Woman Owned Home For 12 Years Before Learning Significance It Held For Blacks, Now Added To National Register of Historic Places

by Gee NY
Cheronda Hutton-Ballard (insert) and the historical building.

In a quiet neighborhood near Pine and north Peoria in Tulsa, Oklahoma, sits the Charles and Bertha Blevins house, a humble abode with a significant place in civil rights history.

Cheronda Hutton-Ballard, the current owner of the house, recently discovered its remarkable past and has taken steps to ensure its recognition. Hutton-Ballard shared with FOX23 her journey of uncovering the historical significance of her home.

She recalled being told by a neighbor in 2012 that her house used to serve as a voting precinct, hosting elections in its basement.

This revelation sparked her curiosity, leading her to research further and eventually discover that her house was precinct number 3, a crucial center for voting in the north Tulsa community.

With newfound knowledge of her home’s historical role, Hutton-Ballard embarked on a mission to have the house recognized on the National Register of Historic Places.

She disclosed that the historical significance of the place would have been lost to history had it not been for the collaborative effort of her community.

On March 14, the Oklahoma Historical Society officially added the Charles and Bertha Blevins house to the National Register of Historic Places.

The recognition highlights its significance in the economic and social development of the Black community in north Tulsa during the mid-20th century. Reflecting on the importance of the house, Hutton-Ballard spoke of the courageous individuals who exercised their right to vote within its walls.

She honored their legacy by incorporating symbols of their activism into her home, including a bust of President John F. Kennedy, one of the last presidents elected during their time.

Expressing gratitude for the opportunity to preserve this piece of history, Hutton-Ballard emphasized her commitment to honoring the memory of the Blevins family, who entrusted her with their home.

Looking ahead, she envisions creating a special tribute by setting up voting booths in her home to reenact the historic elections that once took place there.

As the Charles and Bertha Blevins house receives national recognition, it stands as a testament to the resilience and determination of those who fought for their rights and made their voices heard, even in the face of adversity.

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