New State Highway Markers in the Piedmont
The Virginia Department of Historic Resources has announced 14 new markers approved in 2021, many of which involve the African American community's history. Reconstruction-era African American churches located in the Piedmont include Union Run Baptist Church in Keswick and Chief Cornerstone Baptist Church in Buckingham County.
Union Run Baptist Church in Albemarle County took shape soon after the Civil War when the Rev. Robert Hughes and other freedmen organized the congregation, which purchased a nearby church building and re-erected it on land deeded to them in 1867. The church served as a school and a community center and the property as a burial ground.
Chief Cornerstone Baptist Church in Buckingham County was established by 1876. It arose on land sold to the congregation by a formerly enslaved married couple. Members worshipped under a brush arbor before building a log sanctuary. The property also provided a burial ground for the community.