The Sabine Farms Educational Society has announced the return of its annual June 19 celebration after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The annual picnic-style affair will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 18 on the grounds of the historic Sabine Farms site, located off US 59 South and FM 1186. Complimentary refreshments will be served.

“As in the past, this will be a day of remembrance and celebration of the significance of this day to us,” said Helen Murray, president of the society.

June 19, traditionally observed on June 19, marks the day in 1865 when slaves in Texas finally learned that the Civil War was over and slavery had been abolished. The news, which was announced in Galveston by Union soldiers, came two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which was issued in 1862 and became official on January 1, 1863.

Ahead of the launch celebration at Sabine Farms, the educational society will have a special treat, featuring NFL legend and DeBerry native John Booty, who will lead an athletic clinic for area youth from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on site, also in June. 18.

“He loves coming home to visit family, friends and watch his ‘Bulldawgs’ of Carthage,” Murray said.

According to his biography, Booty was drafted in the 10th round of the 1988 NFL Draft by the New York Jets and played three seasons with them. He played two seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles and one season each with the Phoenix Cardinals, New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a total of eight seasons.

After retiring, Booty received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1988 from Texas Christian University. He is now a co-coach of the “Mean Machine” Congressional Football Game for Charity to benefit the Capitol Police Memorial Fund.

The Sabine Farms Educational Society invites everyone to come and have a day filled with camaraderie, food and fun.

“Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn/folding chairs to ensure they have comfortable seating,” Murray said.

Murray has previously noted that admission is free, but donations are always welcome to help maintain the site, which is managed and preserved by the educational society and once served as a cornerstone of Afro community activity. of Harrison County and the surrounding area.

According to the endangered historic site marker at the location, the site was one of several experimental farming communities administered by the Resettlement Administration (later the Farm Security Administration) to assist those displaced by the upheaval of the Great Depression. Through this effort, 141 farming communities have been created; 13 of them, including Sabine Farms, served African-American sharecroppers.

The grounds included a cooperative store, a 400-seat auditorium, a home economics building, a dining hall and dormitory, a combined office building, a water tower, and a cucumber stand. All homes had electricity, water and sanitation in an effort to ameliorate conditions of poverty in rural Harrison County.

At the company’s annual June 19 celebration, attendees like to reminisce about when the place was in full swing. It served as a community hub, including hosting many Juneteenth activities.

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