Charisse Wilkins singing at groundbreaking ceremony
Singing a slave era spiritual at
groundbreaking for "The Walk"
Laying bricks for the Memorial Walk
Laying bricks for the Memorial Walk

"The Walk"

A groundbreaking ceremony for "The Walk at LeConte-Woodmanston - an African American Tribute" was held on July 24, 2008. The brick memorial path will start in the gardens and wind through the reclaimed plantation. Bricks will bear the names, ages and plantations of roughly 6000 men, women and children enslaved in Liberty County, Georgia around 1860.

It was a day of great celebration for all in attendance. Many, in the crowd, contributed to the project through their hard work, talents and skills or provision of financial support.  Attendees and speakers included city, county and state officials, board and foundation members, members of the community and plantation descendants. All stood united in the belief that this project, of  great significance to the community and the state of Georgia, needed to move forward.

The ceremony began with a blessing of the grounds by Pastor Neal Dawson from First African Baptist Church in Riceboro and concluded with a beautiful slave era spiritual sung by Charisse Wilkins.

Plantation descendants, Bill Austin and George Buroughs, did the actual groundbreaking near the gardens and reconstructed slave cabin.

We can't pretend to walk a mile in their shoes, but we can walk this pathway and learn their stories to honor and give thanks for all they did and for who they were. Our desire is to make "The Walk" a place of peace, learning, contemplation and celebration.

Funding for this project was provided by the Liberty County Historical Society and Coastal Electric Cooperative. 

View a gallery of photos taken during the groundbreaking ceremony.

Read Mary Beth Evan's Coastal Courier article.

If you would like to participate in supporting this memorial go to the "Contributions" page. Become part of our new "Buy a Brick Campaign." Contribute $50.00 to the Memorial Project to purchase an engraved memorial brick for the walkway or $125.00 to fund one square yard of the walkway. These contributions will also entitle you to a 1-year Foundation Membership. Of course, contributions of any amount are always gratefully accepted.

For more information on African American history, please check our "African American History" page.