Here’s another yearbook to add to your collection: the Laurel Wreath for 1957, from Lancaster Mennonite School in Lancaster, PA. You can find it on our Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, page — just CLICK HERE.
One of our objectives at Between the Lakes Group is to provide varity in our republishing activities. It’s our hope that by doing so we will encourage curiosity and historical investigation. This yearbook is an example of our efforts in this direction.
While most people who purchase our yearbooks are either looking for relatives or remembering their own times in high school, this yearbook, as well as addressing those needs, will hopefully provide a window into Mennonite culture – one aspect of what is popularly called “Pennsylvania Dutch” – in Pennsylvania. From our knowledge of this cultural and religious group we were a bit surprised to find that high school yearbooks were even issued! Perhaps it comes as a surprise to you, too.
There are obvious differences between this 1957 yearbook and other yearbooks we’ve published of this vintage, and the most obvious is the pervasiveness of religion in what appear to be all aspects of school life. For a religious school, that is likely not a surprise. The fact that the entire yearbook is black and white – even the cover – seems, on consideration, predictable. The senior photos, characterized by short hair for both boys and girls, modest attire (some girls wear head covering), are striking by comparison with those of other schools. The limited range of activities – the preponderance associated with religion, and the lack of sports teams, are both notable. It is a boarding school! And this is the only yearbook we have ever republished that was actually indexed!
This is a document of a fascinating cultural and religious community. We hope the Laurel Wreath for 1957 helps readers to understand it better.