Every year, hundreds of Stills gather here from as far away as Arizona to continue family tradition, revel in their storied family legacy, and pass it down.
"We're proud of it. Very much so," says Clarence Still, the 81-year-old patriarch and founder of the Lawnside Historical Society. "When you think about American democracy, we played a big part in it."
According to family history, the first Still was a Guinean prince who arrived in New Jersey as an indentured servant in the 1600s.
By the early 1800s, Levin Still, a Maryland slave, had bought his freedom and settled in Indian Mills, Burlington County.
It wasn't long before his wife, Charity, escaped and joined her husband with the couple's two daughters. She left two sons behind; one, Peter, escaped and joined his family years later, but brother Levin died enslaved.
Most notable of Levin and Charity's 18 children are William Still, one of the conductors of Philadelphia's Underground Railroad, and James Still, an unlicensed doctor and herbalist known around Medford as the "Black Doctor of the Pines."
Stills come in all varieties. There are Native American Stills, white Stills, and, of course, African American Stills, an overwhelming number of them living in Lawnside, believed to be the first all-black self-governing town in the North.
By any measure, the Still family saga embodies all the values we claim to hold dear - life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Ursinus College historian Walter Greason, whose new book The Path to Freedom traces black migration to New Jersey, has done research on the Stills.
"When you look at the sanctions imposed on African Americans as property, over and over again we find fathers and mothers escaping to free territory and, one by one, getting the word to family members. And over the decades, this process of freedom has defined family," says Greason.
"Hundreds of thousands of people took risks running through the woods and along the riverbeds. These are the great untold stories we grapple with."
All the more reason why the Stills gather - to pass their history on to members of their own bloodline.
Don't know family history
Marion Still Buck, spry and sharp at 92, sat behind a table selling the family history books. She fretted that the younger generation wouldn't value the family legacy as much because they didn't take the time to learn their family history.
"You have to know where you came from to understand where you're going," says Buck, who grew up in Moorestown and now lives in Raleigh, N.C.
Yet even some older family members are just discovering that being a Still means more than reuniting with aunts, uncles, and cousins every year.
"A lot of times our ancestors wouldn't talk about it, because there was a fear of what would happen if they did," says the Rev. Clifford Still, 53, pastor of the Venice Park United Methodist Church in Atlantic City. "But it's not just about history, it's about connectivity. As long as we keep the children around it, they will learn, whether they're paying attention or not."
Clarence Still, the fifth in the family to bear the name, has started to pay attention.
"I've been thinking about it lately," says the 23-year-old. "I can see my grandfather slowing down. I know eventually [the reunion] is going to fall in my hands."
Contact Annette John-Hall at 215-854-4986 or Ajohnhall@phillynews.com. Read her work: http://go.philly.com/annette