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Harper's Parklane Restaurant

Harper's Parklane Restaurant Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


Harper's Parklane Restaurant

Lucius Carlton "Pete" Harper (1916-2009) was born in Frostburg. He began playing music at the age of 14, progressing from ukulele, to the banjo and bass. Lucius had initially washed and waxed cars behind his building located on Beall Street Extended (now University Drive) where he also organized dances for the local teenagers.

One day his wife, Mary, fixed some fried chicken for a few friends who had come up from Cumberland. The next week they returned with more friends for more chicken, and the suggestion was made they open a restaurant. It was in 1956 that he and his wife, Mary Priscilla (Washington) Harper opened Frostburg's well-known Harper's Parklane.

This was a place where nationally-renowned musicians, after playing at Cumberland's Cadillac or Maryland Cocktail Lounge, Hidee Club, or Elda Inn on Braddock Road, could stop and eat Harper's famous fried chicken and jam into the wee morning hours of the weekends. The restaurant closed in 1967.

Pete Harper entertained at Washington D.C.'s Market Inn and Flagship restaurants between the years 1965-1981, and is considered the first black musician to play with a local band, "The Modernaires".

The young woman working as a waitress in the photograph is their daughter, Linda Harper Carrington. Her customers, from left to right: Mike Wagoner, Mary Kesler, Pam (Humbertson) Cook, and Gus Cook.

... Mr. Harper's obituary states that the restaurant opened in 1959, not 1956, and closed in the late 1960s. There are one or two other very minor date discrepancies. The information for this article was provided by the source identified on this page. In both cases information was provided and recollected as accurately as possible by family members. I would defer to the official obituary which is located elsewhere on this website.


Historical information from the "Canal Place Survey of Cultural Traditions" published by the Maryland Historical Trust in 1995, and Jackie Harper.

Photograph from the 1964 Allegewi, yearbook of Allegany High School.


Collection Location:
Allegany County, Maryland

African Americans, History; Allegany County (Md.), History.

Allegany County (Md.), 1890-2008

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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