After the Emancipation Act and the end of the Civil War, many freed slaves built communities across Prince William County.
One of those communities, known as “The Settlement,” within the triangle of Old Carolina, Carver Road and Lee Highway in Gainesville, remains, to this day, home to many descendants of those early County residents.
Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, founded in 1877, anchors “The Settlement” and has been the center of the community’s life for more than a century hosting religious services, community events and its annual “homecoming,” which is typically held in August to reunite friends and family.
Mount Pleasant Baptist Church is recorded as a Virginia Historical Landmark and is nominated for listing on the National Register for Historic Places.
The Prince William Board of County Supervisors recently recognized “The Settlement,” with its stories and structures, as a historic African American Community in Western Prince William County.