Lost Communities

The Williamsburg Book Festival is working on the “Lost Communities of the Virginia Peninsula” project.

Our special project "Lost Communities of the Virginia Peninsula" records oral histories of the people who experienced:

-- relocation by eminent domain in the 1930s

and/or

-- integration of the school system in the 1970s

Lost communities like Magruder, Lackey, Penniman, and Bigler's Mill had their residents relocated for the building of Camp Peary and the Naval Weapons Station. These were the parents and grandparents of the kids who went through the school integration of 1969 and 1970. Many of these stories will be lost with the passing of the people who lived them. The Williamsburg Book Festival, supported by the York County Arts Commission, is collecting names and transcribing the oral histories of locals, no matter their background. Greg Lilly, the Book Festival Board President, says the goal is not to influence or shape the experiences, but to record each person’s recollection. The information collected will be given to the Williamsburg and York County library archivists.

If you or anyone you know should be included in this project, please let us know. Someone will contact you to set up an interview.