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Smokey Hollow Commemoration Opens in Cascades Park

Smokey Hollow
Posted at 5:30 PM, Sep 25, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-25 17:30:00-04

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) -- A commemoration officially opened Friday at Cascades Park, honoring a neighborhood that made history in the Capital City from the 1890's to the 1960's.

It brought back a lot of memories for people who used to spend time in Smokey Hollow. A group of cousins who used to visit family who lived in the neighborhood were at the site's grand opening. They said the "spirit houses" reminded them of the community they remember. They planted a garden in their family's name as a way to keep in touch with a place they love to remember.

"It was a community of love," said Donna Swilley. "People took care of one another's children. If you got into trouble with one adult, you got in trouble when you got home as well. It's like they say, 'It takes a village to raise children.' That's what Smokey Hollow was about."

The city, along with Blueprint 2000, have spent years working on the site. Smokey Hollow's commemoration adds to the city's history of African-American landmarks, which includes the Riley House. The site includes an outdoor classroom and panels sharing more about what the community meant to the city.