Harrison Hill, Jeff Hill’s brother.

Rachel Hill-Rabsatt has spent many of her 37 years getting to know her relatives, but Saturday she’s looking forward to meeting even more. Her ancestors were pioneers of the Little Egypt Community, and she’s hoping to encounter long lost cousins at the Hill Family Reunion.

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Jeff and Hanna Hill, brother and sister-in-law of Rachel’s great-great-grandfather Harrison Hill, founded Little Egypt near Northlake Shopping Center in 1883 after being freed from slavery. They joined with other African American families after the Civil War and built a cohesive community despite having no running water or paved roads.

“Life was hard there, but I’ll tell you what, it was one of the blessed things that happened to me,” Jerry McCoy told the Houston Chronicle in 2002. He lived in Little Egypt as a child and attended the dedication of a historical marker last week. “It taught me how to be a man because we didn’t have all the luxuries, but whatever we had, we appreciated. And whatever I get now, I still appreciate.”

White investors purchased the pioneer familys’ homes in 1962, and when it was time to go to their heavenly homes, residents were buried in the eastern end of McCree Cemetery, also known as Little Egypt and reserved for Blacks only. Whites were buried on the west end.

The McCree Cemetery Association, Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation and Versar, Inc. will host a Little Egypt Cemetery Stroll and Clean Up from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 3. The cemetery is hidden off an alley at 9934 Audelia Road. All are welcome, and volunteers should wear long pants and bring work gloves, water, clippers and/or a rake.

The Hill Family Reunion will be held that evening at 6 p.m. at the Campbell Green Recreation Center, 16600 Park Hill. You may email Rachel for more information at rhill2285@yahoo.com.

Aerial view of Little Egypt in 1962.

Sara and William Hill, son of Jeff and Hanna.