July 28, 2007. It was a historic night at The Wolf Trap Center for the Performing Arts in Vienna, VA recently as The Honorable Kris Amundson (D-44th), Member of The House of Delegates to the General Assembly and representatives from Gum Springs, Groveton and Spring Bank, VA in the Mount Vernon area of Fairfax County, VA met with The Temptations. The legendary musical group was presented with proclamations and awards from Gum Springs and Spring Bank, and all three communities are “Participating Communities” in Jamestown 2007, America’s 400th Anniversary.|
State Delegate Amundson, acting as Mistress of Ceremony, presented The Temptations with Proclamations, naming them, “The Temptations: An American Institution, Ambassadors of Music & Goodwill and America’s Cultural Gift to Mankind.”
Dr. Judith Saunders Burton, great-great-great granddaughter of West Ford, foreman of the slaves at George Washington’s Mount Vernon plantation and founder of Gum Springs, VA (1833) then presented Otis Williams, founding member of The Temptations with “The Anthony Johnson Founder’s Legacy Award” in honor of “The First African-American Landowner in America”, from the Gum Springs community.
Next, Ms. Charlotte Brown, Historian of the Groveton community, (Remember The Titans) was introduced. Ms. Brown’s ancestral lines include Dr. John Woodson, who traveled with Governor George Yeardley to Jamestown, VA in 1619 and helped establish Flowerdew, the first plantation in “The New World“. Her other noted ancestors include President Thomas Jefferson, First Lady Dolly Madison and the infamous outlaws, Frank and Jesse James.
Mrs. Alberta Hines-Webb, great granddaughter of Charles Henry Quander, the first African-American settler of Spring Bank, VA presented Joe Herndon, bass singer of The Temptations with “The John Pedro Heritage Legacy Award” in honor of “The 2nd Largest African-American Landowner & The First Martyr in America”, from the Spring Bank community. The Quanders are The Oldest Documented African-American Family in America (1684). Source: Johnson Publishing Co. Ebony, September 1984 - Jet, December 1999.
Mr. Terrence D. Jones, President & CEO of The Wolf Trap Foundation also attended the event and addressed the audience that included residents from all three communities, including churchgoers, fans and relatives. Mrs. Lucille Watkins and her daughters, Mrs. Joan Watkins-Cheeks and Mrs. Denise Watkins -Robinson, aunt and cousins respectively