SAN ANTONIO & BLACK SETTLEMENT : 2
The ongoing research of San Antonio’s historic Black settlements has revealed aspects of the city’s history that many could not imagine. Oral history sessions with Griffin and other family descendants provided directions to the location of the family homestead site within a modern residential subdivision. One family member recounted that a promise had been made to name a street in the subdivision after the family. It turned out that two streets include the Griffin name. Another family member recounted a family ritual that used a live oak tree as a point of reference. Rivers, streams, trees and other natural features were used as major landmarks in pre-twentieth century way finding and land deed descriptions. During a recent visit to the site the encounter with the majestic oak revived the memory. As it turns out, the oak tree was a landmark at the house site of the family patriarch in the late 1800’s. Without the surviving tree, the location of the house would be very difficult to identify in the present landscape. The adjacent photo includes some of the Griffin descendants standing under the tree, now considered to be a heritage oak (greater than 24” trunk diameter).