A very special “Thank You” from Pete to a good friend—former Laurel police officer and newly-elected city councilman Carl DeWalt for this special addition to his collection:
In October 2013, the Laurel Police Department went pink for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in an effort to raise awareness and support those with the disease.
On a related note, the Laurel History Boys are excited to announce the formation of our team in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life—a tremendous event held in Laurel on Saturday, June 8th. You can help us raise proceeds for the American Cancer Society by making even a small donation. We’d also welcome you to join our team, or volunteer in any capacity.
Can you help us? The “Donate” button below will take you to our team page.
We’ve had quite an eventful week! It started last Friday with an invitation to kick off Fox 5’s Zip Trip to Laurel. We filmed a quick segment bright and early at Towne Centre Laurel with Maureen Umeh, showing a few artifacts from Pete’s collection and explaining the interest in hyper-local history.
Maureen asked, “What makes Laurel so special? A lot of people pass through and probably don’t realize the history here.” Rich responded:
“There’s a lot of nostalgia…You think about the past, and the places you remember—but there’s a lot going on today that evokes that past. New places on Main Street like More Than Java Cafe—where I think, fifty years from now, people will still be talking about what a great cup of coffee they had there.”
We gave Maureen and the Fox 5 team t-shirts, and named them honorary Laurel History Boys!
The following weekend, we hosted our first ever Laurel History Trivia Night at Oliver’s Old Towne Tavern. The event, originally scheduled for the previous Saturday, had been postponed a week when our beloved Washington Capitals were playing for their first Stanley Cup!
We set up the game with six rounds of six questions each, followed by a bonus round. The questions got progressively harder as the game went on, and were worth more points.
The turnout was fantastic, with a great mixture of teams that included the likes of former mayor Joe Robison and family, current mayor Craig Moe, and City Council Members Carl DeWalt, Mike Leszcz, and Eddie Ricks. There was also a contingent of longtime Laurel Volunteer Firefighters, as well as the Laurel High Class of 1972.
The event was free, and prizes for the winning teams included Laurel History Boys t-shirts and stickers, vintage 1984 illustrated merchant maps of Laurel, and Laurel History Bucks—$12, $18, and $24 dollars off their teams’ tab, courtesy of Oliver’s!
Pete displayed a number of items from his collection, including one that folks were encouraged to interact with—the original Laurel Police Department mugshot slate board from the C Street location in the 1970s–80s!
We want to extend another huge thank you to Lenny Wohlfarth, Pamella Thompson, and everyone else at Oliver’s Old Towne Tavern for graciously hosting this event, and working so hard to ensure that everyone had a terrific time.
Think you know your hometown history? We’re talking about the people, places, and things—including the little details—that have defined Laurel over the past century.
Put together a team of friends (maximum team size is six people) who know Laurel extremely well, and head to Oliver’s on June 2nd. First, second, and third place winners will receive Laurel History Bucks—good for up to $24 off your food/drink tab!
There will be some other cool prizes, too, including t-shirts and vintage Laurel merchant map posters—just like the one at Oliver’s! (And if any other local merchants would like to donate gift cards, swag, or other prizes to be awarded, please contact us!)
This is a totally free event—just be sure to order something from the wonderful Oliver’s menu/bar and tip your waitstaff well!
We’ve heard that there may be some heavy competition in the crowd that night, including mayors, city council members, retired police officers, and others who truly know their stuff when it comes to Laurel history. So, choose your team wisely (or show up early and try to join one of theirs!)
Saturday, June 9
Oliver’s Old Towne Tavern
531 Main Street (at Sixth & Main Streets)
As part of his “Beyond Lost Laurel” series, Rich has written about the tragic murder of 13-year-old Audrey Blaisdell, who disappeared while at the bowling alley with her parents in 1973. Check it out here.
Pete has added a sampling of some rare public transportation cards—early equivalents of a Metro SmarTrip card, if you will—that feature some well-known family names from Laurel’s history. Check them out over on his page.
Holly Maxwell has been sharing some incredible finds with us from the collection of her late mother, Beverly Fairall-Maxwell—photos and mementos literally from EVERY era in Laurel’s history, including some pieces dating all the way back to the 1870s! We’ll have them scanned and added to a History Contributor page as soon as possible this summer.
As part of his “Beyond Lost Laurel” series, Rich has written a piece about the shocking 1973 murder of Safeway manager Edie Miles, and how—thanks to the notorious Patuxent Institution—her convicted killer ended up only serving five years. Check it out here.
Kevin wrote a two-part “History Matters” column last year on the history of the recently demolished Laurel Theatre building at 312 Main Street. Check out his page for even more of his research that didn’t make it into the papers.