Bond Avenue is situated not far off of the business area of Reisterstown and has existed as a Black community since the slavery era.
The book talks about slaves from the Reisterstown area, who in 1834 petitioned the Asbury Chapel (now Reisterstown United Methodist Church); the petition was granted, a White class leader assigned, and the slaves began praising their God in this White church. We all know how difficult, if not impossible, for slaves to congregate in a group anywhere during the slavery era. This group of slaves began what is now St. Luke United Methodist Church on Bond Avenue. A copy of the actual class list, with the names of each slave in 1834 is included in the book.
The book lists several of the older Black families from the Bond Avenue area, and should prove invaluable to Black persons searching their roots. It provided for the history of the Black church, Black organizations, Black businesses and the Black one-room school house which until early in 1997 stood proudly today behind the church. In early 1997, the St. Luke's United Methodist Church destroyed this beautiful piece of history to make room for expansion of the church
In the church cemetery, the books provides a listing of most of the Black people buried there, along with a highly significant Black Hero, a former slave by the name of Augustus Walley, who in 1870 left the hard life of a laborer and joined the Buffalo Soldiers on the Western frontier. His tombstone notes that he was a member of the Buffalo Soldiers, but failed to note that he was the winner of the coveted Congressional Medal of Honor. Some information on Augustus Walley can be seen in a web page that the author of the book has completed for the Baltimore Metropolitian Chapter of the Buffalo Soldiers. URL is: http://www.charm.net/~fdiggs/buffalo. The book outlines in every detail how this award came about, and documents his life in the thirty-some years he spent in the military.
The book contains remembrances of numerous Black residents of the community whose roots go deep there, and remembrances of White residences as well as the recall the many Blacks who worked for their families in the days of old, or had businesses of their own. The book looks at very successful Black business men, one in particular, a builder, John Thomas Welch, whose homes he built, stand today as testimony of his quality of work.
The book contains ober 250 photographs of the many Black families, church, social, etc., lives of the Black citizens of the Bond Avenue from the 1800s on.