Yellow Springs holiday tradition continues for more than a century thanks to generosity of a former slave

Local News

YELLOW SPRINGS, Ohio (WDTN) -The Christmas Flour is a centuries old tradition in Yellow Springs that continued another year this week.

From Monday to Friday, Public Works employees for the village spent their time delivering flour and sugar to widows and widowers who live in Yellow Springs.

This is part of a contract made in the 1800s’s between former slave, Wheeling Gaunt, and the village of Yellow Springs.

“In [Gaunt’s] will, he left the Yellow Springs community an acre of land. One of his monikers was ‘It’s not what we have, it’s what we share.’ And that legacy and lineage continues on today,” explained Cheryl Dargans, project manager for the Wheeling Gaunt sculpture project.

On Gaunt’s acre of land was a wheat farm. In exchange for the use of the land for public parks and recreation, the village of Yellow Springs uses the funds from the wheat sales to buy flour, and now sugar, for those who lost loved ones during the holidays.

“I think it’s an excellent reminder, especially around Thanksgiving and the holidays, that there are many people who are in our village who were an important part of our village for years and they are now gone,” said Jerome Borchers, president of the Yellow Springs Arts Council.

As the tradition continues, the village of Yellow Springs is planning to create a full-size sculpture to celebrate the generosity and foresight of Wheeling Gaunt.

For more information on the sculpture project, click here.

For more information on Wheeling Gaunt and the history of the Christmas Flour tradition, click here.

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