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John Gee Black Historical Center

John Gee Black Historical Center


Open Friday and Saturdays 10am - 3pm (Other Hours By Appointment)
Free Admission
lat: 38.8137247 long: -82.1974384

The John Gee Black Historical Center is a cultural and educational center to insure the preservation of tradition, culture, crafts, music and art of the African Americans in Southeastern Ohio and to educate our diverse people about African-American traditions and about the past and present contributions of African-Americans to this country.

John Gee, a skilled carpenter who built houses in Gallipolis, donated the land at 48 Pine Street for the first church edifice. During these times, Black Americans were usually buried in church cemeteries. But John Gee donated 4 acres of land at the end of Pine Street as a burial ground for the local black citizens.

In the fall of 1868, the African Methodist Episcopal Church was dedicated. Sometime in the 1880’s, the chapel was named for John Gee, it’s first great benefactor and one of the principal founders. For 180 years, services were held at the John Gee Chapel. But in August 1997, the last church services were held. The member/trustees  decided to donate the building to the black community to be used as a black historical center. Their desire was to create a living representation of the culture, heritage and contributions of Black Americans living in Southeastern Ohio.

In June 1998, the member/trustees of the Chapel called an organizational meeting of people who had expressed an interest in preserving the Chapel. They called the new organization the John Gee Black Historical Center, Inc.

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