As Lake Highlands was emerging as an upper-middle class residential area, the post-Civil War black community known as Little Egypt sat in its midst, atop dirt roads and sans running water or sewage systems. Freed slaves Jeff and Hannah Hill acquired the land in 1865 and built the Little Egypt Baptist Church. The Northlake Shopping Center and residences occupy the land today (an apartment development is in the works). In spring 1962, the entire population of Little Egypt, some 200 people, exited in a single day. “Its dirt, deep-rutted streets are clogged with moving vans today,” reported a newscaster for WBAP. “A shopping center syndicate decided Little Egypt was in the way of progress.” The developers paid property owners $2.50 per square foot for their land and a minimum of $6,500. Elders such as William Hill (grandson of Hannah and Jeff) would miss their homes, but most residents told reporters they were looking forward to better lives with indoor plumbing and actual streets. Once the 37 trucks and several passenger cars used to complete the move were gone, bulldozers rolled in to demolish what was left of Little Egypt, WBAP reported. Today the only indication of Little Egypt’s border is a noticeable change in the pavement on Shoreview Road. (Visit lakehighlands.advocatemag.com and search Clive Siegel for more on the Little Egypt project).

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