Events in Laurel & Berwyn

LCHP Book table at Laurel Emancipation Day Celebration
LCHP Book table at Laurel Emancipation Day

Last Saturday, a group of volunteers joined St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Laurel, Maryland for an annual celebration of Emancipation Day. Established in 1890, St. Mark’s United Methodist Church served as the center of the African-American community in Laurel known as “The Grove.” Sandra Johnson, a historian for St. Mark’s United Methodist and a member of the Laurel Historical Society, wrote an informative essay on the African-American experience in Laurel available here (pdf). Take a look at the Laurel Historical Society on Flickr to see images of St. Mark’s, the Laurel Grove School which served African-American children in Laurel through 1962, and the African-American Laurel All-Stars baseball team. Our own photos from the celebration are on the Lakeland Flickr photostream.

LCHP and students at Berwyn Day
LCHP at Berwyn Day

We stayed a little closer to home this weekend, giving a walking tour of Lakeland to a group of graduate students from the University of Maryland and then joining our neighbors for Berwyn Day 2009. Berwyn is a residential neighborhood in the City of College Park established, like Lakeland, in the 1890s. Prior to the availability of home mail delivery, residents in Lakeland walked to Berwyn to pick up mail at a shared post office. Other Lakeland residents attended services at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church.

Lakeland in the News

Image courtesy Leah L. Jones/The Gazette.
Image courtesy Leah L. Jones/The Gazette.

Over the past few weeks, we have had the fortunate opportunity to share Lakeland’s story with a number of local newspapers, television and radio stations.

The Washington Post shared an announcement when our book went on sale and Prince George’s Community Television sat down for an interview with Lakeland resident Karen Campbell.

David Hill with The Gazette featured Lakeland residents Leonard Smith and Mary Hollomand in his story on our new book. Mr. Smith, a resident of Lakeland since 1941 and a member of the Lakeland Community Heritage Project, provided his book review,

I think it’s going to be excellent for the simple reason that it goes back to the old Lakeland… The older people love it because it brings back memories and the younger people will love it because they didn’t know the history.

In her story for the the Prince George’s Sentinel Jessica Bauer discovered,

If a picture is worth a thousand words, than the newly released book detailing the Lakeland area’s history through old photographs tells the story better than words ever could.

If you are interested in learning more about Lakeland or purchasing a copy of Lakeland: African Americans in College Park for yourself, get in touch at, become a fan on Facebook, or meet us in person at one of our upcoming events.

LCHP Newsletter, Summer 2009

Download a copy of our Summer 2009 newsletter here for a nice overview of our upcoming events. The newsletter includes a copy of our membership application which provides a welcome reminder to renew your existing membership or start a new membership for yourself or your family. Take a look at the membership page on our website for more information on becoming a member of the Lakeland Community Heritage Project.

Upcoming Events

We are excited to start this new website to share information about our upcoming events and publications with everyone and anyone who is interested in remembering and preserving the history of Lakeland. Our new book, Lakeland: African-Americans in College Park arrives on August 17 from Arcadia Publishing. The book is the result of hard work by dozens of volunteers with the Lakeland Community Heritage Project and the deep generosity of many Lakeland and Prince George’s County residents past and present who donated images of friends and family for publication. We are planning a series of events throughout the fall to celebrate this publication and share the history of Lakeland with our friends and neighbors.

Join the Lakeland Community Heritage Project and the Negro League Legends Hall of Fame on Saturday, August 22 for a “Vintage Baseball Game” and book signing at Shipley Field on the University of Maryland campus. On Sunday, August 23, we will be celebrating the new book at home in Lakeland with our Kick-Off Reception and Book signing at the Embry AME Church. On Saturday, August 29, we’ll be at the Overdue Recognition Gallery in Bowie and on September 5, you can find us in Laurel marking Emancipation Day with St. Mark’s United Methodist Church. We’ll be spending Saturday, September 12 with neighbors at Berwyn Day. Finally, we will be back home for our annual Lakeland Heritage Weekend on September 19 and September 20. Keep an eye on our events page for up-to-date information on all of our upcoming events or subscribe to our site to continue learning about the history of Lakeland.