Prince William Co. approves historic district land purchase for future park

The Prince William Board of County Supervisors gave the go-ahead to purchase a two-acre parcel along John Marshall Highway, west of Haymarket, Virginia, following a push to preserve the heritage of the community.

According to a news release, the property is within the boundaries of the Thoroughfare Historical District. The buy protects the land from private development, the county said.

The plan is to convert the property into a public interpretive park in the future.

The Thoroughfare community was established after the Civil War by freed slaves and mixed-raced families, the release said. The farming community prospered into the 1940s, according to the county. Many of the original buildings and sites still exist.

“This is an important step for the county to begin to preserve another piece of our past and celebrate the story of one of Virginia’s significant integrated communities as well as our native American ancestry,” Chair Ann Wheeler said.

Supervisor Pete Candland represents the Gainesville District where Thoroughfare is located.

“(T)ogether we cherish the contributions of those who came before us — especially those who were marginalized — and the Board and I are committed to making sure their stories and land are preserved for public benefit,” he said in the release.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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