Goodloetown: Goodloe Street
For Lexington, the African American population more than doubled between 1860 and 1870. This was due largely to recently freed enslaved people migrating from rural areas to more urban areas. In response to this influx, landowners and developers created urban clusters to house the rising African American population in the city. This housing trend was readily apparent in the East End.
In 1865, Winn Gunn purchased 14 acres along a section of Winchester Road that’s now known as East Third Street. After building his house, Gunn subdivided much of the land surrounding his residence during the period between 1867 and 1889, the year of his death. Gunn sold many of the lots to African Americans in need of a place to live. The lots were narrow rectangular parcels located along the streets including East Third, Goodloe, Warnock and Constitution, now known as East Second Street. The street behind the Lyric Theater is Gunn Street, named for Winn Gunn.
Another large landowner in this part of Lexington at the time was David S. Goodloe, a local physician. Like Gunn, he too subdivided his land and created another unban cluster of African American residences. Goodloetown, as it came to be known, was established around 1871 and included portions of Race, Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth streets. By 1887 Goodloetown had grown to include Gunntown and Bradley Bottoms. It was the largest Black residential area in Lexington.
Today, the area of Goodloetown is a predominantly African American neighborhood partially shielded from view by Thoroughbred Park in downtown Lexington.
This map shows Lexington's streets in 1888.