The Middleburg-based nonprofit formerly known as the Mosby Heritage Area Association has adopted the new name of Virginia Piedmont Heritage Area Association (VPHA), according to a release from the Lovettsville Historical Society.
The Virginia Piedmont Heritage Area is an historical region comprising Loudoun, Clarke, Warren, Fauquier and Prince William counties. It includes a number of landmarks dating back to the 17th century.
The organization was formerly named for renowned Confederate leader John S. Mosby, who commanded a battalion of Confederate soldiers commonly known as Mosby’s Raiders.
“After extensive discussions, we have decided to respectfully retire our name and adopt one that more accurately captures the broad scope of our mission to highlight all the diverse history, from the time of the Native Americans through the 20th century, that has taken place in the Heritage Area,” VPHA Chairman C. Dulany Morison said in a prepared statement.
Morison said the association’s Board of Directors held such discourse as part of its 25th anniversary celebrations this year.
He added organization officials “thoroughly reviewed how our organization can ensure the continued protection of the area’s extraordinary landscape and its history in the next quarter-century.”
The shift follows the Loudoun County School Board’s vote in June to remove the Raiders mascot from Loudoun County High School, as it originally paid homage to Mosby and his squadron, who were “noted for their lightning-strike raids on Union targets and their ability to consistently elude pursuit,” according to board member Ian Serotkin (Blue Ridge District).
The VPHA’s decision comes in the wake of a nationwide racial reckoning after the May death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Other local actions have included the removal of the “Silent Sentinel” statue — which memorialized Confederate soldiers — from the courthouse grounds in Leesburg, as well as the renaming of the Ashburn-based Washington Football Team.
More information on the VPHA is available at piedmontheritage.org.