MoDOT gathering historical facts about ‘Foot’

Archaeological testing in advance of the construction of a new interchange at U.S. 50 and Lafayette Street in Jefferson City is underway, and the Missouri Department of Transportation's Historic Preservation specialists need assistance to help fill in the blanks of history.

MoDOT is interested in speaking with anyone who might have documents, photographs or personal remembrances of the businesses, homes and people who lived and worked in the historic “Foot” area, especially at the 500 block of Lafayette Street.

Officials welcome any information about the “Foot” community from 1895 to 1960, but is particularly interested in any information relating to Duke and Estella Diggs and Ulysses and Laura Tayes, two prominent African-American families who lived in homes that were previously located at 526 and 528 Lafayette St.

Initial testing has revealed an archaeological site at the former location of the Diggs and Tayes homes and businesses. The site of interest is located directly across Lafayette Street from the former location of the Quinn Chapel A.M.E. Church.

Each time MoDOT prepares for a construction project, the project area is examined for historic and prehistoric artifacts and structures. When cultural resources are discovered, MoDOT records and preserves as much as possible for future generations.

To contribute to the information gathered by MoDOT historians and archaeologists, contact MoDOT archaeologist Brianne Greenwood at 526-7908 or brianne.greenwood@modot.mo.gov. Those interested can also visit the historic preservation division of MoDOT online at www.modot.org/ehp/HistoricPreservation.htm.

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