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About Us

Echo Lake Elementary, located in the Brookland District, is bordered by its namesake. The property served as a popular gathering place for African Americans as they enjoyed boating, camping, and socializing. Echo Lake was formed in the mid-19th century from Meredith Branch, a 3.5-mile stream between Broad Street and the Chickahominy Swamp. During the late 1800s, the lake powered a flour mill. Echo Lake earned its name because people could hear a voice echo when called out across the water.  In 1909, Jacob E. Lewis, an African-American farmer and religious leader, bought Echo Lake and established it as a recreation area for African Americans. By 1940, much of the activity had subsided except for fishing, picnics, and an occasional baptism. The County of Henrico purchased the property in 1981 and developed the site as a public park with a 1.5-mile hiking trail, pedestrian bridge, playground, and picnic shelter.

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