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Posted on: November 10, 2023

Historic Village at the Dismal Swamp Groundbreaking

White old one room school building in a green field with blue skies

A groundbreaking ceremony was held on Thursday, November 9, celebrating the rehabilitation of the Cornland School, as well as the Phase I construction of the Historical Village at the Dismal Swamp. 

The circa 1902 Cornland School provided education to African American residents of Norfolk County during the era of mandated segregation. When completed in 2024, the rehabilitated school will feature exhibitions on the Cornland School community, including former teachers and students, as well as members of the Cornland School Foundation. Patrons will have the opportunity to view alumni interviews describing the impact Cornland School had on their lives. 

Additional phases of the Historical Village will include the construction of a new visitor center, connection to the Dismal Swamp Canal Trail, and additional outdoor exhibits. When finished, the Historical Village will represent how generations of our region's residents lived, learned, worked, farmed, and played. From the Indigenous groups who first inhabited the Swamp, to the extractive efforts of early colonists, plus the unique communities for people of African descent, the Dismal Swamp served as a significant crossroad for trade, commerce, and agriculture.

Find more information and the layout concept here and view the Historic Village at the Dismal Swamp YouTube playlist to follow the journey taken to get the Cornland School to its new location.

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