Connor Prairie features ‘Black Pioneers’


A short play, “Black Pioneers: Roberts Settlement,” along with a supplementary exhibition and live interpretation, will be featured at Conner Prairie in Fishers on Saturdays in September. Visitors can hear the story of free people of color who immigrated to Hamilton County from North Carolina in the 1830s. The pioneers bought land from the federal government and established a thriving settlement among Quaker neighbors.

The play is for ages 8 and up be Sept. 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29 inside of Prairietown. Shows are at noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

The play focuses on the of arrival from North Carolina following the original settlers’ (Hansel and Elijah Roberts and Micajah Walden) purchases of tracts of land in the northwest section of Hamilton County.

Visitors will be able to interact with exhibit elements including a video with historic images from Roberts Settlement families, interspersed with images from current Roberts Settlement descendants. Visitors also will be able to talk with an interpreter about the Roberts settlement history and explore maps, timelines, and historical papers, to learn about the experience of free people of color moving west in the early 19th century.

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