Pilgrim Black (1905 – 2002 ) was a migrant crew leader from 1962 to 1975 on the Don VanDusen apple farm in the Town of Huron. The camp Black was in charge of was located on Pre-Emption Road between Old Ridge and the new 104. Black’s daughter, Patricia Black, born in 1956 in Lyons, spent her childhood traveling between Sanford, Florida and Huron, New York, as her parents lived seasonally between the two states, working within the agricultural industry. Possessed with the wisdom to see the value of saving historic memorabilia for future generations, Patricia was able to share the collection of her father’s photos, papers, and records with the University of Central Florida RICHES (Regional Initiative for Collection the History, Experiences, and Stories of Central Florida). This collection is a remarkable portrait of a man and a facet of agriculture that is sadly under recognized. Patricia’s efforts to educate local populations about her family’s migrant experience are filling in the blanks of some of this missing history, and helping to relate an untold story.
An historical marker – Georgetown Pathways to History Project Heritage Marker #3 – was created to honor the local agriculture of the Sanford/Georgetown area. Pilgrim Black is noted on the maker with images and information from Patricia’s collection bringing this story to life.