Preservation group takes ownership of slave cemetery

A three-acre tract at a busy northern Virginia intersection that once served as a slave cemetery is now in the hands of a preservation group committed to honoring the slaves' memory.

After a long battle, a developer has given the parcel to the Loudoun Freedom Center. Records show that the land was used as burial ground for slaves at the old Belmont plantation in Loudoun County, now a country club.

The Rev. Michelle Thomas said workers have been clearing the tract since gaining ownership last month and have uncovered what appear to be more gravesites. Partnerships with the county school system are uncovering more information about the enslaved people at the plantation through research of court records.

The group plans to eventually offer walking tours of the site.