Confederate Col. John Singleton Mosby's name appears on street names, buildings and organizations throughout Fauquier County. But it won't appear in a 135-home development proposed next door to a traditionally black neighborhood in Warrenton.
In an email to the Fauquier Times, developer David Dobson said he changed the name of the "Mosby's Crossing" project to "Warrenton Crossing." The development will go at the southeast intersection of Falmouth and East Lee streets, just to the west of Oliver City Road, a historically black neighborhood that has found itself increasingly boxed in by development and road extensions.
The change comes out of "deference to neighbors," Dobson said.
"We listened at the last hearing, understood their point of view, and have since changed the name to 'Warrenton Crossing' to respond in their favor," Dobson said. "I have been sensitive to that and have named numerous streets after well-known Oliver City residents, after having met with numerous local leaders and neighborhood residents."
For months, Dobson had planned to reflect the history of next-door Oliver City Roard residents in the development's street names. The main collector road, Williams Way, comes from former town councilman and Oliver City Road resident John Williams. Joynes Court will take its name from the first African-American funeral home owner and businessman in the area, Woodson Joynes, Sr., forefather of current funeral home owners Woodson and Daryl Joynes, Dobson said. Ball Place will be named for Mrs. George Ball, a well-known resident of the Oliver City neighborhood.
But at an August planning commission meeting,
one Warrenton commissioner took issue with the use of Mosby's name.
“I feel that the name of the development is offensive,” Commissioner Lowell Nevill said at the August meeting. “I understand there's a lot of historic appeal to the name Mosby in this area, but I have to say, a Civil War figure right near a historically black neighborhood is a problem.”
Nevill's misgivings didn't stop him from joining his fellow commissioners in voting unanimously to recommend approval for a zoning change to advance Dobson's development project.
But the message was not lost on Dobson - and so now, Warrenton Crossing will go on without the Gray Ghost.