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Purcellville

After the Civil War, G Street, south of East Main, became a thriving African American neighborhood and in 1910 expanded when the Loudoun County Emancipation Association bought 10 acres at A Street and 20th, establishing Lincoln Park. Baseball fields, a tabernacle and horse and colt show sprung up. In 1948 Purcellville’s first elementary school for African Americans (today’s Carver Senior Center) was built. Purcellville’s most famous son could be choreographer Billy Pierce (1890-1933), who went on to establish his own dance school on Broadway in New York City, taught Fred Astaire, and helped inspire the Harlem Renaissance. He is credited with inventing the Black Bottom dance that would surpass the Charleston for popularity in the Roaring Twenties.

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