This History is important because “It Is Black History”
The story goes something like this!
Between 1910 and 1970, Black People moved from 14 states of the South, especially Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida to the north. The moving from Florida started much later. Black People from Sanford loaded their families on trucks, in buses and cars to travel from Sanford Florida to Rochester NY. Many Black folks from Florida, among other Southern states, went (Up State) to work on farms, orchards and vineyards in rural areas outside of Rochester. That is why the Black population in small towns and communities like Medina, Sodus, Lyons, Williamson, Newark, etc are from Florida. This Migration started to occur before the 70s, somewhere around the 40s. They were seasonal migrant workers living on migrant camps in small farming cities working on farms, orchards and vineyards in rural areas outside of Rochester.
The ride from Sanford to Rochester was hard and long, sleeping, eating and relieving themselves in the woods along the way.
After the late 60s many came to work in area factories and other industries in Rochester. Some of the major companies were Kodak and Xerox that had diversity initiatives where they were looking for talented minorities/people of color. That started in the 70’s and many of these folks lived throughout the area, with Henrietta being the first suburban town where you started noticing a diverse population emerging. People that migrated from Sanford to Rochester went to better themselves, and improve the lives of their families, no different than any other migration throughout history.
Some men and women would “hop Freight Trains” from points all over Florida to Sanford. Sanford was a major stop for migrant workers coming from Jamaica and Florida southern cities, and this was because of its’ full service train station. The station was located in Goldsboro on 8th and Poplar Ave. Which is now a Coastline Park, named after the Seaboard Coastline Station.
When the train was heading north and stopped, the Caboose would be somewhere near
13 Street in Goldsboro. At that time the tracks ran through the heart of Goldsboro to the station .
I was told the “last cab on each train going north was called “Bo-Key” and if you were a “Hobo” riding you wanted that cab to get off the train in Sanford.
The word went out that “Bo-Key” would take you to Sanford and put you off in Goldsboro.
So my definition of Bo-key as it relates to Sanford means “Going Home” whether its
By car, truck, train, or bus. It all started by migrants coming from Rochester to Bo- Key.
“Going To Bo-key”