WILDWOOD, MO (KMOX) – A road in Wildwood, home to several plantations dating back to the 19th century, may soon undergo a name change.

That’s because it is named Old Slave Road.

Some homeowners in Wildwood are petitioning the City Council to change the name, including one resident who says it makes the area unwelcoming to African-Americans.

Developers named the road in 1979. It runs near a burial site for slaves.

Some want the road renamed in honor of Elijah Madison, a former slave who enlisted with the black infantry in 1864, but the Wildwood Historic Preservation Commission is offering two recommendations: Old Slave Cemetery Road and Freedmen Road.

The commission says both Old Slave Cemetery Road and Freedmen Road “recognize the history of the area” while clearly identifying the major role former slaves had in the area’s growth before and after the Civil War. The commission says it will also complete and publish a “historical inventory” of the area.

The commission will issue its recommendation tonight after months of discussion and a couple public hearings. There is no confirmation on when the City Council vote on it.


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