Springfield Village Park is a central hub for Black History in Augusta
Museums aren’t the only places you can visit to receive a wealth of information about Black History. Augusta, Georgia is home to Springfield Village Park –– a site dedicated to the history of the Springfield Community, an integral part of African American history in Georgia.
Augusta’s first suburb, part of the Augusta Downtown Historic District, was originally the village of Springfield, developed on lands confiscated from James Grierson, a Tory during the Revolutionary War. Because of their displacement from the Silver Bluff Plantation in South Carolina during the Revolution, a large population of free African Americans settled in Springfield by 1787. They established the Springfield Baptist Church there, one of the oldest independent black congregations in the United States.
After emancipation Springfield was the center of educational and political activities for Augusta’s Black citizens. The Augusta Baptist Institute was founded in 1867 in Augusta's Springfield Baptist Church, eventually moving to Atlanta to become Morehouse College.
History of the Park
In February 2002 the 2.5-acre park was built to commemorate the Springfield Baptist Church, the oldest active African-American church in America. The park features the “Tower of Aspiration,” a 45-foot stainless steel sculpture, the second, at the base of the tower is called “And They Went Down Both Into the Water,” which is a 20-foot high bronze sculpture and fountain which symbolizes the baptism in the Savannah River. The fountain represents the source and strength of the congregation.
In 2019, the park installed plaques by Winsor Firesform that escort any visitor through a historical timeline of the Springfield Village and Augusta’s notable Black History.
"For so long, Springfield Village Park was out on its own, especially after the Golf and Gardens closed. And now, it's going to be right in the middle of the thick of things with cyber right there. That's pretty wonderful because, hopefully, many people will be walking through the park. And the history of Springfield Village is amazing, and Springfield Baptist Church,” said Camille A. Price, former Executive Director of Augusta Tomorrow.
Architect Thomas O. Ramsey designed the park and the sculpture is by renowned sculptor Richard Hunt.
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