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Lee Lawrence and Carol Lee Honored at the 27th Annual Loudoun History Awards

Post Date:11/04/2019 3:08 PM
IMG_1034Leesburg, VA (November 4, 2019) – Lee Lawrence and Carol Lee were recipients of this year’s 27th annual Loudoun History Awards on Sunday, November 3, 2019. Both were honored for their contributions to preserving Loudoun’s past through collection of county documents and memorabilia, preservation of historic landmarks, visual arts, writing, and long-time commitment to local history organizations.

Lee Lawrence was recognized for her dedication towards the restoration of a historic structure located on the Fauquier-Loudoun county line in Upperville, Virginia. The building, most likely a quarter for the enslaved, or perhaps a free family’s home, was in dilapidated condition. Lawrence began researching its history, speaking with descendants, and engaged in the restoration of the small structure. Without her hard work and dedication, the building was certain for demolition. In addition, Lawrence and her husband have helped to restore a former church in historic Mountville. Lawrence, who served for three years on the Board of Directors of the Mosby Heritage Area Association, was also recognized for her invaluable legacy as editor and transcriber of two local women’s diaries that have become invaluable to Loudoun’s history. “Society of Rebels” and “Dark Days in Our Beloved Country” are first-person accounts of the hardest times in Loudoun’s history. They now serve as vignettes for living history interpretations. 

Carol Lee was recognized for being the driving force behind listing the village of Willisville to the National Register of Historic Places. Willisville is an early 19th century African American settlement in Loudoun, which pre-dates the Civil War. Proud of her family’s heritage and with a vision of documenting the historic village, Lee partnered with the Mosby Heritage Area Association to list Willisville to the National Register. In order to raise awareness and funds to support the effort, Lee organized a celebrated gospel concert, which brought in almost $30,000 to help establish the Willisville Preservation Foundation, a 501 c(3) to oversee the Willisville cemeteries and promote the heritage of the village. Willisville was listed to the State Landmarks Register on September 20, 2019 and is soon to be Loudoun’s only African American village individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

About the Thomas Balch Library: Thomas Balch Library is a history and genealogy library owned and operated by the Town of Leesburg. A designated Underground Railroad research site, the Library’s collections focus on Loudoun County, regional and Virginia history, genealogy, military history with special emphasis on the American Civil War, and ethnic history. For more information, visit www.leesburgva.gov/ThomasBalchLibrary.

Media Contact:
Leah Kosin
Assistant Public Information Officer
lkosin@leesburgva.gov
703-771-2781