the abolition movement," Carolyn Singleton said.

It’s impossible to miss the historic cemetery, but seeing it is not the same as understanding its impact and that’s the true goal of Ms Singleton and others involved with the Historic Fair Hill Society.

"When I first started here, it was about eight years ago and the people who would walk by, they weren’t sure as to exactly what was going on there," Singleton explained. "But, then, as you know, with more neighborhood engagement, even going to the schools, publicizing this a little more, I think it’s becoming something. A place that is being identified as a treasure."

To keep expanding the neighborhood profile and make more people aware of its history, they launched a historic walking tour of murals in the area.

"Each mural, it has its own theme. That’s a tribute to Harriet Tubman. And, you see her picture. She’s the biggest figure, you know, on the mural. And so we talk about her along with the other individuals who are painted there," Singleton stated.

Harriet Tubman is feature in one mural, Lucretia Mott in another, with several others that they hope will inspire us to better things, even today.

"One of the things that we try to do is focus on certain themes," Singleton said. "For example, courage, resiliency, you know, justice and take it from the 1700s and bring it to 2023."

The historic Fair Hill walking tour is one of the many educational and empowering things to experience and it’s not just for entertainment purposes. The message is much deeper.

"I do try to focus on the partnership aspect, that we’re all brothers, we’re all sisters, regardless of how we look, how we may appear in the mirror," Singleton added. "I think it goes a long way, in terms of providing that space for people to talk."

The Historic Fair Hill Association wants to leave a lasting impact and they ask anyone attending to please bring a book so that children in the neighborhood can have more access to history and knowledge. Anyone seeking more information can find it at their website, here.