Be on your best behavior, Mt. Laurel, there is a book being written about you.
Stephanie Sawyer, a resident for 35 years, and co-president of the Fleetwood Elementary School parent teacher organization, is writing a book about Mt. Laurel for the popular “Images of America” series.
“Images of America” is a series made by Arcadia Publishing, which is based in the United Kingdom. The series chronicles the history of small towns and downtowns across the country. It has expanded over time to preserve and celebrate additional topics including local landmarks, architecture and more.
If you’re asking why Mt. Laurel, Sawyer would be happy to speak with you.
“Mt. Laurel has a lot of great history and many famous residents that I think will make for an interesting book,” Sawyer said.
Marie Reynolds, who works for the Mt. Laurel School District, had written a book about Browns Mills for Arcadia and suggested to Sawyer that she do the same. In February, Sawyer submitted a 15-page proposal to Arcadia for the book. They were impressed and informed her to get to work.
Sawyer began gathering photos then got in contact with the Mt. Laurel Historical Society and the Burlington County Library system.
“They helped as much as they could but there was only so much that they could provide,” Sawyer said. “The people have been most helpful.”
Sawyer claims she has received photos and information from people as far away as Texas.
“What has been really interesting is that a lot of the pictures and other materials have been from people who moved away a long time ago,” Sawyer said. “Maybe their grandmother lived in Mt. Laurel, or they grew up there and will send things they have to me.”
Sawyer is targeting between 8,000 and 16,000 words for the book and hopes to include more than 200 pictures. So far, she has collected somewhere between 50–75. The reaction to her writing the book has been all positive from residents.
“Everyone I’ve talked with has been extremely helpful. Although I don’t think I need anyone else to suggest I reach out to the historical society,” Sawyer says with a laugh.
According to Sawyer, the history in the book will begin in the 1680s covering the Masonville Fire Company, prominent families and historic homes. She is in the process of writing the book.
“I hope to have front and back cover samples completed by September and the book finished in November,” Sawyer said.
Any photos or information that residents can provide is much appreciated, Sawyer said, and will go a long way in making the book a success.
Residents are encouraged to email Sawyer at firstname.lastname@example.org with anything they have to contribute, or to discuss the book in greater detail.