I went to the annual meeting of the Laurel Historical Society recently; the speaker was Susanne Fox who was part of the team that categorized the historic buildings in Laurel several years ago and according to her made Laurel the largest historic district in the United States.

`Now a teacher at Wesley College where she teaches about historic history, she came back last week and revisited what she calls her ‘favorite community’ to see what changes had been made to some of the homes she charted.

I was born and raised in Laurel and I pass by these homes weekly and I realized during her power point presentation as she carefully showed the artistic designs and different styles of homes that I have missed the real beauty and charm of Laurel.

Many times in life we don’t appreciate what we have until we don’ have it anymore. The older homes in Laurel are disappearing and no one seems to care. Many towns grew when the railroad came through; Laurel was already a bustling community before the railroad and exploded into a boom town when the railroad came though.

At the Historical board meeting recently we were trying to come up with a feisty slogan for Laurel; I sarcasticly offered, “Laurel, the town that was.:

Laurel has its’ problems, but it still is a beautiful town, a good place to raise a family. It’s getting costly because of the shrinking tax base, and it is becoming loaded with regulations that are not needed.

But you cannot take away our history. I for one am going to smell the roses as they say, and slow down and look at the beauty of my community; you should too. I find it amusing the large number of members in the Historical Society are not locals, and they appear to have the most interest in protecting the credibility of the buildings in Laurel.

If you’d care to join the Historical Society, email me at



  1. Lifetime member of The Historical Society and, yes we really do have some great old homes and buildings here. I fear however that time (and money) are taking their toll on some places. We just lost the Bacon Building. Several older homes ie; The Mae Kinny house, the old Sam Adkins home, the old Funeral Home on central ave. are in serious need of maintaince and would be cost prohibitive to fix. Let’s hope that we can maintain at least some of our older, historic places.

    • I was told yesterday one community with some wealth got together, purchased some of the buildings you referred to, brought the exterior up to code, and sold the buildings to people who then fixed the inside to suit their needs. Yes, John, we are losing our buildings; shame.

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