SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks are just a few of the people who have walked the halls of the Virginia Jackson Kiah House here in Savannah and now — thanks to grassroots efforts of community members over the last decade — the civil rights-era relic will live on.

A historic marker now sits outside the house to honor Virginia Kiah’s legacy forever.

The house has been vacant since Kiah’s death in 2001, which sent the property to probate court. After a decades-long, contentious ownership battle, the Historic Savannah Foundation closed on the sale of the property at the end of April.

Kiah and her husband turned their home into a museum in 1959, one of the first in Savannah to be started by African-Americans. Today, the community remembers Kiah as a visionary and pioneer in black culture.

Mayor Van Johnson, former Savannah mayors, city council members, community activists and descendants of the Kiah family were all part of the unveiling ceremony on Monday.

“We are standing here today in the present at the nexus of our past and our future to declare as a community that something special happened in this place. That for generations well beyond us people will walk by here and they will be able to learn the story of Virginia Jackson Kiah,” Mayor Van Johnson said.

The Virginia Jackson Kiah House is located in the Cuyler-Brownsville neighborhood on West 36th Street.