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Additional historical markers coming to Green Valley community

Church, funeral home, cab company to be honored through effort

By the end of the year, a new series of historical markers will sprout in Arlington’s Green Valley community.

They will be part of a broader effort to chronicle the county’s African-American heritage, an initiative being funded by Arlington government grants.

“We’re all about preserving our history,” said Inumidun Obikoya, a Green Valley resident and manager of the project, expressing hope that the panels will “revitalize the community and bring people together.”

Obikoya on April 17 briefed the county government’s Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board (HALRB) on three of the commemorative panels. They will honor Chinn-Baker Funeral Service, Friendly Cab Stand and Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church, each of which was established in the mid-20th-century when the Green Valley neighborhood labored under Virginia’s segregation statutes.

HALRB members made suggestions about both the content and design of the markers, but appeared OK with leaving the final say to the neighborhood. The goal, Obikoya said, is to have placards that “reflect the people that started and lived in the community.”

In bestowing preservation grants on a number of local communities and organizations last fall, County Board members anticipated the projects’ being completed by mid-2024. For a variety of reasons, some of those deadlines have slipped, and recently the deadline was extended to the end of 2024 for a number of the sponsoring groups, including the one bringing the new signage to Green Valley.

That effort also will include creation of an online repository for chronicling African-American history in the county.