La Belle Inn

Known Name(s)

La Belle Inn


Gloucester Ave. Lawnside, NJ

Establishment Type(s)


Physical Status


Detailed History

This property, where LaBelle Inn once stood, has a connection to two historically significant Lawnside families, the Motts and the Moore’s. One-time owner, Peter Mott, a conductor on the Underground Railroad, sold this land to Levis Moore in 1879. Moore is the grandfather of Dr Roscoe Moore, who served as the beloved school doctor in Lawnside during the early 1900’s.

In 1920 and 1922, Lillie Belle Lee Carter purchased two lots on the south side of Gloucester Avenue, at the west side of Moore Avenue in Lawnside, NJ., Through years of hard work, commitment, and personal sacrifice she turned her six-acre property into a recreational oasis called the Labelle Inn. Local residents and inhabitants of nearby cities who were seeking escape, traveled by busload to the bar for entertainment and to partake in the numerous activities which were offered. 

Lillie Belle Lee Carter celebrated her grand opening in October of 1935. It was described as a glamorous affair. She was known to have first-class talent to perform. Most accounts rave about the delicious food as well as the beautiful grounds including what one called “the best vegetable garden in Lawnside.” Most of the information regarding this location primarily comes from the advertisements of the outings sponsored by the Citizens Republican Club of Philadelphia. They regularly brought busloads from Philadelphia to Lawnside. On one occasion, the buses were scheduled to depart the city hourly from 1:30 PM to 5:30 PM to bring people to Lawnside. On most nights they served chicken and squab (domestic pigeon under 4 weeks old) dinners. But on one annual outing of the Citizens Republican Club the attendees enjoyed a full seafood dinner. These dinners often took place on the lawn. Carter was born in Danville, Virginia around 1888. When she died in 1953, she was survived by a stepson, William Carter, Jr. and her sister, Sarah Jane Covington, who continued to run the business. The location eventually became Pearl’s Celebrity Room.

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