Street signs at various intersections along Prince Street is part of the city of Brunswick’s recognition of Dixville’s recent listing on the Georgia Register of Historic Places.
The city plan to mark the Dixville honor in several ways, including the outdoor celebration held last week at Inez Williams Park, John Hunter, the city planner said.
“We’ll be doing more outreach after the first of the year with the churches, the Dixville Coalition and we will talk to the neighborhood about the historic district designation and what that means,” Hunter said.
Dixville is bound roughly by Walnut Avenue, Palmetto Avenue, Prince Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The neighborhood was added Aug. 17 to the Georgia Register of Historic Places, the official list of the state’s historic places.
The historic district is significant to African-American heritage as the only known intact, urban black community in Brunswick developed by both former slaves and white laborers.
Of the 10 historic listings that are significant to African-American history in Glynn County, Dixville is the only historic district with significance that hinges on its ethnic heritage, according to the recently compiled Glynn County Tourism Resource Team report.
Brunswick Commissioner Felicia Harris said Dixville’s historic designation is important because it’s one of the African-American communities that has made longstanding contributions to Brunswick.
The neighborhood contains a variety of resources that document residential patterns as well as commercial and industrial development of Brunswick’s black, working-class community from the late 19th century through the 1960s.
Properties include the site of the former Glynn Ice Company, First Friendship Baptist Church and Dixville Park, renamed Inez Williams Park in 2004.
“We also had banners out at the Inez Williams Park for the celebration (last week) that about 30 people turned for. We just really wanted to draw some attention to the neighborhood’s designation.”
The historic designation qualifies the area for federal and state tax incentives. Property owners are qualified for specific federal and state grants for preservation purposes.
Recommendations from the tourism team suggest the city’s planning and zoning department develop rehabilitation guidelines for Dixville’s low-income property owners, landlords and prospective investors to project the neighborhood’s character, which would qualify them for grant money.
The group also suggests promoting the Georgia Homestead Exemption and the Homestead Valuation Freeze Exemption to help reduce the tax burden to working-class owner-occupants. It’s also something that would help combat displacement from the community, since Dixville’s historic significance is attached to being an African-American community.
The National Park Service is reviewing Dixville’s nomination for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.