Black cemetery’s historic headstones are getting new home decades after being dumped in Potomac


KING GEORGE, Va. (WJLA) – The governors of Maryland and Virginia joined the mayor of Washington D.C. on Monday to proper a historic improper.

Gravestones from a Black cemetery established in 1859 had been eliminated and dumped into the Potomac River.

Efforts are underway to revive the markers to a dignified place of relaxation.

You possibly can nonetheless see the remnants of grave markers dumped 60 years in the past alongside a stretch of the Potomac in King George, Virginia.

They had been rediscovered when the property modified palms a couple of years in the past.

The brand new proprietor, Virginia state Sen. Richard Stewart, was horrified to see many with clearly legible names.

He started an effort by way of which he discovered they’d come from the previous Columbian Concord Cemetery in D.C., the ultimate resting place for a lot of distinguished African People relationship again to the early 1800s.

In 1959, when the property was bought for improvement throughout a time of economic hardship, a lot of the stays had been moved to a brand new cemetery in Landover, Maryland, however the headstones had been handled as scrap and dumped on a riverbank to regulate erosion.

Greater than 50 headstones are being moved to a correct memorial space.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam mentioned it’s time to jot down a improper.

“I feel we are able to all agree that that’s simply improper,” he mentioned. “These had been folks. That they had households who liked them, and to dump their headstones or promote them for another makes use of is dehumanizing. And that was a part of the objective, maybe.”

The recovered gravestones are being relocated to a one-acre memorial backyard within the Nationwide Concord Memorial Park in Landover, Maryland.

In the meantime, Northam says the state of Virginia has accredited $4 million for its personal memorial.

Virginia’s memorial will honor the tombstones which might be illegible or unable to be faraway from the water, in a tribute to the 37,000 folks as soon as buried on the Columbian Concord Cemetery.

Copyright 2021 WJLA through CNN Newsource. All rights reserved.

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