Jones – Places

Triangle Housing Project

“Built in 1940 as part of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal Recovery Program, [the project] was bounded on the east by South Fourth Avenue, on the west by Maple Street and on the south by Jefferson Street.” It was within walking distance of downtown Laurel. It was inhabited by hard-working, working-class families who felt lucky to be selected to live in the new apartments. The development had a basketball court and a large picnic and activity field used for concerts, carnivals and ball games. On Sunday mornings, the families would walk along Jefferson and Maple Streets to church services at Saint Paul Methodist Church and Saint Elmo Baptist Church. In its time, it was considered a desirable and wonderful place to live.

Sources:

Laurel Remembrances by Cleveland Payne published in 1996, which was a compilation of columns written by Cleveland Payne for the Laurel Leader-Call from July 1994 to May 1995.

Freedom House of Laurel

Laurel’s Freedom House was the center for a voter-registration drive in Jones County and was located at the home of Eberta Spinks in 1965.

Lincoln Theatre

The Lincoln was the black community’s theater and was located at the intersection between North Maple and Church St. in the shadow of the Southern Railroad train depot in downtown Laurel. It “offered customers a healthy diversion from the paralyzing fear, death, destruction and debilitating anxiety that marked the period between 1941 and 1950.” The theatre showed some serious dramas with racial themes that dealt with the psychological and sociological problems, often portraying dilemmas for black Americans to raise their level of consciousness on racial themes. The Lincoln closed in 1950.

Sources:

Laurel Remembrances by Cleveland Payne published in 1996.