May 5, 2022

Two Markers on Josephine Street

These signs are in Berryville, in a neighborhood known as Josephine City.

The sign in the front is about Milton Valley Cemetery. It lists the names of the original stockholders and then tells us some historical details:
Milton Valley Cemetery was established in 1874 on three acres purchased from the E. G. Hebb family on land that was once part of the adjacent Milton Valley Farm. One of several African-American cemeteries in Clarke County, Milton Valley contains the remains of a Civil War soldier, soldiers who served in the Spanish-American War, and many who died enslaved and were buried without identification.

Thomas Laws, an enslaved man who acted as a spy for Union General Sheridan, is buried in the cemetery as are Rev. Edward T. Johnson and Mr. Raymond Ratcliffe, former principals of Johnson-Williams High School.
Almost exactly six years ago, I posted some information about Thomas Laws. See the fourth picture and accompanying text in my 5/3/2016 post.

As for the other historical marker above, it honors Lucy Diggs Slowe, educator. She was from this neighborhood and her achievements included becoming the first Dean of Women at Howard University.
Signs 2


  1. I am happy to see that the date on the sign shows the day before the month, which is the way I was taught in school, and still use. The day comes before the week, the week comes before the month, the month before the year.

  2. Excellent to see historic signs about the black people who were buried in the cemetery, who led the school and especially the one on Lucy Diggs Stowe, a woman leader in education.

  3. Lots of history in and around Berryville.


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