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[VA] Windows on the Past of 'Black Middleburg'

Windows on the Past of 'Black Middleburg'
Loudoun Village Was Founded on Freedom and Horses

Where We Live: Windows on the Past of 'Black Middleburg'
Where We Live: More About: St. Louis, Va.
Albert Bland is known as the village's unofficial mayor, and in many ways he embodies the history and the spirit of St. Louis. Bland and his wife, Ann, live in a tidy ranch-style house just off St. Louis Road, a busy north-south route that connects Route 50 west of Middleburg with the Snickersville Turnpike. The majority of the mostly modest single-family houses in the 300-acre village are loosely strung for about a mile along both sides of this rural thoroughfare.

Bland, 77, was born in nearby Upperville, the great-grandson, he believes, of Robert E. Lee; a framed picture of his grandfather displayed in his living room shows a dapper, fair-skinned man.

Bland moved to St. Louis in the 1950s to work as an exercise rider and a jockey at a large horse facility, which became Paul Mellon's Middleburg Training Track. Almost all the grooms at the track were black then, he said. In fact, so many residents of St. Louis once made their living working with horses that the village was known as the "black Middleburg."

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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