An antebellum, free Black enclave with origins in the 1858 purchase of a 16-acre tract of land by farmer Jesse Pettiford (1792-1870); Ohio’s Oberlin College was its apparent namesake. Residents first built pioneer homes here, then vernacular and more fashionable houses by the turn of the century, dozens of which remain. Oberlin had a cemetery and its own public graded school, which predated Raleigh’s graded schools by seven years, as well as Wilson Temple United Methodist Church (ca. 1870) and Oberlin Baptist Church (ca. 1880). The village was also home to Latta University until 1920.