New signage for Simpson Park unveiled

New signage for Simpson Park unveiled

ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) – As the month of June comes to an end, an extended Juneteenth celebration was held at Simpson Park for new signage to be unveiled.

“It feels like we’re standing on hallowed ground. The people that came before us, kind of made the trail, and we’re just kind of following in it,” said a descendant of James Elias Simpson, Marnita Simpson Shepherd.

Simpson Park in Albemarle County is named after James Elias Simpson.

“Mr. Simpson, this his house was on this land, and it went through his family and then it became a park. And we just want to honor his family and his legacy, and just really uplift the community,” said Albemarle County Parks & Rec Deputy Director Amy Smith.

“He was a merchant. He owned acres and acres of land, of course, where we’re standing right now, today, he was a philanthropist,” said Shepherd.

Until this year, there was no signage to tell Mr. Simpson’s story of who he was to the community.

“It was named Simpson Park. But you know, people really didn’t know who he was who he is. So, we’re taking care of that today,” said B.F. Yancey School Community Center Program Manager Edward Brooks.

Now, there are two signs in the park detailing Mr. Simpson’s history and family tree. There is also a bench in front of the signs for people to sit and reflect.

“People want to know now who he is, we hope that this is a welcoming space for people to come out, and just learn about the history of the community,” said Brooks.

For the Simpson family, it was overwhelming to see the work of their ancestor still carrying on today. They hope his legacy will continue to impact generations to come.

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