March 11, 2013
Members and guests of the local NAACP sat in the basement of the First Baptist Church on West Main Street. The group was given some insight about the recently discovered Sammons cemetery.
The Virginia Department of Transportation, who now owns the land, discovered that the 19th century African-American cemetery is in the path of the Route 29 Western Bypass project.
Councilwoman Dede Smith spoke about those who are buried at the site and their legacy to the city of Charlottesville.
"We also talked about the community that surrounds the cemetery, which was a thriving, very prosperous African-American community after the civil war and represents a path a lot of freed blacks took in land ownership and education to find success," said Smith.
Research shows that those buried at the site are African-American farmers and tradesmen.
"With the presentation, hopefully it will remind us of the significance of the community, the significance of the cemetery," said Charlottesville's NAACP president Dr. Rick Turner.
VDOT has yet to say what its plans are on the cemetery.