Richmond County will be getting a monument to honor black patriots who served in the Revolutionary War.
The James Monroe Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution and the Northern Neck of Virginia Historical Society asked for space on county property to put a statue that could be viewed on both sides.
At this month’s Board of Supervisors meeting, county leaders approved a spot in the parking lot across from the Richmond County Combined District Court building on Court Circle.
The location was suggested by board Chairman Lee Sanders, who noted that no curb or gutter has to be disturbed and if the county gives up two parking spaces at the end of the lot nearest the court building the trees, which are already there, can provide a backdrop for the monument.
District 1 Supervisor Richard Thomas believed it was the best of the four spots that were considered because it offers ample parking, handicap accessibility, and is well suited to accommodate foot traffic.
And District 4 Supervisor Robert Pemberton said it was his understanding that this was going to be an ongoing project that would sooner or later include all patriots so he liked the chosen spot because it provided room for that expansion.
Charles Belfield, president of SAR’s James Monroe Chapter was pleased with the selection, saying he believed it was “an excellent spot.”
“We really do appreciate all of your effort,” he told the board. “This is going to be a monumental thing, and I think Richmond County is really going to be proud of what we’re going to do here.” Belfield said he hopes the black patriot monument will be a major educational resource attracting buses full of children.
He told the board that although he had been advised that there was a backlog on monuments, they were going to get to work on getting the statute installed as soon as possible. He expects it should be done sometime this year.