Submit Content

The Right Note: Remembering Our History

The Right Note is a weekly opinion column published on Thursdays. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

Mark KellyYesterday, our nation commemorated the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. The March, of course, was 100 years after President Lincoln freed the slaves with the Emancipation Proclamation. Today, I wanted to call attention to an important part of our history here in Arlington that took place in 1863.

On May 5, 1863, Lieutenant Colonel Elias M. Greene, chief quartermaster of the Department of Washington, and Danforth B. Nichols of the American Missionary Association officially selected the Arlington Estate, or Custis-Lee plantation, as the site for Freedmen’s Village. The site would later become a part of Arlington National Cemetery.

The Village was formally dedicated on December 4, 1863, and the site was intended to be a model community for freed persons. Originally, 100 former slaves settled on the site – eventually growing to over 1,000 residents. There were over 10 frame houses, 50 two-story duplex houses, two chapels, a school with five teachers, a meeting hall, a hospital, and a home for the elderly and infirm.

While the Freedmen’s Village was eventually closed around the turn of the 20th century, many Arlingtonians still trace ancestors back to it. Residents from the Village helped found the communities of Penrose, Hall’s Hill and Nauck.

Penrose, for example, was originally known as the Butler-Holmes subdivision. It was named after William Butler and Henry Holmes – two leaders in the Freedmen’s Village who held public office before developing land for housing. The Butler-Holmes subdivision was turned from a few parcels of farmland into multiple free standing dwellings.

The Penrose neighborhood was home to Dr. Charles Drew. He was the first African American to receive a Doctor of Science in Medicine, and he became Head of the Surgery Department at Howard University. He gained international acclaim for his scientific advances in the field of blood plasma transfusion research. The Drew Model Elementary School and Community Center in Arlington bears his name as a tribute to him – as do several other institutions of learning across the country.

Of course, the stories could go on and on, and I am only able to barely scratch the surface in this column. If you have a few minutes today, I encourage you to read through this “walking tour” brochure from the Black Heritage Museum of Arlington to learn a little bit more.

We truly have a rich history here in Arlington. I hope from time to time we all take a moment to understand, appreciate and learn from it.

Mark Kelly is a former Arlington GOP Chairman and two-time Republican candidate for Arlington County Board.

Recent Stories

The Arlington County Fair is set to kick off this Wednesday and run through Sunday, Aug. 21. As usual (though it was not without some debate) the fair is being…

Hundreds of K-5 students at Oakridge Elementary School packed 200 gift boxes to seamen and Marines serving on the USS Arlington. The boxes sent to those aboard the 684-foot-long amphibious…

Meet Cannoli, the Arlington Pet of the Week who loves chewing his many bones and playing chase with friends.

When Marine veteran Brendan McElroy started working on the sales side of the consulting industry, he quickly realized that although he enjoyed the more interactive part of his job, he did not like the “typical consulting-sales model.”

15 year old Australian Shepherd went missing from her yard in Waycroft-Woodlawn on the evening of August 8.

A pet tracker hasn’t been able to find her, and despite roaming in a busy area, there have been no reported sightings. She is microchipped, and her information is up to date. It’s most likely someone has picked her up. If found, or if there is any information, please contact the Animal Welfare League of Arlington or her owner at 571-510-0508 or [email protected]. If spotted, please don’t approach or call to her, but take a picture and call her owner.

Submit your own Community Post here.

As the summer winds down, it’s a great time to look forward to a creative fall! Art House 7 has a terrific selection of classes, for preschoolers to adults. Our fall session, starting September 6, offers painting, drawing, sculpture, collage, ceramics (including the wheel) and sewing. We have specialty classes such as Suminagashi, the ancient art of Japanese water marbling.

If you’re looking for a shorter commitment, we also have a full schedule of workshops, Art Nights, and Morning Art Socials. If you haven’t discovered Art House 7, please check us out! We offer classes throughout the year, taught by a range of fantastic teachers. You can buy art supplies next door. We’re near the Lee Harrison shopping center, and free parking is outside our door.

Art House 7
5537 Langston Blvd.Arlington VA 22207
https://arthouseseven.com/

Submit your own Community Post here.

Standup Comedy Showcase Starring Todd Riley (Comedy Central)

A night of live standup comedy, with some of the best comedians from the DMV and beyond!

Todd Riley – Headliner

From the moment Todd Riley stepped onto that stage in 2008, he knew comedy is what he wanted to

MEGA Wine Tasting

Join us Sunday, Aug 28 from 12-3pm for our MEGA Wine Tasting

How it Works:

We’ve invited all our wine vendors that we work with to bring 6-10 wines in their portfolio (wines that are usually not carried at Osteria

×

Subscribe to our mailing list