Lancaster, Grant County, Wisconsin
42° 49.603′ N, 90° 47.706′ W
The marker is located on Slab Town Road, at its intersection with Wisconsin Route 35/81, Lancaster, Wisconsin 53813.In 1850, pioneer African-American families began arriving in this area when Charles and Caroline Shepard and Isaac and Sarah Shepard arrived from Fauquier County, Virginia. The Shepards came with William Horner, the great-nephew of their former owner, Sarah Edmonds, who had freed her former slaves in her will. Later the Shepards purchased land from Horner for $1.50 per acre, becoming the first African-American landowners in this integrated farming community called Pleasant Ridge. The community grew to include over 50 African-Americans, who were joined by German, English and Irish farmers. Together these Pleasant Ridge farmers built a log school in 1873 and a log United Brethren Church in 1884. In 1898, the younger generation of African-Americans built a community hall where they hosted an annual community barbecue. The African-American cemetery, one mile west on Slabtown Road, is one of the few remnants of this remarkable community.