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Reedy Creek State Park

By Kelly Agan, N.C. Government & Heritage Library, 2016

Established: 1950
GPS Coordinates: 35.833731, -78.760208
Size: 1,234 acres
Boyscouts learning about native plants and animals at Crabtree Creek or Reedy Creek State Park, ca. 1940s to 1950s. Crabtree Creek had two park entrances during segregation. In 1950, the southern entrance at Reedy Creek and its surrounding 1,234 acres were split into a separate state park exclusively for African Americans. North Carolina State Parks Collection, NC Digital Collections.

See also: Exploring North Carolina: North Carolina State Parks, Trails, Lakes, Rivers & Natural AreasCrabtree Creek State Park; William B. Umstead State Park; Segregation

 

Today Reedy Creek State Park is part of the William B. Umstead State Park. The existence of two separate entrances to the park are the remnants of the park's history during racial segregation.

The park was created on April 24, 1950 with 1,234 acres from the southern end of Crabtree Creek State Park. And although it was designated at that time as the state's second state park exclusively for use by African Americans, Crabtree Creek State Park had for many years operated with two entrances, one for blacks and one for whites. When Reedy Creek was created, Crabtree Creek became the park for whites. Park brochures would make the segrated distinction until 1965.

In 1955, Crabtree Creek State Park was re-dedicated and renamed for conservation advocate Governor William B. Umstead, and in 1966 the two separate parks were united into one park, William B. Umstead State Park.

References:

North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation. William B. Umstead State Park Master Plan. 1974. https://archive.org/details/williambumsteads00unse (accessed December 28, 2015)

"State Leads in Acreage Acquired by Rural Resettlement Administration." Gastonia Gazette (Gastonia, N.C.), November 20, 1936. 

North Carolina Department of Conservation and Development. North Carolina Resources. 1952. https://digital.ncdcr.gov/digital/collection/p249901coll22/id/80397 (accessed January 19, 2016).

North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation. North Carolina State Parks [brochure]. 1954. https://digital.ncdcr.gov/digital/collection/p16062coll9/id/215048 (accessed January 19, 2016).

North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation. North Carolina State Parks [brochure]. 1957. https://digital.ncdcr.gov/digital/collection/p16062coll9/id/215013 (accessed January 19, 2016).

North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation. North Carolina State Parks [brochure]. 1959. https://digital.ncdcr.gov/digital/collection/p16062coll9/id/215081 (accessed January 19, 2016).

North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation. North Carolina State Parks [brochure]. 1961. https://digital.ncdcr.gov/digital/collection/p16062coll9/id/214939 (accessed January 19, 2016).

North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation. North Carolina State Parks [brochure]. 1961. https://digital.ncdcr.gov/digital/collection/p16062coll9/id/214939 (accessed January 19, 2016).

North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation. North Carolina State Parks [brochure]. 1965. https://digital.ncdcr.gov/digital/collection/p16062coll9/id/214978 (accessed January 19, 2016).

Image Credits:

[Boyscouts learning about native plants and animals, Crabtree Creek State Park.] Photograph. ca. 1940s. https://digital.ncdcr.gov/digital/collection/p16062coll27/id/178 (accessed January 19, 2016).

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