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County replaces damaged headstone for Revolutionary War patriot

A damaged headstone for a Revolutionary War patriot is being replaced, part of a sweeping effort to preserve cemeteries in Fairfax County.

The headstone for Francis Summers is located in the Summers Family Cemetery in Lincolnia, where the remains of a few dozen people have been buried. A rededication ceremony is planned for 11 a.m. on April 30 at the site, which is located on Lincolnia Road between Deming Avenue and Barnum Lane.

The county, which took over the cemetery in 1989, launched an initiative this year to re-survey and document all non-commercial cemeteries, Aimee Wells, a senior archaeologist with Fairfax County’s Archaeology and Collections Branch, said in an email.

“The Archaeology and Collections Branch is working with their partners at the Virginia Department of Historic Resources as well as other public agencies on this survey work, which will take a few years to complete but will be made public when it is finished,” Wells said.

A previous marker identified Summers as a soldier, but he would have been in his 40s when the war started.

“He was actually a patriot, which means he helped out financially,” said Mary Lipsey, a Fairfax County Cemetery Preservation Association director and county History Commission member.

Summers lived from 1732 to 1800 and has been recognized for his Revolutionary War connection by the county, the state and historical groups.

According to Wells, the Summers Family Cemetery project involves a public-private partnership that includes restoration work on iron fences as well as several markers.

Local chapters of the nonprofit Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) have been assisting, contracting a stone conservator to replace the headstone and helping with cleanups at the cemetery, Wells said.

The Sons of the American Revolution provided grant money to the DAR.

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