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Designation long overdue

It is fitting that Quakertown will soon take its place among other area locations honored by the Texas Historical Commission for being a significant part of Denton history.

During a ceremony planned for 10 a.m. Feb. 16, local elected officials will be on hand to honor the former community with a historical marker that will be placed in Quakertown Park next to the Denton Civic Center at 321 E. McKinney St.

We believe the historical designation is long overdue. In the early 1880s, Quakertown was a thriving black community in Denton but was gone by 1923 as city officials developed the land into a city park.

The park was renamed Quakertown Park in 2006 to honor the community.

Quakertown played a key role in local history and should be remembered as the home of many of the city’s first black residents and entrepreneurs.

The circumstances surrounding the community’s final chapter should never be forgotten, although they may be painful to remember.

But lessons learned from the past can help us avoid repeating mistakes in the future, and we hope that the marker, as well as the statewide significance it will give Quakertown, will help reinforce the fact that Denton is now a city where diversity is celebrated and appreciated, and rightly so.

As Denton Mayor Mark Burroughs told us, the history of Quakertown is a lesson that we must remain vigilant in making sure we are sensitive to the diversity among us.

“I think that’s what Quakertown stands for,” Burroughs said. “When you look at Quakertown Park now, it stands for peace, tranquility, friendship, family — all of the good things a healthy community has, including diversity. It allows us today to reflect sometimes on how far we have come as a community, and I am proud of that.”

Burroughs and Denton County Judge Mary Horn are scheduled to speak at the marker dedication. The marker will be unveiled by Colette Johnson, president of the Southeast Denton Neighborhood Association, County Commissioner Andy Eads and Denton City Council member Kevin Roden.

Also on hand at the ceremony will be former council member Charlye Heggins, who will read the marker inscription.

We encourage all to attend the upcoming marker dedication to pay tribute to Quakertown and those who built it, and to celebrate the diversity that will help guide our city into the future.