"You were turned down, years ago," says Rosetta Clay. "Going to restaurants and they just turned you down. You couldn't go in the store, like the drug store. You couldn't go in there and sit on the stool where they indulge," she adds. "You just couldn't do it. They just didn't want you in there."
The memories of a different Berryville live on for the 93-year old Clay, but the memories of a once vibrant Josephine City are stronger.
The small city started as a village shortly after slavery. Freed slaves bought, 31 one-acre lots from the Clermont Plantation.
"It was a separate part of the community," says life-long Clarke County resident Michael Hobert. "It was part of Clarke County and not part of a town until much later."
"These individuals had their own stores, restaurants, churches, boarding houses, clothing stores," says Dorothy Davis a historian and President of the Josephine City School Museum Board. "They supported one another immensely."
Although the citizens of Josephine City had the makings of a self-sustaining community, they realized one important thing was missing. A school.
"They also, as one of goals after slavery, realized that their children needed to be educated," says Davis. "They realized that order to get ahead in this world you had to have an education."
So the newly-freed slaves built the Josephine City School in 1882. The two-room wooden school would go on to become a centerpiece of the community's rich history and a sign of forward progress.
"The school taught grades one through six," Davis says. "First, second and third in one room; fourth, fifth and sixth in another, and two teachers. There was no electricity. No running water. No air conditioning. No cafeteria."
Despite their circumstances, the teachers of the Josephine City School were said to be selfless and highly educated.
"We look at the records of their degrees and many of them had two and three degrees," Davis says. "They could not get jobs in the area, other than to teach in the Black schools and they did an outstanding job."
But, having quality teachers would not be enough for the Josephine community. They wanted better resources. That would only come through integration. Black community leaders knew their children would be on the helm of history, and a desire for a fair education would be their driving force.
It wasn't until 1966 the county finally integrated. Michael Hobert graduated with that class.
"It wasn't too tough for the white people, but I'm sure it was very challenging for the African American students that got kind of put into a situation that was kind of challenging for them," Hobert says.
"It was more difficult for our parents I think," Davis says. "Because, our parents and grandparents were protecting us from the negative," she adds.
After years of small milestones and progressive strides, community leaders like Mrs. Clay knew it was time to document their town history through the lense of the school.
They worked tirelessly to rebuild what is now the Josephine City School Museum, a community gem.
"We don't want that history to die. No, my goodness," says Clay.
Now, more than 130 years later the community reflects on how they pulled together to defy the odds, and share a rich legacy that continues to thrive on Josephine Street.
The Josephine City School Museum is hosting a "Celebration of Freedom" ceremony to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. It will take place Saturday at 2pm the new Clarke County High School.