Cultural Heritage Tours

A project of the ETHNIC HERITAGE CENTER

Lower Dixwell Tour

Hannah Gray Home

235 Dixwell Avenue

(former)

Original Hannah Gray Home, 172 Dixwell, early 1900s. Courtesy Greater New Haven African American Society.

The Hannah Gray Home was established in 1861. The Home is named after Hannah E. Gray, an African American woman who was a seamstress and laundry woman for Yale students and people in her community. She requested that upon her death her home be designated for low-income elderly women of color. Hannah Gray was described as a gentle woman, with no direct descendants who used portions of her earnings to support her church and abolitionists here and in Canada. Hannah Gray’s original home on Dixwell Avenue was destroyed by fire but rebuilt years later. The 20th Century Club, a group of African American women from the Episcopal, Baptist, Methodist and Congregational churches on Dixwell Avenue, came together to save the financially-struggling Home. In 1911 the home moved to 235 Dixwell Avenue. It was later remodeled and reopened.

  • Text source courtesy Greater New Haven African American Historical Society

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