Historical Marker Stands Near Site of Poolesville Lynching

A new marker in Poolesville tells the story of a lynching in the late 1800s.

It is the first historical marker in the county for a racial lynching, according to the Montgomery County Lynching Memorial Project.

George Peck was the first recorded of three known men lynched in the county in the 19th century, according to Montgomery History. 22-year-old Peck was a Black man in Beallsville who was lynched by a white mob on Jan. 10, 1880, according to the historical marker in Poolesville. He was accused of assaulting a white girl, and was seized by an angry crowd as he was being moved to another location after he was arrested. Peck was dragged to a vacant lot across the Poolesville Presbyterian Church and hanged from a locust tree.

The unveiling ceremony was held Sunday outside the Poolesville Presbyterian Church.

“The marker itself is symbolic, and it will stand the test of time, said Ed Reed, Vice-President of the Poolesville Town Commissioners.

“So that as the people who tell the stories might move on, the marker doesn’t move on, and it’s something that can always connect the truth of what happened to those who come by and learn about it, those who have a chance to have conversations around it from one generation to the next,” he said.

“It’s important to try to remember your history before you erase it all,” said County Executive Marc Elrich,”And a lot of people don’t know about this, I would venture to say that most people have no idea there actually were lynchings in Montgomery County.”

“I thought that this day was possible, but I never envisioned it like this,” said Tony Cohen, Co-Founder of the Montgomery County Lynching Memorial Project. “This is the result of community grassroots effort and organizing, but really educating ourselves, figuring out what happened, and what that impact is on our community today,” Cohen said.

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