News & Press Releases
Mt. Zion Historic Park Opens to Public for Monthly Programs
The historic 1851 Mt. Zion Baptist Church, sitting alongside Rt. 50 east of Gilbert’s Corner, will open its doors to the public again this year for guided tours and living history programs on the fourth Sunday of each month, April 22 through October 28, from 1 to 5 p.m.
Used as a place of worship by members of the Old School Baptists from 1851 until 1980, Mt. Zion Church and its adjoining cemetery witnessed fighting during the Civil War, but also served in the aftermath of battle as a hospital for the wounded and as a final resting place from some who fought in the war.
A renewed focus for this year’s tours will be the historic graffiti found on sections of the interior wall, according to Site Supervisor Tracy J. Gillespie. “Mt. Zion is one of several sites where soldiers from both North and South spent time, usually recuperating from wounds or illness,” comments Gillespie. “Perhaps as a way to say ‘I was here and I mattered,’ they sometimes signed their names and regiment affiliation on the walls. We’re busy deciphering the writing now.” Mt. Zion is one of five sites feature in the soon to be published Northern Virginia Civil War Graffiti Trail brochure. It will give visitors directions to the historic sites in the area where they can see the handwriting of Union and Confederate soldiers on the walls. Also new to Mt. Zion later this year will be interpretive signs around the property, explaining the history of the Old School Baptist Church, whose attendees followed doctrines and practices of the original Baptists, claimed to be the New Testament church.
Admission to the fourth Sunday programs & tours are free, but donations are gratefully accepted.
For more information, contact Tracy J. Gillespie at email@example.com or call her at Aldie Mill Historic Park, 703-327-9777.
Mt. Zion Historic Park and Aldie Mill Historic Park are owned and operated by Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority. For more information about NVRPA, visit www.nvrpa.org.