Robert E. Lee Park, near Baltimore, Maryland, USA

A Maryland park that had been named for Robert E. Lee in 1945 was renamed by the city of Baltimore after the June 2015 Charleston church massacre.

Robert E. Lee Park, located north of the city of Baltimore on city-owned land in unincorporated Baltimore County, was established in 1945 at the behest of Robert Garrett,1 a segregationist who was head of the city’s recreation commission.2 The public rationale that Garrett gave for naming the park after Lee is that this would enable the city to fund the park’s creation using money from his great aunt Elizabeth B. Garrett White’s estate. White, who had died in 1917, stipulated in her will that the money be used to build a monument to Lee.

Seventy years after the park’s creation, in the wake of the June 2015 Charleston church massacre, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz called on the city to rename the park after its central feature, Lake Roland, a reservoir built by the city in the mid-19th century.3 With the approval of the city council and mayor, the county changed the park’s name to Lake Roland Park in September 2015 despite some opposition from local historians and the United Daughters of the Confederacy.4


  1. City legislation would rename Robert E. Lee Park ↩︎

  2. The Mail 7/1/15 ↩︎

  3. Popular location hidden away ↩︎

  4. The Baltimore City Council is debating changing the name of Robert E. Lee Park. ↩︎

Photo Credit: WMAR-TV