Free showing of Forgotten Four: Integrating Pro Football

Executive Producer Wesley E. Smith, will discuss his film, Forgotten Four, about the integration of pro football in 1946, Tuesday, April 26 at 7 p.m. at Lawnside Public School. The program is free.

NFL writer Andrew Gelhar wrote, “How is it possible that four men broke the color barrier in professional football before Robinson did the same in baseball, yet almost no one (aside from diehard football historians) remembers their names? That’s exactly what the EPIX original documentary “Forgotten Four: The Integration of Pro Football” seeks to explain.”

Do you know the names, Woody Strode and Kenny Washington? Marion Motley and Bill Willis? Do you know their teams?

Historians, students, peewee football players, diversity advocates will all find something to enjoy.

Smith, a Lawnside native, is a son of Morris L. and Alice Gray Smith.

Spirit of the Renaissance Poetry Competition

The Dred Scott case, decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1857 gave us the phrase, “The black man has no rights, the white man is bound to respect.” Th 2016 Spirit of the Renaissance Poetry Competition explores the theme, “Respect.”

Fifth through 12th grade poets in Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties can enter the Poetry Competition. The deadline to submit is May 4, 2016.

Click the tab on this site for the form and to learn more about the theme.

A New Mott House Fence

The Lawnside Historical Society is launching a fundraising campaign to help rebuild the fence that protects the Peter Mott House Underground Railroad Museum. The LHS has fought to save the property from demolition and maintain it by acquiring the deed in 1992. Since then, the house has been restored and opened to the public in October 2001. It is listed on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places and offers tours most Saturdays throughout the year.
However, we need your help to maintain the property, especially to buy and install a new fence. The costs for these repairs are significant, though not astronomical, for a small, non-profit historical society. We invite you to click on our indiegogo site link here and make a tax-deductible contribution today. We have 60 days to meet our goal of $5,500 for the fence project. Even small donations will help to ensure the safety and preservation of a New Jersey and national landmark.


The Lawnside Historical Society, Inc., is a nonprofit, membership organization founded in 1990 to promote and preserve the history of Lawnside, New Jersey. It owns and operates the Peter Mott House Underground Railroad Museum, 26 Kings Court, Lawnside, N.J.

Museum hours are Saturdays, noon to 3 p.m. The cost is $2 for students and $5 for adults. Group tours and weekday visits can be arranged by calling 856-546-8850 or sending email to

Lawnside’s Legacy

The Lawnside Historical Society is a 501 (c)(3), tax-exempt membership organization established in 1990 because the Peter Mott House was about to be demolished. The house is a symbol of this free African American community that dates to colonial times.

The Society seeks members to help promote the community’s history and donations to preserve its legacy.

Contributions can be sent to the Lawnside Historical Society, P.O. Box 608, Lawnside, N.J. 08045-0608.