A Proud Past Bridging Toward The Future

Following the Civil War, parcels of land were subdivided and sold to freed slaves. Oberlin Village would be one of Raleigh’s first communities of freed slaves. The land had belonged to a wealthy plantation owner, Duncan Cameron who was a North Carolina state politician and state banker. Former slave, James E. Harris, established Oberlin Village in 1866. He graduated from Oberlin College in Ohio for which the community was named after due to its opposition to slavery. It was also an institution that opened enrollment to African Americans. The 149 acres primarily consisted of farmland where its new citizens pursued self-sufficiency by erecting schools, businesses and places of worship. Some of the original homes were quaint and of Victorian style. Today, few can be found along Oberlin Road, Wade and Clark Avenues.