Historical Marker Site Approved and New Wayfinding Signs Installed
August 10, 2022
Press release from Alachua County
ALACHUA COUNTY, Fla. – The Alachua County Public Works Department recently approved a site to install a new historical marker within the County right-of-way on County Road NW 121st Terrace, at the intersection of State Road 235. The Alachua/Newnansville Subcommittee of the Alachua County Community Remembrance Project requested to install a marker at this location to memorialize the lives of lynching victims who lived around the former town of Newnansville and the present-day City of Alachua. Similar historical markers have been placed throughout the County as part of the Truth and Reconciliation process started by the Alachua County Commission in June 2018. The process was prompted by research completed by the Alachua County Historical Commission (ACHC) in response to the national Equal Justice Initiative’s (EJI) lynching research in Alachua County. The marker for the Alachua/Newnansville site is currently being created by EJI in Montgomery, Alabama, and will be installed with a ceremony once the County receives the marker.
During the site selection process by the Alachua/Newnansville Subcommittee (chaired by City of Alachua Commissioner Shirley Green Brown), the committee noticed that the proposed marker would be located near the hard-to-find historic Newnansville African American Cemetery. During the meetings with Public Works staff, Commissioner Brown and Reverend Debra Sermons asked if the County could help by installing wayfinding signs to the cemetery. Wayfinding signs help the public find their way to important community features. Supervisor of the Traffic Maintenance Division in the Public Works Department John Nazal and his team designed, manufactured, and installed the signs in accordance with Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Device standards. On July 12, members of the Alachua/Newnansville Subcommittee and the Newnansville African American Cemetery Association held a small ceremony to unveil the new wayfinding signs installed by the County.
Alachua County Public Works Traffic Maintenance Supervisor John Nazal and his team were deeply moved by the Subcommittee’s ceremony to unveil the wayfinding sign.