Winnecke Administration secures grant funding for African American Heritage Trail

(September 4, 2019) — The Winnecke Administration and Evansville African American Museum (EAAM) representatives Wednesday afternoon dedicated the African American Heritage Trail, a walking tour of the Lincoln Avenue neighborhood once known as “Baptisttown”.

The Department of Metropolitan Development started work on the proposed trail with the EAAM leadership team in 2014 and has since secured $32,500 in grant funding.

The project is intended to celebrate and educate residents and visitors to Evansville about the rich cultural history of the African American community and culture in the city.

"This trail should be important to every citizen of Evansville," DMD Executive Director Kelley Coures said. "It gives a brief history of what used to be called Baptisttown.

"Baptisttown was once a pejorative name for this neighborhood, but it's now celebrated in our community."

The trail head is located at the Evansville African American Museum. There are seven interpretive signs that describe people, places and events in Evansville’s past that are frequently overlooked in written history.

"We hope the trail and its stories lead to a greater understanding of the past," Mayor Winnecke said. "It will also serve as learning tool for greater cultural awareness and interest in what the Evansville African American Museum offers to our long-term cultural development."

Today's dedication marks the completion of Phase 1 of the project.

The goal is to mark an additional five locations in the next four years as funding becomes available. The trail will also be connected to the Walnut Street Improvement project, marking areas along Walnut that were important in the development of African American culture.


Walking Tour Brochure (PDF)