Monthly Archives: September 2015

James City County, Virginia: The Community of Grove

Community of Grove Marker Nadia Orton 2013

Community of Grove Historical Marker. Erected 2012, Virginia Department of Historic Resources

 

From the marker text:

Community of Grove – After the Civil War, in the area that later became known as the Community of Grove, the Freedmen’s Bureau confiscated land for displaced newly freed slaves and free blacks. In 1867, the government restored the land to its previous owners. Some African American residents moved to and settled on lands that became known locally as the Reservation and the Banks. In 1918, their descendants returned to the area of Grove after the U. S. government forced their removal to make way for the Yorktown Naval Weapons Station and the Cheatham Annex. The expansion of these facilities during World War II led to the further growth of Grove.

For more information, see: “Cast Down Your Bucket Where You Are: An Ethnohistorical Study of the African-American Community on the Lands of the Yorktown Naval Weapons Station, 1865-1918,” by Bradley M. McDonald, Kenneth E. Stuck, Kathleen Joan Bragdon, 1992.

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Filed under Civil War, James City County, Virginia

The Descendants Corner: Update re: The Savage Family, Mt. Calvary Cemetery

Pvt. Alfred Savage replacement gravestone Portsmouth Va. Orton

Pvt. Alfred Savage (1837-1899), Company D, 2nd Regiment, United States Colored Cavalry.               Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Portsmouth, Va.

The replacement gravestone for Pvt. Alfred Savage, of Co. D, 2nd Regiment, U. S. Colored Cavalry, recently installed in Mt. Calvary Cemetery. His descendants, whom we met last year, visited his gravesite over the weekend. I wrote a short article about finding Pvt. Savage in the cemetery, and his descendants, who have made significant contributions to the City of Portsmouth. We still have a long way to go…necessary mapping of gravesites (through ground-penetrating radar), drainage studies, and other issues are vital to the long-term preservation plan for the cemetery complex, where thousands of individuals, including our ancestors, lie. However, accomplishments such as these are always a great reminder of why “we do what we do.” For family, for preservation, and for history. Again, thanks so much to the Savage Family for allowing us to take part in this journey. ♥

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Filed under Civil War, Portsmouth, Stories in Stone, Suffolk, The Descendants Corner, Tombstone Files, Tombstone Tales, U. S. Colored Troops, USCT Diaries, Virginia