Remember how the Fairfax Hunt Club issued a request to rezone its property at the edge of Reston for residential development as part of Phase 2 of the Reston Master Plan? Yeah, that was awesome. Turns out the property is already home to some residents who have been there for quite some time. Give us some good blockquote, Fairfax Times "news paper":
Some members of Reston’s Hunt Club cluster are concerned for the future of what might potentially be a cemetery containing the graves of five former slaves who lived in Fairfax County prior to the Civil War.Apparently the property contains "one field stone and five plus grave depressions under an oak tree about three feet in diameter.” Research done by a resident of the adjoining Hunt Club cluster, Heather Greenfield, suggests that the property once belonged to a woman named Mildred Johnson, "who also had a school house on her property."
The small family cemetery is located on the Fairfax County Hunt Club property.
According to Fairfax County tax records and Post-Civil War Southern Claims application submissions, Mildred H. Johnson owned property listed as “100 acres 3 miles SE of Dranesville” and that property was listed as containing a schoolhouse. “I’ve been able to look up burial records for Mildred Johnson and her children, and they were buried mostly in Browns Chapel. Johnson had five slaves according to the 1860 slave census, and there are five graves there,” said Greenfield, who formerly was a reporter with the Associated Press.State law allows gravesites to be moved, and language in the master plan request suggests that the nearby clubhouse, with its 200-year-old log cabin, would be preserved in the event of development. Greenfield points out that leaves open the question of what might happen to the cemetery if and when the property is redeveloped:
“When I ask that, I am told that there would be multiple steps to try save the cemetery later, such as hearings,” Greenfield said. “I get that. But one thing I learned from covering this sort of thing as a reporter is that you get less conflict later, when people already know what to expect. If it’s up front that the cabin and cemetery would be preserved, a potential housing developer would already know what he’s buying. It would be frustrating for him and for us as neighbors, if it’s left vague, and we have to battle over it later.”Homeowners battling to preserve open space because of what's included in a land use document? That doesn't sound like anything that's happened 'round these here parts, the end.