The Friends of Oberlin Village, through preservation and education, honors Oberlin, one of the last known surviving free and freedmen's villages in the state of North Carolina that grew out of an antebellum Free Black settlement.
Oberlin Village is a thriving diverse community that preserves and honors its rich heritage, founded by Free Blacks whose strengths and struggles continue to inform history and influence racial reconciliation.
our Passion Our Purpose
We are honoring Oberlin Village by advocating the preservation of the original homes, restoring the Historic Oberlin Cemetery headstones and grounds; and conducting oral histories of the founding descendants and residents.
The rich history of Oberlin’s community is still being discovered within the personal vaults of the historic homes and cemetery; family Bibles, between walls, stashed news clippings, and carved headstones share the true stories of the struggles and strengths of the Free Black founders and generations of long-term residents. Preserving these places accurately informs history and positively influences racial reconciliation.
We are honoring our Oberlin founders, descendants, and beloved community with commemorative public art, celebratory events, narrative trails, and the naming of schools, streets, and businesses.
We are educating the public with documentaries, brochures, guided walking tours, and presentations to community groups, churches, civic organizations, and schools. Additionally, we are cultivating research partnerships with area universities.
Oberlin: A Village Rooted in Freedom
Reveals how a historic preservation project has helped recover the story of the thriving community of Oberlin Village the only known surviving Antebellum enclave in the state of North Carolina founded by Free Blacks. At the height of its prosperity, the highly respected Village of Oberlin had more than 1200 inhabitants before being compromised by racial injustices disguised as urban renewal progress. The renovation of two 1880s houses by Preservation North Carolina has exposed remarkable stories about the families who lived there and their beloved community. (Documentary Runtime 56:32)
Historic Oberlin Cemetery 2023 Clean-up Dates
Saturday April 1, July 15, October 28
9 a.m. Rain or Shine!!
Wilson Temple United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall
6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., Fourth Monday except December
Registration is required. Request an invitation by completing the Contact Us form.
Guided Walking Tour of Oberlin
1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Tours usually occur on the third Saturday of each month.
Sign up by completing our Contact Us form.
In the News
RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) — They were the Raleigh college students who helped ignite a movement for…
RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) — Oberlin Village is one of the last known surviving freedmen’s villages in…
In September 2022 the Asbury Station Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of…
OUR PURSUIT TO PRESERVE
Join Us for a Tour!
Walking Tours of Oberlin Village lead by an FOV volunteer are available the third Saturday of each month. Tours start at 1:30 p.m. October through April, and at 10:00 a.m. May through September. Custom dates can be scheduled for groups of 10 or more.
Tours are free but you must sign up by completing our contact us form.
Celebrating our Volunteers
Oberlin resident Chris Mincey is a pursuer of good trouble and a force of nature! Since joining FOV in June 2020 he has forged valuable FOV partnerships between friends, businesses, and organizations across the City. Chris became a Board member in 2021 and in this capacity serves as the Director of Development which is very compatible with his professional job as the Sales Director with Trophy Brewing (TB). Chris has really raised the bar, no pun intended on working tirelessly to raise funds for our organization. Working with TB he curated a limited-edition Oberlin Village Beer in 2020 and again in 2021. He also led the awesome team of City-wide volunteers to organize two inaugural Oberlin Village Heritage 5Ks. Why two? Because the originally scheduled date was cancelled the eve of the event due to storm damage on the course; however, Chris was able to lead the rescheduling and restaging of the event for three weeks later. If you see Chris and his wife Gabby walking their dog through our community, please offer a word of THANKS!
Help Build a Village
Oberlin Historic Overlay District [Oberlin HOD]
To further preserve and enhance the core of Oberlin Village, including its seven Historic properties, in 2018 City Council adopted Historic Overlay zoning within the outline shown on the next page. Links to the zoning ordinance and the Historic Research Report are available. Regulations provide specific guidance on building materials, landscaping and architectural features. If you wish to make changes to the exterior of your home and it is within the HOD, staff members at the Raleigh Historic Development Commission will be happy to help you. Please call (919) 832-7238 or visit the RHDC website.