Family & Friends of Mount Sinai Cemetery seek assistance of Loudoun County Board of Supervisors

The Family & Friends of Mount Sinai Cemetery, consisting of families of those buried in the Mount Sinai Free Will Baptist Cemetery near Lovettsville, as well as neighbors and others, have appealed to the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors for assistance in their efforts to restore this cemetery, which has been abandoned and neglected over the years.

The Family & Friends group, operating under auspices of the Lovettsville Historical Society, is also partnering with the Loudoun Freedom Center and its Executive Director, Ron Campbell. The Loudoun Freedom Center has undertaken similar efforts with regard to neglected black cemeteries in Loudoun County.

After first bringing the Mount Sinai issue to the attention of Catoctin District Supervisor Caleb Kershner on February 15, the group then contacted Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis Randall at the end of February. Chair Randall immediately referred the matter to the Loudoun County Heritage Commission, which advises the Board of Supervisors regarding preservation of historic properties and sites.

The Heritage Commission delegated the matter to its African-American Resources Protection subcommittee. The subcommittee invited the Family & Friends group to make a presentation at its March 16 meeting. The presentation was made by Claudette Bard (LHS Board Member who is related to some of those interred at Mount Sinai); Gilbert Timbers (related to Pvt. Samuel Timbers and others buried at Mount Sinai); and Ed Spannaus of the Lovettsville Historical Society (who has been researching the history of Mount Sinai). The meeting discussed various options for obtaining access to the property and for carrying out its restoration.

On April 6, the full Heritage Commission will hear a report from the subcommittee and will consider recommendations to be made to the Board of Supervisors.

Meanwhile, the Family & Friends group has obtained the property owners’ consent to begin cleaning and clearing the cemetery portion of the property, which is expected to begin this month. Over the long term, the group hopes to clear and restore the entire property, including the area around the old church foundation, so that this important facet of Lovettsville history will be hidden no more.

Contribution to support this effort may be made to the Lovettsville Historical Society, with the notation “Mount Sinai Cemetery.” The Lovettsville Historical Society is tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.