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Lawnside is a Borough in Camden Countymarker, New Jerseymarker, United Statesmarker. As of the United States 2000 Census, the borough population was 2,692.

The land that became Lawnside was purchased by Abolitionists for freed and escaped slaves, as well as other African Americans, in 1840.

On April 20, 1926, an "Official Special Election" was held in the Borough of Lawnside. Just one month earlier, on March 24, 1926, Governor of New Jersey A. Harry Moore signed into law New Jersey General Assembly Bill 561, dissolving Centre Township, of which Lawnside was a part, and incorporating the Borough of Lawnside, which also included portions of the borough of Barringtonmarker. With its first election, Lawnside became the first independent self-governing African American community north of the Mason-Dixon linemarker.

Lawnside is home to a massive United Parcel Servicemarker depot.


Lawnside is located at (39.866513, -75.031977).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 1.4 square miles (3.6 km2), all of it land.

Lawnside borders Barringtonmarker, Cherry Hillmarker, Magnoliamarker, Somerdalemarker, and Tavistockmarker.


As of the census of 2000, there were 2,692 people, 1,026 households, and 700 families residing in the borough. The population density was 1,919.7 people per square mile (742.4/km2). There were 1,110 housing units at an average density of 791.6/sq mi (306.1/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 1.75% White, 93.61% African American, 1.00% Native American, 0.52% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 0.48% from other races, and 2.56% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.38% of the population.

There were 1,026 households out of which 23.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.1% were married couples living together, 22.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.7% were non-families. 28.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.23.

In the borough the population was spread out with 23.3% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 22.7% from 25 to 44, 27.8% from 45 to 64, and 18.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 83.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 77.4 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $45,192, and the median income for a family was $55,197. Males had a median income of $34,881 versus $31,331 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $18,831. About 10.3% of families and 10.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.0% of those under age 18 and 12.1% of those age 65 or over.

As part of the 2000 Census, 93.61% of Lawnside's residents identified themselves as being African American. This was the 30th highest percentage of African American people in any place in the United States with 1,000 or more residents identifying their ancestry and the highest in the Northeastern United States.


Local government

Lawnside is governed under the Borough form of New Jersey municipal government. The government consists of a Mayor and a Borough Council comprising six council members, with all positions elected at large. A Mayor is elected directly by the voters to a four-year term of office. The Borough Council consists of six members elected to serve three-year terms on a staggered basis, with two seats coming up for election each year.

The Mayor of Lawnside Borough is Mark K. Bryant. Members of the Lawnside Borough Council are Council President Mary Ann Wardlow, Council Vice-President Walter A. Lacey, Juanita Johnson-Clark, Stephen C. Moore, Junious R. Stanton and Clifford L. Still, Sr.

Federal, state and county representation

Lawnside is in the First Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 5th Legislative District.


The Lawnside School District serves public school students in pre-Kindergarten through eighth grade. Lawnside Public School served an enrollment of 330 students in the 2005-06 school year.

For grades 9-12, public school students attend Haddon Heights High Schoolmarker, which serves Haddon Heights, and students from the neighboring communities of Barringtonmarker and Lawnside who attend the high school for grades 9-12 as part of sending/receiving relationships with the Haddon Heights School District.


New Jersey Transit offers bus service to Philadelphiamarker on the 403 route, with local service on the 451.

Notable residents

Notable current and former residents of Lawnside include:Sherron Rolax, who made his home on Oak Avenue in Lawnside before going to prison. Rolax achieved public fame when his civil rights were allegedly violated by then New Jerseymarker Governor Christine Todd Whitman in 1996. The Governor was riding along in a police patrol car when the police officers stopped Rolax for suspicious activity in Camden, New Jerseymarker; they frisked him, but found nothing. Whitman then also frisked the suspect while a state trooper photographed her, and the image of the smiling governor frisking the suspect was published in newspapers statewide. The photo drew fire from civil rights leaders who saw this as a violation of Rolax's civil rights and an endorsement of racial profiling by the Governor.


  1. "The Story of New Jersey's Civil Boundaries: 1606-1968", John P. Snyder, Bureau of Geology and Topography; Trenton, New Jersey; 1969. p. 107.
  2. "Lawnside: Rich and deep progress", Courier-Post, October 19, 2006. Accessed July 9, 2008. "In 1926, Lawnside was incorporated as a borough and became the first independent, self-governing black municipality north of the Mason-Dixon Line."
  3. African Indian Communities, Epodunk. Accessed June 28, 2006.
  4. 2005 New Jersey Legislative District Data Book, Rutgers University Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, April 2005, p. 28.
  5. Mayor & Council, Lawnside Borough. Accessed May 20, 2008.
  6. 2008 New Jersey Citizen's Guide to Government, New Jersey League of Women Voters, p. 59. Accessed September 30, 2009.
  7. Data for the Lawnside Public School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed May 20, 2008.
  8. About Our School, Haddon Heights High School. Accessed May 20, 2008.
  9. Camden County Bus/Rail Connections, New Jersey Transit. Accessed June 21, 2007.
  10. "South Jersey News in Brief", The Philadelphia Inquirer, January 28, 2003. Accessed July 9, 2008.

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