The town of Nicodemus was a planned community devoted to Black settlement in the years after the U.S. Civil War. Founded in 1877 by a White town planner and a Black preacher, Nicodemus was settled primarily by freed slaves from Kentucky. The harsh living conditions and climate were overcome for a time, and the settlement grew to include two newspapers, three general stores, at least three churches, a number of small hotels, one school, literary society, ice cream parlor, a bank, a livery, numerous homes and more.
When the railroad failed to come to Nicodemus the town’s population began to dwindle. Current residency in the town is less than 40 individuals. However, the town has been designated a National Historic Site.
We drove through Nicodemus and it wasn’t much. Actually more like a ghost town – we saw only one other person. The old historical buildings were abandoned and disheveled. However, we did get some good photos of the buildings and some old rusty 1950s cars.