This site is part of the Black Springs tour, a partnership with Our Story, Inc. Visit the Tours page for the tour introduction and complete list of sites.
This small house, constructed of field stone on masonry, is one of the oldest structures in Black Springs. Thurman Carthen remembers it standing when he first arrived in 1956, and believed it to be a well house. Others recall it as a grain house. It was eventually remodeled into a residential duplex.
The building and the house next door were owned by Fleeter Turner. According to local newspapers, Turner was born in Louisiana in 1890 and moved to Reno around 1934. She lived for many years on Valley Road before moving to Black Springs, and was an active member of the Bethel AME church on Bell Street.
Turner's life is a bit hard to piece together, but it appears that her husband, Abraham L. Turner, died in Reno in 1941. She purchased three lots from J.E. and Dorothy R. Sweatt in July of 1953 and lived in Black Springs with her partner, Charles Settles. But as with many in the neighborhood, she appears to have lived in Black Springs for some time before the formal deed to the property was transferred. In December 1952, she was said to be hosting a turkey and chicken dinner on behalf of the House of God in a "cement block house" she shared with Charles Settles "on the main street of Black Springs." According to a neighbor, that original block house burned down.
Turner played a role in the establishment of a church in Black Springs in 1952, the year before she moved there herself. In September of 1952, J.E. Sweatt sold a parcel of land to Turner, Charles Settles, and J.S. DuPree specifically and solely for the construction of a church and living quarters for a minister and his family. Newspaper sources indicate that the church was to serve African American service members stationed at the Stead Air Base.
By early 1953, the All People's Holy Church of Christ was offering services in Black Springs, with Reverend J.S. DuPree as pastor. We are seeking more information on this church and its specific location and will continue to update this site as we gain additional knowledge of its location and operations.
Turner later became a member of Greater New Hope Baptist Church and worked in domestic service while living in Black Springs. She died in 1983 at the age of 92.