Griffytown’s history stretches back to the late nineteenth century when Dan Griffith, a freedman, moved a log cabin to Old Harrod's Creek Road.
According to local oral tradition, the formerly-enslaved Daniel Griffith purchased a wooden home from the family of Minor White, who had been an early settler of Middletown, and relocated the structure to a lot on Old Harrod's Creek Road. Griffith (also listed as "Griffy" in some documents, such as the 1880 U.S. Census) moved onto a lot he and his wife Margret purchased from Silas O. Witherbee, a white landowner. From this single lot grew the community that came to be known as Griffytown.
Confronted with segregationist whites who often refused to sell land or property to black Kentuckians in the years following Emancipation, freedmen and freedwomen built communities in the best areas made available to them. Griffytown emerged from just such a dynamic as Silas Witherbee, a white physician originally from New York, continued to sell tracts to African Americans over the course of the 1880s, 1890s and into the twentieth century.
The community of Griffytown grew up in close proximity to the town of Anchorage, which began in 1848 around a station for the Louisville and Frankfort Shortline Railroad. As affluent whites increasingly settled in Anchorage as a suburban alternative to living in Louisville during the final decades of the nineteenth century and into the twentieth, black Kentuckians created Griffytown nearby. Many early residents of Griffytown and Berrytown worked as domestic servants in the wealthy white households of Anchorage. Others labored for the railroad, at the Central State Hospital, or at a local quarry.
During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Griffytown had a rural character; most families cultivated gardens and many had livestock. As a result, many households raised enough food to support themselves. Even with the railroad and later interurban train, the trip to Louisville was not the easy proposition it became after the spread of the automobile. Yet, Griffytown residents did maintain ties to the larger city and some sold their extra produce in the Louisville market. Similar dynamics, in which local residents focused their efforts close to home, but developed ties to other communities that provided broader opportunities, also characterized Griffytown's educational system. After completing their years at local elementary schools, many Griffytown students attended the Lincoln Institute in neighboring Shelby County.
The marker reads:
The Louisville and Frankfort Shortline railroad, which arrived in eastern Jefferson County through Hobbs Station (now Anchorage) in 1848, created a cluster of communities which would be known as Anchorage, Berrytown, and Griffytown.
(Reverse) Griffytown - Local tradition holds that, in 1879, freedman Dan Griffith bought the cabin of early Middletown settler Minor White from his family. He moved the cabin to Old Harrod's Creek Road, founding the settlement known today as Griffytown (originally spelled Griffeytown). Cabin burned, 1956. Presented by Louisville and Jefferson County African American Heritage Committee, Inc.
The marker was dedicated in 1996.