*Visit the County’s “Thoroughfare Community Updates” page for the latest information.*
In unanimously approving a second purchase agreement in the Thoroughfare Historical District this Tuesday, the Board took our next step in safeguarding the legacy of the African American and Native American families who called this area home.
The Thoroughfare community was established after the Civil War by freed slaves and mixed-raced families, including those of Native American descent. Their farming village prospered through the 20th century and many of the original buildings, structures, cemeteries, and features like Oakrum Baptist Church, which was founded by freed slaves, still exist today.
This week’s purchase agreement will enable Prince William County to preserve the Fletcher Allen Cemetery. On Nov. 9, the Board executed a purchase agreement that assists in the preservation of the Potter’s Field/Peyton Thoroughfare Community Cemetery. Together, these actions will give Prince William County the ability to develop a plan to improve the properties and create an interpretive park that honors the historic community there and allows the process of healing to begin.
Combined County statements on Board actions to preserve the Thoroughfare Historical District:
The Prince William Board of County Supervisors approved the purchase of four properties along John Marshall Highway, west of Haymarket, as part of the new Historic Communities program that aims to study, interpret and preserve culturally significant enclaves throughout the County.
The 2.24 acres, which were slated for single-family home development, fall within the current boundaries of the Thoroughfare Historical District, as recorded by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources. One of the properties contains the Fletcher Allen Cemetery, established in 1884. This action follows the Board’s approval on November 9, 2021 to purchase a 2-acre parcel along John Marshall Highway, west of Haymarket.
All of the land being acquired through the two purchase agreements falls within the boundaries of the Thoroughfare Historical District, as recorded by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, and contains the Potter’s Field/Peyton Thoroughfare Community Cemetery. The purchase protects the land from private development.
County leaders plan to convert the properties into a public interpretive park following a public master plan process with residents and stakeholders. Funding for construction of the park will be considered in future budget years. In May, the Board directed staff to research and interpret the cultural resources of the historically African American Thoroughfare and The Settlement communities, and to make recommendations for better protecting history throughout Prince William.
Visit the County’s “Thoroughfare Community Updates” page for the latest information.