Historic bricks found in Fourth Ward neighborhood during debris clean up

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- This Black History Month, more historic bricks were found in a Fourth Ward neighborhood.

The bricks were found on Ruthven and Bailey Street as residents were cleaning up debris, which a contractor mistakenly dumped on a property that used to be an old lounge.

"These bricks are the cornerstone of our community. Without these brick streets, we would not be here," Houston Archeological Consultant for Freedmen's Town Charonda Johnson told ABC13 Monday.

The bricks, which are over 100 years old, were laid by freed slaves. They became known a few years ago around November of 2017, when construction workers in Freedmen's Town tore them up to replace aging sewer and power lines.

SEE ALSO: Mayor stops construction to save Freedmen's Town bricks

At the time, the original work was being done on Genesee Street. It then spilled over to Andrews Street for drainage improvements, but the crew was not supposed to touch the bricks. The work ended up damaging some of them and community leaders fought for them to stay where they belong.

In March of 2018, months after the unauthorized construction work damaged the historically significant bricks, they were then reinstalled, cleaned, and restored.

SEE ALSO: Community members celebrate return of Historic Freedmen's Town bricks

"If your family roots started in Houston, your roots started in Freedmen's Town. This is the mother ward," Johnson said. "You don't have to be from here to fight and protect your history."
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