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[NC] Colored Baptist Orphanage-Waughtown-Belview

Cross Post from Discuss Forum by S McCall

am not for sure whether or not this is the correct forum on which to place this article, none the less perhaps it will be of use to anyone that may have had relatives at the Colored Baptist Orphanage in Belview-Waughtown (Winston-Salem, NC). The Belview-Waughtown Communities, were recently added to the Register of National Historic Places.

Waughtown was just outside of Salem in Forstyh County and Belview was an integrated suburb of Waughtown and was home to a number of prominent blacks.

The following news article ran in the September 24, 2005 edition of the Winston-Salem Journal.

"A Home: Orphanage took in black kids" (by Mary Giunca).

Back in 1903, a group of citizens banded together to raise money for an orphanage that would care for children who were on the streets and had no families.

Such civic-mindedness was not unusual for Winston-Salem at the time.

Except that this group of people was black and it was able to raise the money in a time when many hard-working black families had difficulty putting food on their own tables.

The Colored Baptist Orphanage Home, which was in the Belview neighborhood, became a point of pride to the black community there.

During today's reunion of the Historic Belview Community of Waughtown, the Forsyth County Historic Resources Commission will dedicate a historic marker that commemorates the orphanage, which was on Moravia Street near the present-day Belview Recreation Center.

The Belview area is bounded roughly by Interstate 40 to the south, Clemmonsville Road to the east, Sprague Street to the north and Old Lexington Road to the west.

Evon Reid grew up in the neighborhood and said that people were happy to be able to get into the community and they tended not to leave.

"It was a nice family setting. Most of the people were homeowners," he said. "When people own, they have a tendency to take care of their properties."

The orphanage opened in 1905 and was the first of its kind in North Carolina, said Spencer McCall Jr. the president of the Belview Civic League.

"If you look at the time period, it was very unusual to have a school or orphanage that was organized by blacks and paid for by blacks," McCall said.

The orphanage was a natural outgrowth of a progressive group of blacks and whites who lived and worked together in an area today known as the Waughtown-Belview neighborhood, McCall said.

The Wachovia Development Corp. sold lots in the area in the late 1890s. Black and white lived together. Blacks in the area owned grocery stores, restaurants, nursing homes and real estate and investment companies.

The orphanage, the Belview School and First Waughtown Baptist Church were all organized and paid for by blacks and were at the center of community life, McCall said.

The impetus for organizing an orphanage came from Annie Morris, who had been a missionary in Africa. She was also the sister-in-law of the Rev. Pinkney Joyce, who was the first pastor for First Waughtown Baptist Church.

Morris became concerned about the number of orphans living on the streets, McCall said.

The orphanage grew to include several buildings, and a working farm on 28 acres. The orphans worked on the farm, attended the Belview School and worshipped at First Waugh-town Baptist, McCall said.

A 1929 story in the Winston-Salem Journal and Sentinel estimated that about 300 children had passed through the orphanage at that time. In 1924, fire destroyed the boys' dormitory. By then, the orphanage had begun to deteriorate, McCall said. The Belview School had closed and children attended a new Rosenwald School nearby.

In 1929, the orphanage merged with the Memorial Industrial Institute and moved to Baux Mountain Road. Soon after that, the orphanage's buildings began to be torn down, McCall said, and nothing is left of them.

(A few notes: Actually the Orphanage closed first and as many of the orphans attened the Belview school, the Belview school closed after and due to the closing of the orphanage. The Belview School referred to in this article was a Rosenwald School and was the second Belview School.)

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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