Back in April 2017, I relayed some information I got from John Shuck regarding 69 graves that were recently discovered by a developer near Willow Lawn (Bremo Road and Mann Avenue) in Henrico County, all apparently dating prior to 1880. An archaeologist’s report documents the findings, though there are no surviving aboveground markers, nor much oral or documentary history about those who might be interred there. Now, the developer is petitioning the Henrico County Circuit Court for permission to remove all the burials.
Pam Greene, who works with the Henrico County Historical Society, is rightfully concerned about this plan. In other similar scenarios, after courts have granted such permission, landowners have had a relatively free hand to decide how many graves to remove and where to put them. There does not seem to be a good mechanism to ensure that all the graves are removed and relocated to a place acceptable to descendants.
It is likely that these graves represent African Americans who labored on plantations in the area, and possibly white landowners as well. To help sway the court to treat these remains with historical and human sensitivity, please contact Pam through the Henrico County Historical Society.