In response to the outrage over the desecration of graves in the Thoroughfare community, Prince William County Government included some potential action steps to proactively preserving more cemeteries, communities, and African-American History in their May 18th presentation to the Board. These included a couple historical sites in the Coles District, including the Buckhall Community and Lucasville School.
The Buckhall Community was originally a small town where the Buckhall School (formerly Oak Hill School) a one-room school house, was built in 1865, around which the village then grew up. Many of the structures in the village core remain intact today. The Prince William County Historical Commission and Historic Prince William have long advocated for interpreting this community for many years and see it as a “time capsule into pre-suburban Prince William County according to Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Director, Seth Hendler-Voss.
The Buckhall Church (now Buckhall United Methodist Church) was built in 1905 and maintains the older, historic Civil War era church building structure.
Interpreting this community would come at an estimated one-time cost of $1.75 million and $150,000 annually for upkeep.
The Lucasville School located at 10516 Godwin Road in Manassas, served local African-American students, grades 1 through 6 from 1885 to 1926. In 2007, the school was reconstructed through a partnership with Prince William County and Pulte Homes. The school existed as the last one-room school in Prince William County that was used solely by African-American students.
Prior to COVID, the school was open only for special occasions and during Black History Month. During the presentation, staff proposed opening up the Lucasville School to the public on a more regular basis in addition to the Barnes House located in the Potomac District. The original location of the Barnes House is believed to be within the area designated for the Independent Hill Small Area Plan, most likely in or around the area where a data proposed data center could go. Keeping both of these locations open year round would cost approximately $220,000 annually. Staff projects that year-round visitation to the Lucasville School would generate between 15,000-20,000 walk-up visitors, not including students.
– Coles District Staff