From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Petersburg (Jefferson County, KY)

Located on Shepherdsville Road in Louisville, KY, the land that would become Petersburg was part of an area known as Wet Woods, a swamp-like plot that was settled by Eliza Curtis Hundley Tevis in the 1820s, 1830s, or possibly the 1850s.

Tevis had been enslaved on the Hundley Plantation. After she was freed, she was the first to purchase land in what would become Petersburg.

The community later got the name Petersburg from Peter Laws, who purchased land in Wet Woods and settled in the area at the end of the Civil War. Soon afterwards other freed enslaved persons built homes in the area.

In the 1830s, German immigrants had settled in Newburg, the community just south of Petersburg. Over time the entire area became known as Newburg, and with residential and commercial growth and urban renewal, the community was greatly expanded to include more than 3,000 African American residents.

For more see E. Sheryl, "19th Century Louisville: Free Black Hamlets," The Courier-Journal, 5/19/2004, Neighborhoods section, p. 01A; the Forest Home Historical Marker and more information by Andrew Patrick at the ExploreKYHistory website; and the Eliza Curtis Hundley Tevis entry in the Encyclopedia of Louisville, edited by J. E. Kleber.

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Tevis, Elizabeth C. H.
NKAA Source: Courier-Journal [Louisville] (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Encyclopedia of Louisville

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry: Tevis, Elizabeth C. H.

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Petersburg (Jefferson County, KY),” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 24, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-06-13 18:49:06