Charlie Scott Cemetery in Blenheim

Association: None
No. of Markers: 110 (View)
No. of Individuals: 30 (View)
Location: Private. Albemarle Co.

In the 18th and 19th Centuries, the Blenheim area contained several dozen plantations and attendant black and white burial grounds. After the Civil War, the Middle Oak Baptist Church was founded by several African American families who settled in the area. Oral tradition holds that the "Blenheim Cemetery" is the original cemetery associated with both the church and with Mr. Charlie Scott, an emancipated slave. We should note, the name "Blenheim Cemetery" was assigned by the AACAAC project. Other possible names include the "Scott Cemetery" or the "Middle Oak Baptist Church Historic Cemetery." In the late 19th and early 20th Century this area, originally called "Middle Oaks" and later called "Blenheim," was populated by a large number of African Americans who owned property and ran businesses, including the Blenheim Post Office, a store, and a blacksmith shop. The Blenheim School house (for African Americans) was also located at the Blenheim Crossroads.

The cemetery contains at least 110 burials, a majority of which are unmarked by any stone but visible by deep depressions. The first inscribed burial occurred in 1871, that of Char[l]ie Car[e]y, suggesting that the cemetery dates to the later third of the 19th Century, after emancipation. Of the legible stones, seven individuals were born prior to 1863 (including members of the Jones, Johnson, Lewis, and Mays families). At least eight other people were born prior to 1900. A handful of inscriptions provide background into the lives of the enslaved individuals. Most notably, Katherine Lewis’ stone contains an inscription that reads “A memorial of Affection and Appreciation To Katherine Lewis, Redlands – 1840, Blenheim –1928, Faithful unto death.” Redlands, owned by Robert Carter and his descendants, was an ante-bellum plantation located about half-a-mile away from the cemetery.