Lucy Simms Birthplace/Ralph Sampson Park

Historical Significance

The Ralph Sampson Park occupies the former location of the Gray estate called "Hilltop", where the educator Lucy Simms was born. The park is dedicated to Ralph Sampson Jr., a well-known NCAA and NBA basketball player. Sampson, a talented player, won many awards for his performance, spotlighting the city of Harrisonburg in the early 1980s, where he played high school basketball. Sampson was one of the most sought after recruits of his time. He played for the University of Virginia and was drafted to the NBA after college, playing for the Houston Rockets. The University of Virginia team was ranked first in the nation during his tenure there. He retired in 1991 after several knee injuries.

Physical Description

The Ralph Sampson Park is a 32-acre city park located on hillside landscape. The park contains one picnic shelter, restroom facilities, two tennis courts, a basketball court, newly renovated playground equipment, and horseshoe pits.

Geographical and Contact Information

231 Johnson Street
Harrisonburg, Virginia

Cite this Page:

Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, “Lucy Simms Birthplace/Ralph Sampson Park,” African American Historic Sites Database, accessed May 22, 2019,

Related Tour


Site Type navigation:  Previous | Site Type Info | Next

Share this Site