Articles from current or past bulletins are included here for the enjoyment of our members and potential members.
Alfred Leigh—photo used on a postcard in 1907.
by Barbara Bass
Alfred Leigh at one time was a slave owned by Judge Thomas Leigh of Halifax. Following the Civil War, as a free black, he petitioned to county court to open a shoe shop in the Town of Halifax. The following Halifax County Court record is dated 1869.
It is ordered that Alfred Leigh be permitted to build a small shoe makers shop on the corner of the Garden of the old Hotel not to touch the Road or palings of the Co.Ho. Square.
The “old Hotel”later became the Halifax Inn/Lord Halifax Hotel. Leigh’s shop was featured as part of the Craddock-Terry Company exhibit in the Jamestown Exposition in 1907. Leigh’s wife, prior to the Civil War, had been a slave of Dr. Charles Craddock, father of the Craddocks of Craddock-Terry Company. The company was the largest shoe manufacturer in the South and had three large factories in Lynchburg, Virginia. In the 1940s the company opened a factory in the Town of Halifax which today is a S.T.E.M. academy.
The Jamestown Exposition was one of the many world’s fairs and expositions that were popular in the United States in the early part of the twentieth century. The Exposition, commemorating the 300th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, was held April 26 through December 1, 1907, at Sewell’s Point in Norfolk, Virginia. It celebrated the first permanent English settlement in the United States.