The Tolliver Family
“Berkley Town wasn’t originally included in Ashland until town
facilities were added.”
Originally born in Hanover, Virginia, Ms. Tolliver has been a resident of Berkley
Town for the past thirty-five years. Growing up as an only child, high expectations
were placed on Ms. Tolliver by her family to finish high school. Unfortunately,
college was not an option for Ms. Tolliver because unlike the financial-aid programs
offered today, efficient financial-aid programs were not available to her and even
if they were she was unaware. Although she wished to attend college, she was quite
content with graduating from John M. Gandy High School. She maintained jobs at factories,
performed domestic work and worked at restaurants where her salary only consisted
of wages substantial enough to make ends meet.
When Ms. Tolliver first moved to Berkley Town, there were no town facilities (i.e.
running water). In addition to the lack of town services, few houses existed and
most of the neighborhood was sheltered by forestry. Though, over the past twenty
years, the town has flourished into a wonderful neighborhood. The historical John
M. Gandy High School was transformed into John M. Gandy Elementary and more houses
were installed in addition to the historical houses that already existed.
Ms. Tolliver found that the older generation that had lived in Berkley Town for
most of their lives kept close ties with one another. Unlike the elder generation,
Ms. Tolliver also realizes that the youth of the neighborhood are different than
their elders and tend to keep to themselves. In her own experience, Hanover seemed
to be more like family than that of Berkley Town.
Today, Ms. Tolliver, her husband and daughter all are current residents of Berkley
Town. This close-knit family spends a substantial amount of time together, especially
Ms. Tolliver and her daughter whom she considers to be her “best friend.”
When asked if she could do anything in her life right now, what would it be, she
responded by saying that she would “help the helpless” by building and running a
home for the needy. In conclusion, her advice for future generations would be…
“Get all of the education that you can get and take advantage of all programs offered.”