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ArlingtonHistorical marker on horizon for church cemetery

Historical marker on horizon for church cemetery

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It became a county historic landmark last year, and soon the Mount Salvation Baptist Church cemetery will have a marker denoting its status.

The panel currently is going through the review process on the way to being installed at the cemetery.

The cemetery, located adjacent to the church in the historically African-American North Arlington community of Halls Hill/High View Park, is the final resting spot of at least 89 people. Burials at the cemetery were recorded from 1916 (although some likely occurred a decade or two earlier) to 1974.

Members of the Pelham, Spriggs and Lewis families are among those interred there.


The marker notes that the cemetery has been maintained by the church since 1892, eight years after Rev. Cyrus Carter cultivated the congregation, which began meeting in a nearby home. (The trustees acquired the church and cemetery site for $80, the marker noted.)

Arlington has about 40 local historic districts. Unlike inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places or Virginia Landmarks Register, inclusion in a county historic district provides protections from development and alteration, giving the county’s Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board (HALRB) say on changes. HALRB members reviewed the proposed historical marker at their April meeting.

Under the preservation guidelines that were approved by the HALRB, any changes to the burial ground would have to be “respectful of and compatible with the historic and existing fabric” of the existing site. (The boundaries of the historic district do not include the adjacent church building.)

Cemeteries at two other predominantly African-American churches – Lomax AME Zion and Calloway United Methodist – previously had been designated local historic districts.

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