Virginia’s Department of Historical Resources recently approved a historical highway marker which commemorates the original African-American cemetery of Lexington. The text for this long overdue marker reads:
“Near the intersection of Washington and Lewis Streets stood the original burial ground for Lexington’s substantial free-black community and slaves dating to the early 1800s. The majority of the original burials were in unmarked graves and no records were maintained of these burials. The Town of Lexington obtained ownership of the cemetery in 1876 and closed it in 1880 and the persons buried here were purportedly moved to Evergreen Cemetery, although there is little information to document the extent of reburials. In 1946 the Town of Lexington subdivided the old cemetery and houses were built over the burial ground.”
The marker was recently installed by VDOT and is located on the Rt. 11 (South) bypass, just south of the bridge which passes over Rt. 60 in Lexington, Virginia.
The local Stonewall Brigade Camp #1296 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans has raised $760 toward this effort. This was done solely through private donations. No local government funds or tax dollars were received for this marker. The total cost of the marker is $1350 leaving a deficit of $590.
The purpose of this post is to ask readers, organizations, and/or businesses who are interested in assisting with this worthy project to contribute funds toward the remaining balance. Any amount is welcome and appreciated. Those wishing to give through the Stonewall Brigade SCV camp may make the check payable to: “Stonewall Brigade Camp #1296/SCV”. The Sons of Confederate Veterans is a 501(c)3 charitable organization and contributions are tax deductible as allowed by law.
Donations may also be made payable directly to the foundry that makes Virginia’s historical highway markers: “Sewah Studios, Inc.” Receipts and letters of recognition will be mailed to all those making contributions either way. Any excess monies collected will be donated to the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank.
Please mail your contributions to:
c/o Richard G. Williams, Jr.
PO Box 752
Stuarts Draft, Virginia 24477 Inquiries or questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
(I will post a clearer image some time next week.)