Former Trading Market of Enslaved People to Be Removed From Ga. City After 225 Years

A former market that was once used to trade enslaved people is being removed from a Georgia city after 225 years.

The Louisville City Council on Tuesday held a meeting where they voted to relocate the Old Market House from the center of the small town, according to ABC affiliate WJBF.

The structure, which was built in Georgia's first capital around 1795, was used as a "slave market" where enslaved people were sold alongside farm equipment, land and other household goods, according to state historical archives.

It is currently listed as a present-day monument on Georgia's National Register of Historic Places, the state historical archives note.

Though a vote was made on Tuesday, the final decision is now pending litigation and a plan on what to do with the building, WJBF reported.

"We’re trying our best to do what’s right here," Mayor Larry Morgan said during Tuesday's City Council meeting, according to the outlet.

There have been various opinions on what to do with the historical structure ever since the proposal for removal was first made.

In July, the Old Market House advisory committee — made up of 14 people, including Louisville’s Mayor, City Manager and council members — initially voted on a removal proposal, WJBF reported.

A total of 70 letters were collected, with 42 of those voting to remove the Market House, and 16 others voting to keep the structure where it is. The final 12 had varying opinions on what to do with the building, suggesting it become a museum or a fountain, according to the outlet.

The local historical society said they believe the structure should remain in Louisville, located approximately 43 miles southwest of Augusta, as long as city officials make its history well known, WJBF reported.

Attendees at the meeting also supported keeping the Market House, with one man claiming that people are "coming up here saying it's a slave market and it's not. It’s a building with social events," according to WJBF.

But not everyone felt that way. Some attendees voiced their opinions and claimed that the removal was a step in the right direction.

"I feel empty right now. I feel like we got to get back out there and fight some more. We got to go to the second stage," Eugene Washington said, according to WJBF. "Justice delayed is often justice denied and that’s what I see here. Deny, deny, deny."

As officials continue to debate where the Market House will be moved and what will replace it, Louisville's City Attorney is currently looking into whether the state or federal government can weigh in on its future.

The community is reportedly leaning toward establishing a museum in its place, CNN reported.

"I just want for everyone to come together. I want for downtown to be a place that everyone loves and right now it’s not," Nikki Tarver, a member of the advisory committee, said during Tuesday's meeting, according to CNN. "So I feel like, for our future generations and our current generations, we have to do something."

"And now is the time. We have this platform and now is the perfect time to use it," she added.

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