Gum Springs Community

Historical Significance

Gum Springs, an African-American community, was originally founded by slaves who were set free when George Washington's wife Martha died at Mount Vernon. Under the leadership of freed slave West Ford, the community of Free Blacks was constructed along the banks of the Potomac River near Alexandria and Mount Vernon. Gum Springs soon became a refuge and home to other freed and runaway slaves, and its economy thrived with assistance from neighboring Quakers.

By the early 21st century Gum Springs had more than 2,500 residents, roughly 500 of whom descended directly from the original families. The Gum Springs Historical Society, founded in 1985, preserves the history and traditions of the community through its Museum and Cultural Center, which features a photographic exhibit of Gum Springs' founding families.

The Museum at Gum Springs Historical Society documents this historic Black community. 

Physical Description

No Physical Description Available

Geographical and Contact Information

Gum Spring Museum
8100 Fordson Rd.
Alexandria, Virginia
Phone: 703-799-1198

Cite this Page:

Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, “Gum Springs Community,” African American Historic Sites Database, accessed May 22, 2019,

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