The following article was written by Herbert Gerber in March of 1986. Mr. Gerber was a student in the school, beginning in the 1913-4 term.
“The school was built around 1875, possibly earlier, and was in Washington Township. First teacher remembered was William Reynolds who was crippled in both legs, and walked with the aid of crutches. Many times he chopped firewood after school on his knees. There was also a teacher by the name of Helen Reed (or Read). Another teacher was Miss Graw. Next teacher was Miss Lillian Chew— she could have been the last teacher there. Her two brothers, Ralph and Blair Chew, ran the saw mill at Sandy Ridge, where the mountain of sawdust was.
Joe Alloway was in the eight grade when Herbert Gerber started school 1913-14.Some students came from Jenkins Neck– Wilford Sooy brought them over in the school bus, a Model T of his own.
The school was heated with a pot-belly stove and burned coal (notice the coal bin in the picture behind the dog and wagon). There was a blackboard; books were sometimes shared, sometimes individually owned. The teacher, William Reynolds, had a stick with which he would touch nearly everyone in there but never did as he had no reason to use it. His daughter attended this school prior to Herbert’s being there. His daughter was named Elva, and the family original came from Weekstown. In those days teachers had permission to punish students, if necessary. Studies, naturally, were the three R’s. You had to know your tables first thing in school, whereas transferring to Tabernacle in the 4th grade, Herbert was ahead of those students.
It is not know if the school by Evans and Willis or Washington Township but the teacher was probably paid by Washington Township. The school house was on the property we lived on, between this house where we lived and the barn; probably belonged to Evans and Wills for their cranberry business. Alloway and Pepper families also worked in cranberries.
The school year 1917-18 was the last year it was used as a school because the Alloways were the only children left and they were transferred to the Chatsworth school. Later Gladys Alloway came to live with her grandparents in Tabernacle and went to high school from here.
There was a pond beside the school and sometimes we would put our skates on in the school to go skating on that pond. If there was a film ???? ice we fastened our skates on gummed boots and they had to be strapped on. If there was an inch of water on the ice, you had to be careful not to fall down! On time Ross Pepper got to close to the flood gate hole, fell in, and had to get some of Pop’s clothes to walk that mile home to Sandy Ridge.
We made our own cars out of scraps of wood, old go-cart wheels, and wires. We had paths around through the woods where we pushed the cars. We made baskets with handles out of reeds, such as Easter baskets; the reeds were maybe 1/4″ to 3/16 ‘ wide.”
Herbert Gerber was born in 1908 and passed away in 2001. He was married to Edith Smith and they had four children. Herbert’s parents were Louis Gerber ( 1887-1958) and Ada Lemmon (1891-1950). The parents of Louis, Julius Gerber (1862- 1916) and Katie Reichert ( 1862-1921) are believed to be the first Gerbers to settle in the area. Both were born in Germany.
The following speech was delivered at the Restoration Dedication by Thelma Allen, a Past President of the Tabernacle Historical Society. It is retyped and presented in it’s entirety.
Sunday , June 8, 1986 – 2:00 PM
Site: Restoration of Friendship School Dedication next to Tabernacle School #1-Carranza Road
Thelma Allen First President and organizer of the Tabernacle Historical Society 1975-1979
We Celebrated Tabernacle Township’s “75th Birthday” and the 1776 Bicentennial Celebration a number of ways during 1976. One project was the moving of the Friendship School.
The old saying “a little powder, a little paint,.. makes a girl just what she ain’t” comes to mind as we think of the condition of this Friendship Schoolhouse building when we first seen it.. when we were taking our Historical Sight Tour under the leadership of Robert Haines in 1975.
It had been vandalized in its original location in Washington Township. Winfield haines and Stephen Lee were instrumental in creating interest to move and restore the school in 1976.
Mayor Antony Russo, Committeemen Richard Haines and Frank Grungo loaned the Township truck and trailer so that Samuel Haines, Bruce Haines and Ferman Foulkes ( if I forgot anyone please forgive me) Amos Allen was the sidewalk superintendent.. moved the school up tp Tabernacle and placed it in front of the Township garage and there it met another disaster when somehow it got backed into by a truck.
On May 15, 1978 I received a letter from the Township Committee by F. W. Haines, Clerk-suggesting that the Historical Society consider placing the School House on the grounds of School #1. Mr. Ray Worrell Jr. Pres. of Tabernacle School Board suggested placing the building close to the big trees on Carranza Road… This site.
An estimated cost to restore the building was in the neighborhood of $3500 by George Worrell.
When the building was complete it was suggested to open it to the public on weekends with hostess present and to incorporate into the educational process of the Township Schools by bringing children of various ages together with a volunteer teacher for a half day experience as a one room school pupil.
“Praise God from whom All blessings flow” and here it is– thanks to all the men and women who have worked so hard making the monies available to complete this project.
Viola Sparagna, then President of the Historical Society, gave the following speech:
“Friendship School was built, around 1875 perhaps, away up Hampton Gate Road, now called Carranza Road. It was a narrow dirt road then.
It was built for the benefit of the children in the families who lived and worked on the cranberry bogs there.
The area was also known as the Quakers, possibly because the owners of the bogs, Esra Evans and Joshua Wills, were of that persuasion.
The school is in Washington Township but it has a lot of association with our township so when it was being vandalized, it was decided to rescue it — (once it was put to use as a goat barn).
We have Mr. Herbert Gerber (now deceased) who lived on Zimmerman Road, and attended there. You may find his face and name on the picture wall along with other pupils and some of the teachers.
One teacher, Anna Templeton, came from Bridgeboro to Medford by trainwhere Joshua Wills met her with his horse and carriage and took her to Friendship where she boarded with a family during the school year.
Anna married Carlton Haines of Tabernacle in 1896.Robert Haines, one of their children, lived on Carranza Road all of his life.
The building has 7 single desks. imagine how crowded it was with 7 double desks.
1917-1918 was the last year the building was used as a school as there were only 4 pupils. It was no longer sensible for the Township to pay a teacher so the children were transferred to the Chatsworth School.
It was abandoned until 1975 when the remains of the school were moved to Tabernacle and restored.