Local Community Celebrates 150 Years
Just south of Plant City is a place with a history of agriculture and adversity.
Bealsville was settled by 12 freed slaves and their families following the Emancipation Proclamation in 1865. This week, residents of the small, unincorporated Hillsborough County community will celebrate Bealsville's 150th anniversary.
William Thomas volunteers for the nonprofit Bealsville Incorporated. He said the community represents the American dream. The founding principles of Bealsville - education, agriculture, and faith - made the community a place that past slaves, and people of all races, could call home.
"Oftentimes survival was based on who had a tractor and who didn't, who had a larger field and who didn't, whose crops were more prominent than the other, whose soil may have been richer during a particular season," Thomas said. "And that required that blacks and whites interact, even before desegregation kicked in."
Bealsville residents will be holding celebrations through the weekend. Check out http://www.bealsville.com/150year.html for more information.