November 24, 2012

Pleasant Valley Cemetery, Hamilton, VA

Established in 1922, this is the cemetery's second location. The first location is up the road at Harmony UMC (previously Methodist Church South). Enslaved individuals that attended Harmony Church had their own separate burial space adjacent to the white congregant burials. The original slave cemetery location was apparently ignored by Harmony Church and parts were turned into a parking lot in the 1990s. After much outrage, Harmony UMC erected a memorial to the people who may or may not still be buried there (witnesses saw bulldozers plowing through the land and were not told if the bodies had been removed and reinterred elsewhere). The surviving headstones that had marked the disturbed graves of the former slaves and their descendants were later made into a communal marker. (See: Harmony UMC).

Sometimes I happen upon individuals that I "know", but I did not know where they were buried. I consider that to be a good day.

Mr. Fred Lucas with his mother:

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