Located in St. Mary's County, the town of Loveville is situated along a
five-mile stretch of Route 5 between Leonardtown and Morganza. The name
Loveville conjures up visions of cupids and hearts, but it was actually
named for the man who established the first post office in the area,
Kingsley Love, back in 1895.
Although Kingsley Love would serve as the area's namesake and first
postmaster, he left the postal service after a short time and became an
attorney, leaving the job of postmaster to his brother Bernard. The
first Loveville post office was housed inside a general store, located
at the corner of Pin Cushion Road and Route 5. Kingsley Love and his
family built a home near the store and he was known throughout the area
for his love of flowers and the many different varieties he grew in his
The Love Store, as it was known, served the small number of families in
the mostly agricultural area. The bar, gas station and tea room, added
by Bernard Love, were the local meeting place for the residents of
Loveville and the surrounding areas. The Love Store and its adjacent
buildings operated until the 1940s when the post office was moved to the
corner of Routes 5 and 247 where it functioned out of a house by the
Long Mill for a brief period of time, with Fred Long as postmaster.
Vivian Love (pictured above with her in-laws in front of the original
store in 1940) recalled many fond memories of her time spent at the Love
Store, tea room, and gas station, where so many of her neighbors and
family had gathered to exchange stories, pick up their mail, or have a
sandwich, over the years. The Loveville Tavern once known as Guy's
Tavern is still open today, and sits just opposite the site of the
original store, which was eventually torn down.
Most of Loveville's land consisted of tobacco farms and remained largely
unchanged for many years following its designation as a town. A school
built in 1848, known as the Maryland Springs School, serviced the area's
elementary age children and was one of the first elementary schools in
St. Mary's County. It later became a school for the area's African
In 1896, a group of parents from the African American community began
trying to establish the St. Mary's Colored High School to promote
secondary education for black students. The group, which was later
called the United Parent Trustee Association, would struggle for over 25
years before they would establish the Colored Central Industrial School.
With land, materials, and even labor donated by local families, the
group set about building Banneker School, but it wasn't until 1929 that
the Board of Education recognized the land and school as part of the St.
Mary's County school system.
In 1934, Banneker High School opened its doors, and in 1937 it held its
first graduation with two graduates. Many African American students, who
had once attended school in Charles County at Pomonkey High School,
could now stay closer to home and finish their high school education.
Some families in Loveville even took in boarding students for those that
lived too far away to commute each day. Alice Freeman Young, who was an
educator in Southern Maryland for 46 years, was just one of the many
wonderful teachers at Banneker School. In 1947, Banneker graduated its
last class and was converted into an elementary, junior and senior high
Many students from Loveville walked each day to school in Morganza at
either St. Joseph's Catholic School or Margaret Brent High School. In
the 1960s, Chopticon High School, Margaret Brent (now a middle school),
and Leonardtown Middle took the middle and high school grades away from
Banneker School, and it continues to operate as an elementary school
today along with Loveville Elementary, for the area pre-kindergarten
through fifth grade students.
During the 1940s and 50s, the post office and general store were
relocated once again to a different spot along Route 5. A gas station,
auto repair shop, and store housed in a small building with a wood
burning stove served as the town center with dances, card games, and
even western movies being shown there. Warren S. Thompson, Sr., and his
son James would both serve as postmaster before Alice and Dick Bullock
began running the store and taking care of the mail. The couple
converted part of the general store so that they could live close to
Eva Hall, current postmistress of Loveville recalls her many visits to
Bullock's Store, "My grandmother would drive me to buy bread at the
store and give me 25 cents. Bread was only 17 cents in those days, which
gave plenty leftover to buy candy." She also remembers how she and other
children in Loveville would ride their bicycles or walk to the store to
buy candy, a soda or ice cream. Other stores, such as J.W. Guy & Bro.,
later known as Long's Furniture, and Dave's Cabinet Shop, also served
the citizens of Loveville over the years.
By 1970, Mr. and Mrs. Bullock had retired, and for the next 30 years the
post office began operating out of The Third Base gas station and
grocery store with Warren Thompson, Jr., as postmaster. The Bullocks
continued to live in the old store until the property was eventually
sold, when it once again became a commercial business, selling antiques
and pottery. Today that small store is home to Traditions of Loveville;
the wood-burning stove is no longer there, but owner Becky Boyles has
maintained the charm and integrity of the original store.
Today, no mention of Loveville can be made without noting its connection
to that ever-important holiday of Valentine's Day. Although the town of
Loveville has remained much as it was when Kingsley Love and his family
first named the area, the volume of mail received each year in this tiny
town has grown by leaps and bounds. Eva Hall has been serving as
postmistress since 1975, and in 1987 Loveville introduced a specialty
cancellation stamp featuring hearts and a cupid that have become the
town's trademark. Each year, between 30-50,000 pieces of mail come
through the Loveville Post Office from all over the world to receive
that extra special stamp. Wedding invitations are a favorite item sent
through the Loveville Post Office by couples looking to have a little
extra love added to their mail.
True to its namesake, this quaint town of mostly farmland is still home
to a handful of businesses, Mennonite farms, and many original
landowners. The families that have called Loveville home for generations
are proud of their small slice of Southern Maryland and hope to maintain
its rural, friendly nature for years to come.
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