Greenlawn intersection named for former enslaved man known as the 'Pickle King'

The intersection of Taylor and Boulevard avenues is now known as Samuel Ballton Way.

News 12 Staff

Jun 17, 2021, 2:52 AM

Updated 1,031 days ago

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An intersection in Greenlawn got a new name Wednesday in honor of a Civil War vet who escaped slavery to fight in the war.
The intersection of Taylor and Boulevard avenues is now known as Samuel Ballton Way.
Ballton was a baller and a shot caller back in the late 19th century. He started with nothing and through his own enterprise built a small empire.
Ballton was born into slavery in 1838 in Virginia but had a vision for a greater life. He escaped slavery, rescued his wife and joined the Army to fight in the Civil War.
Ballton's great-great grandson Carl Ballton says, "It's almost without words to know that your ancestor had an impact in the early 20th century at a time when African Americans didn't have the best of it."
After the war, Ballton settled in Greenlawn where he proceeded to build an empire. Ballton was a philanthropist and ran a hotel. He was an influential farmer and developed a cucumber resistant to harmful and damaging bacteria. One year, he grew 1.5 million cucumbers, which he pickled. He became known as the 'pickle king' of Greenlawn.
More than a century after he died, the Town of Huntington named the intersection after him. The honor was made possible to activists like Irene Moore, who believes the history of the Blacks who helped build the community should be remembered.


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