People living in Braceville are working to preserve the history of their community. 

“We have a lot of notable people who came from Braceville,” Gwen Shavers, a member of the Braceville Community Foundation said. “Where we'd have our reunions, we would tell stories and those stories gave us a love for the community.”

Those stories were about their African American ancestors that were some of the first to settle in the predominantly white community. 

In 1830, a census recorded the first African American in Braceville. In 1930, the census listed 34 African American families in the town. That number grew to 83 families on the 1950 census. Those families occupied a small portion of the town in the Steel Industrial Allotment and the Midway Plati. Living there, were soon to be award winning authors, baseball hall of famers, the first black deputy sheriff in Trumbull County and much more. To share their stories, the Braceville Community Foundation is opening a museum. 

Nearly 40 families have submitted artifacts and stories about why they came to the town, their struggles with oppression and things they accomplished while living in Braceville. 

“We do have a young lady that was the daughter of a constable,” Terry Shavers, the Project Manager for the Braceville African American Museum said. “Her father was a hand radio operator and during the Vietnam War people from the community would come to him and he would operate his hand radio and reach some of the people in Vietnam and families were able to talk to their children.”

Legacies that were passed down from generation to generation of bravery, heroism, heartache and achievement will all be told in the museum so that they’re not forgotten. 

“If we don't tell our history no one else will, no one else ever has and if we dont tell it, it will get lost and even people will try and take it away from you,” Gwen said.

The Braceville African American Museum that will showcase all of the town's history is expected to open this July at 1250 Cedar Street in Newton Falls