The headstones remained lost for fifty years, until many were rediscovered in Virginia, where they had been used as riprap along the Potomac River shoreline. In response to the desecration of these monuments, a restorative justice initiative called Project Harmony was launched by Sons and Daughters of Harmony Cemetery.

In collaboration with the descendant community and the governments of Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, the project is recovering and repatriating the headstones. A set of headstones are in storage at National Harmony Cemetery and will be incorporated into a memorial to be constructed there.

Tombstones on the Potomac by Edd Fuller 2010

Headstones found on the shore of the Potomac River. Photo courtesy of Edd Fuller

Columbia Harmony Cemetery grave markers recovered from Potomac River shoreline near Caledon State Park, Virginia. Photo by MDGovpics, 2021.