Loudoun County Heritage Commission endorses request for appointment of Mount Sinai Cemetery Trustees

Portion of Mt. Sinai Cemetery as it appeared in December 2020..

On April 15, the Loudoun County Heritage Commission sent a letter to the Family & Friends of Mount Sinai Cemetery, a project of the Lovettsville Historical Society, supporting the group’s request to have representatives appointed as Trustees for the cemetery — which has been subject to years of neglect and abuse.

The Heritage Commission  advises the Loudoun Country Board of Supervisors on issues of historic preservation and protection of historic resources. The Mount Sinai Church and Cemetery is listed in the 2004 survey of African-American resources which was prepared for the Board of Supervisors and the Black History Committee of Balch Library.

The Family & Friends group have asked Commonwealth’s Attorney Buta Biberaj to asked the Loudoun County Circuit Court to appoint Trustees for the cemetery, since the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney has done this in the past for other abandoned cemeteries.

The Heritage Commission also sent copies of the letter to Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis Randall and the other members of the Board of Supervisors. The Lovettsville Historical Society had originally requested the assistance of Catoctin District Supervisor Caleb Kershner, but no response was forthcoming from his office.

The Heritage Commission letter states:

“The Loudoun County Heritage Commission fully supports your request to be named Trustees of the Mt. Sinai Free Will Baptist Church and Cemetery in Lovettsville. The Trustee designation will ensure unfettered, legal access to the cemetery and the ability to maintain it. It will enable your group to determine if additional, unmarked burials are located within the cemetery grounds. We see no reason why your group should not be appointed as Trustees.

“We applaud your efforts to bring together descendants of the small Black community that once lived in that area, worshiped in the church, educated their children in the school, and buried their loved ones in the cemetery. Although the church no longer stands, the stone foundation remains, and it serves as a reminder of its historic importance in the community.”

The original letter is linked below:

Letter to Mt. Sinai Cemetery Group, 4-15-2021-1