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 October 28
9 a.m. Rain or Shine!!
In the News
On August 4, 2023 Oberlin Regional Library unveiled the new plaque displaying its new name,…
RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) — The nation is preparing to mark its newest federal holiday on…
RALEIGH, N.C. (WRAL) — The Friends of Oberlin Village is bringing back the Heritage 5K tomorrow,…
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
A silent servant of the Oberlin Community and the Friends of Oberlin Village transitioned on July 17, 2023. Sue Adley-Warrick was one of the earliest volunteers for the Friends of Oberlin Village and her commitment to our organization and community never wavered. Sue worshipped at the Friends Meeting House located on Tower Street in the Oberlin community. Sue was meticulous in her research, compassionate in her interactions and committed to magnifying the needs of the Oberlin community. Sue’s contributions were numerous, the projects noted below are just a highlight of her contributions that helped to strengthen FOV and the community.
Sue served as a founding member of the FOV Board and served as the Secretary. Sue assisted in the transition of FOV from a grassroots organization to a nonprofit organization. She located a law firm that provided pro bono services for drafting our bylaws, many of which Sue helped to write. Sue was FOV's expert on navigating the bylaws, regulations, and acronyms used by the Raleigh City Council and committee leaders at their meetings. She was able to construct strong arguments by calculating and using the City's complex regulations and metrics to speak in support of preserving the Oberlin community at hearings generated by developers. Sue helped to change the name of the lane in the condo development next to the Historic Turner House from Cameron Way to Oberlin Village Drive.
She was a member of the WTUMC sewing ministry, which on two occasions crafted quilts that were raffled as a FOV fundraiser. In addition, Sue and the WTUMC sewing ministry hand quilted Legacy Totes that Sue donated to FOV. Sue and her husband Lyle were also regulars at the Historic Oberlin Cemetery clean ups.
Sue’s commitment and graciousness will always be remembered and will serve as an example of true humanity.
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.