- Loudoun Freedom Center -

Heritage. Healing. Hope.

Preserving Our Past, Inspiring Our Present, Empowering Our Future.

What We Do

Preserve & Protect

Identify and memorialize historic African American heritage sites, sacred burial grounds and communities throughout Loudoun County.

Tell the Story

Tell the comprehensive story of Loudoun’s shared history through community curated museums, interactive digital history maps, genealogy, archaeology and ancestry research.

Discovery & Geneology

Assist residents in discovering their genealogical past and ancestral history through the “I Am Loudoun Genome Project.” 

Education & Workshops

Discover innovative STEM education and Historic Preservation camps, after school programs, workshops and seminars for adults and school age students.

- Projects -

Ashburn, VA

Burial Ground at Belmont

The former Lee owned Belmont Plantation is listed in the National Register of Historic Places without mention of the enslaved cemetery, that has been well documented since 1857. The Belmont Enslaved Cemetery is the largest known African American Burial Ground for the Enslaved in Loudoun County. Spanning over 120 acres and 218 years, this centuries old, once abandoned heritage site, holds the key to unlocking the true history of the African American experience in Loudoun County.

November 13, 2017 The Loudoun Freedom Center became the new owners of the historic cemetery changing its name to the African American Burial Ground for the Enslaved at Belmont.

Waterford, VA

John Wesley Church

The John Wesley Methodist Episcopal Church served the African American community continuously for 77 years, from 1891 until 1968. For many years, members squeezed into the 1 room schoolhouse on Second Street for their services and other community gatherings. After the close of the Civil War in 1867, a consortium comprised of the Freedman’s Bureau, a black Educational Board, and local Quakers paid $75 for a lot on Second Street on which they built a one-room frame structure that served both as a school and a church.

For 50 years the dignified old building has remained largely unused until the Loudoun Fredom Center held its first service during "African American Heritage Day 2017"

John Wesley M. E. church congregation, c. 1910

Dailey Cabin

Underground Railroad site

According to oral history in Eastern Loudoun, the Dailey historic log cabin was part of the Underground Railroad. The cabin is located in an area with key Underground Railroad features. A ridge runs along the back of the original parcel, and ridges were often used by runaway slaves because of the shelter they provided as well as a view of the surrounding area. For those escaping on foot, as most were, a river crossing was also critical in the northward journey.

Former owner Francis J. Edmond, indicated the basement had been used to hide runaways.

Living History

Leesburg Colored School

The historic two-story building on Union Street, with its chipped paint, slopping floors, and crumbling foundation houses the stories of close to 80 years of segregated education in Leesburg. It served as an educational hub for Loudoun County’s African American students from the early 1880s to 1958, first as the Leesburg Training School, Leesburg Colored School, and later as Douglass Elementary School. The Loudoun Freedom Center in partnership with the Douglass Alumni Association has begun the complicated process of aquiring the historic school building.

Children arriving at the Training Center building in Leesburg, 1931/32 Academic year. The first floor was for primary education and the second floor provided limited unaccredited High School education for the first time. Source Archie Richardson Files, VSU Archives.

Rehabilitation

Union Street School

The long-term plan to restore the fondly remembered “Union Street School” includes retrofitting part of the property for a STEM preschool that focuses on (science, technology, education and math), and the vocation of aquaponic gardening, a program that teaches students how to grow their own food, elimating food insecurity. The Loudoun Freedom Center will also establish a DNA lab at the historic site, to process artifacts that may be found at Loudoun’s local enslaved cemeteries.

- A f f i l i a t e s / P a r t n e r s -
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