DANVILLE, Va. (WFXR) – A new state historical highway marker has been unveiled in Danville to honor the Mary B. Yancey House and the Grasty Library.
The Yancey House was once a lodging place for African Americans during the segregation era.
The Grasty Branch of the Danville public library system operated next door to the Yancey House and served Black patrons between 1950 and 1969.
The newly-dedicated marker stands at 320 Holbrook Street, next to the Yancey House and the site of the old library which has since been torn down.
City officials say the goal of the highway marker program is to link important stories about Virginia’s past to the landscape where they took place.
The Mary B. Yancey House was donated by the family to Alpha Kappa Alpha in 2006.
Today, the two-and-a-half story stucco building serves as the Alpha Kappa Alpha’s Alpha Phi Omega chapter’s sorority house, which was listed in “The Negro Motorist Green Book” which was published from 1936-1964 and used by traveling African Americans during segregation to find a welcoming place for an overnight stay and a place to eat.
The new historical marker was approved by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources in late 2019.
The marker was erected in 2020; however, due to the pandemic, there was no ceremony held until Friday, July 30, 2021.
Virginia’s historical highway marker program began in 1927 and is said to be the oldest such program in the country.
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