The old home adjacent to Shirl Marks' house in Stamping Ground stood untouched for about 10 years after it was acquired by her family. "Trees were growing through it," Marks said. "Possums lived in it." When her son played at a nearby basketball goal, "the critters would be looking out the window," she said, laughing.

Renovations of the home began about five years ago after a Scott County historian wrote an article about a black woman who owned the home in the 1800s. Marks learned that several black families lived in that home in the 1800s and 1900s and hundreds of blacks had moved to Stamping Ground after the Civil War.

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