Cameron Village, named for plantation owner, will rebrand as ‘Village District’
RALEIGH, N.C. — The owners of Raleigh’s Cameron Village shopping center announced on Thursday that the center would get a new name and brand after 70 years.
Cameron Village was built on land that once held hundreds of enslaved people, and the shopping center, built in 1949, was named for the man who enslaved them.
Prior to the Civil War, Duncan Cameron owned one of the largest holdings of enslaved men and women in the area. Aside from owning the Cameron plantation, which stood on around 10 acres of land in the area near Hillsborough Street, he also married into the Bennehan family, who owned Stagsville Plantation.
After the Civil War, thousands of enslaved men and women were freed from local plantations. In fact, these newly freed men and women made up around 50% of the population of Raleigh in the 1870s. With no money, no houses and no businesses, they worked together to build Freedman’s Villages around the city. There were 13 in all, and Oberlin Village was the largest.
(WRAL News, 1/28/21)