Loudoun County African-American community makes national historic-places list

A historically African-American village in Loudoun County, Virginia, has been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Willisville comprises about 24 acres in Loudoun County, and the National Park Service added it to the list last month.

In nominating the area for the honor last fall, the Virginia Department of Historic Resources said that the community was built by African Americans in the 1800s and follows Welbourne Road, an unpaved road that in 1740 was a boundary line between two royal land grants.

The Mosby Heritage Area Association said the historic district includes houses that were built by freed slaves in the late 1800s, with additions built during the 20th century.

The district also has a chapel, a store, a schoolhouse, two cemeteries and two barns.

Willisville “stands as a unique and distinct vestige of African-American architecture and culture within Loudoun County,” the department said.

The area will now receive preservation benefits and incentives from the National Park Service.

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