Cemetery Preservation Work Continues

A team of experts working to document and preserve a neglected African-American graveyard near Leesburg Executive Airport were back in the woods today continuing their efforts.

This morning, they had the help of Matthew S. Turner, the vice president of GeoModel. The Leesburg resident read about the cemetery in Loudoun Now and called to volunteer his services. He used ground penetrating radar to confirm the location of the graves. In his work today, several previously unmarked graves were found, bringing the total to 60.

Sycolin Cemetery

“It’s important to say that we’ve marked all the graves,” said Fred Snowden, co-founders the Loudoun Freedom Foundation, which is leading the effort to protect the burial site.

Also on site today were the county’s GIS mapping expert Doug Gibson, genealogist Mary Fishback, historian Wynne Saffer, Leesburg Deputy Town Manager Keith Markel and Foundation co-founder Pastor Michelle Thomas.

Snowden said the next step will be to clean up the site, which is covered with fallen trees and to mark the perimeter of the cemetery. Then they’ll turn to finding out more about the people buried there.

“Research will be a never-ending task here,” he said.

Sycolin Cemetery

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