To improve the lives of former slaves, Ellen McCormick, widow of Edward McCormick of Clermont, established this African American community of 31 one-acre lots early in the 1870s. The lots, laid out on either side of the 16-foot-wide street that originated near the tollgate on the Berryville Turnpike, sold for $100 each. The community probably was named for Josephine Williams, who owned two lots. By 1900 Josephine City had become an oasis for Clarke County’s African American residents and included a school, grocery store, gas station, boarding house, restaurant, cemetery, and two churches.
Geographic Location: Clarke County
Physical Description of Location: Berryville, VA 22611. Located on Josephine Street, less than 1/5 of a mile east of the intersection of Josephine Street and South Church Street. Marker is on the right when traveling east on Josephine Street.
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