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Celebrate Black History Month with Prince William County Historic Preservation

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There is a rich legacy of African American history in Prince William County. The Prince William County Historic Preservation Division takes great care in researching and interpreting the stories that speak about African American experiences throughout this region.

The history of Lucasville is one such story about a strong African American community that developed in our area after the Civil War. The strength and determination of this community of about 100 people, is evident with the legacy left by the Lucasville schoolhouse.  Approved in 1883 and built in 1885, construction paid by the Prince William County School Board, costs totaled $267.13.  The school operated from 1886 to 1926, although attendance waivered through the years, a commitment to keeping the school open demonstrated their belief in the value of an education.

During this same time, Frederick Douglass was one of the most prominent African Americans in the county; he too valued the power of education.  Douglass said, during his keynote speech for the opening of the Manassas Industrial School, “To found an educational institution for any people is worthy of note; but to found a school in which to instruct, improve and develop all that is noblest and best in the souls of a deeply wronged and long-neglected people, is especially noteworthy.”

There are many opportunities for visitors to learn and experience something unique during the month of February, from visiting the historic school to the Ben Lomond slave quarters. You can join us as we celebrate African American History Month, February 10 at Lucasville School, where we will share stories about the Lucasville community and celebrate the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial.

The Ebenezer Men’s Choir will kick off the celebration with song and the youth group will follow, reading aloud passages from an 1894 Frederick Douglass speech.  Prince William County Historic Preservation Division will also give away one special editionNarrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass to each family in attendance with schoolchildren, while supplies last.

Later in the month, you are welcome to join us for an exclusive opportunity to spend the night in an original slave quarter, where historians and interpreters will share stories about the people who lived at Ben Lomond, how they worked to survive and to resist.  

If you would rather not spend the night, you might enjoy a day program, where visitors can explore the historic home and original slave quarter, learning about the enslaved population at Ben Lomond in the years before the Civil War.

The Slave Quarter at Ben Lomond is one of only three to survive in Prince William County today! Reservations are required as space is limited. For more information on these events, please visit pwcgov.org/history or call 703-367-7872.

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