Almost 150 years ago and shortly after the Civil War ended, the Promise Land became a community for newly emancipated slaves. Today, the historical site serves as a hub for the Promise Land Community Club [PLCC], a non-profit preservation and community service organization dedicated to conserving the remaining historical structures in Dickson County.
This Saturday, June 1 the property will host the 13th Annual Promise Land Festival and walk, a yearly event that raises funds and awareness for the site and the club’s community outreach program. PLCC maintains historical site structures, including the Promise Land School, the Nesbit Cultural Enrichment and Events Center, and State and Civil War Trail markers.
The event kick offs at 9:30 a.m. with the Parade of Hats For Healthy Hearts Walk. The walk, which encourages exercise and promotes good health practices, will benefit the PLCC’s “Healthcare Outreach Program.” Walkers are encouraged to enlist donors to support them, thereby contributing monies to the organization’s mission.
The fundraiser will also showcase several stage events with all-day entertainment on Saturday—including a 6 p.m. performance by The Gospel Explosion, one of Dickson Country’s most popular gospel performers. Serina Gilbert, director of the PLCC, says that an Abraham Lincoln impersonator will also be on hand to deliver the Gettysburg Address.
“Each festival we have a different theme, and this year is ‘let freedom ring,’” she said. “We’re celebrating the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.”
In addition, participants will also have the opportunity to tour the premises, and partake in a festival-wide focus on culinary arts during the Reconstruction Period—including a silent auction and bake sale, which ends at 6 p.m.
“What we found when we researched was that many of these dishes back then mirror what we eat today. Desserts like pound cake and chess pie, those things really unique to the South,” Gilbert said. “We’ll tie it all into the silent and bake auction. For example, we have a cookbook written by a former slave in 1880. It’s the first African American lady to have a cookbook published.”
The event is sponsored by TriStar Bank and Dickson County Schools.
About the Promise Land property and community club:
In the mid 1860’s the Promise Land, which encompasses 1,000 acres, became a community of former slaves and United States Colored Troop Veterans. It contained more than 50 homes, a general store, three churches and an elementary school.
Today, the Promised Land Community Club [PLCC] is dedicated to preserving the historical site and telling its story. The non-profit preservation and community service organization maintains the remaining historical structures which include: The Promise Land School, The Nesbit Cultural Enrichment and Events Center and the State and Civil War Trail markers. In addition to their commitment to preservation they organization also cares for the needs of community through: cultural enrichment programs, advocacy and assistance for people with disabilities, personal hygiene and gifts for nursing home residents, and providing students with school supplies and personal hygiene products.
Who: Promise Land Community Club (PLCC)
What: Promise Land Festival
When: Saturday, June 1, 9:30 a.m. -7 p.m.
Where: 701 Promise Land Road, Charlotte, TN 37036