Juneteenth Celebration for the Batestown Road Renaming: A 20-Year Effort

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Provided by Supervisor Andrea Bailey’s Office

On June 19, 2021, Board of County Supervisors Vice Chair Andrea Bailey will be joined by community leaders and members of the Batestown community for the official renaming of Mine Road to Batestown Road. This is the culmination of a 20-year effort. After the formal program, Vice Chair Bailey will be joined by members of the Historical Commission and the Bates family for the official unveiling at the intersection of Cameron and Mine Roads.

Batestown is a predominantly African American community in eastern Prince William County that was founded in the 1820s. The community was one of only a handful of African American communities in Northern Virginia prior to the Civil War.  After the Civil War, Batestown grew in population as formerly enslaved people moved there. Soon it became known as the African American section of Dumfries.

While they were mainly farmers, some residents also worked at the nearby Pyrite Mine and Quantico Marine Corps Base. New work opportunities in the area drew new residents from throughout Virginia to Batestown; some families moved from as far as Richmond to Batestown.

By the 20th century, the community grew large enough to support a church and school. In the 1930s, the Federal government threatened eminent domain if local landowners did not sell their land to create Prince William Forest Park. Not all sections of Batestown were incorporated into the park, and the community still survives today.

The renaming ceremony will be held at Merchant Park, 3944 Cameron St., Dumfries. Click here to RSVP.


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