Five Row: A Chronology

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Five Row: A Chronology

By Kim Mayes, ZSR NPIP Community Outreach Intern |@LearnReynolda

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Flora Pledger Lillie Hamlin

Flora Pledger and Lillie Hamlin, early residents of Five Row stand in front of Five Row School and Church 

Five Row was a community of African American farmworkers at Reynolda, and despite the limited documentation of the people at Five Row, this chronology offers insight into the milestones and character of the people and place of Five Row.

1915   
Will and Betty Ward were the first family to move into Five Row. The remaining homes were used as boarding houses for male workers working on the construction of Reynolda.

1917   
Five Row developed into a full-fledged community at the time of completion of Reynolda, the same year the family moved into the house.

Flora and Ellis Pledger moved to Five Row with their son.

1918   
Five Row School was opened in conjunction with the white lower school in Reynolda Village.

1922   
The Miller family, Henry and Mamie and son Harvey Miller arrived at Five Row. Henry Miller eventually became, majordomo or head butler for Mary Reynolds Babcock.

1924 
Katharine Reynolds Johnston died due to complications with childbirth.

1935
Mary Reynolds Babcock purchased Reynolda from her siblings.

1940
The residents of Five Row wrote “The Negro and Reynolda,” a document describing the people of Five Row and reminding the Reynolds family of their contributions to the building of Reynolda. “The Negro and Reynolda” was presented to Mary Reynolds Babcock after she returned to Reynolda House.

1950s
Utilities arrived at Five Row, a previously utility free community without electricity and indoor plumbing despite affiliation with Reynolda.

1953 
Mary Reynolds Babcock passed away from cancer.

Circa 1960  
Five Row is demolished to make way for Silas Creek Parkway.


Be sure to visit the Five Row online gallery to peruse a comprehensive collection of images from our Archives.

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