- Dee Collins and Harry Worrell
Present: Dee Collins (DC), Harry Worrell (HW), Jackie Krantz (JK). Worrell is
Collins’ nephew. Krantz is Collins’ daughter, who lives in California. Interview is
being conducted by Rita Moonsammy (RM) for the Tabernacle Historical Society.
[Explanation of how we’ll proceed on tape]
Dee Collins lives at 420 Medford Lakes Road, Tabernacle, NJ 08088
Harry Worrell lives at 417 Medford Lakes Road, Tabernacle, NJ 08088
RM: First of all, what’s your full name, Dee?
DC: Lillian May Gerber Collins
RM: When were you born?
DC: September 2, 1920
RM: You were born before a lot of important things happened. And where were you
DC: Well, up the road
RM: And the road is:
DC: This one — Medford Lakes Road, in Tabernacle. 532. County [road] 532. In a farm house.
RM: About how far from here was that?
HW: About a quarter of a mile.
DC: Quarter of a mile.
RM: Is the house still there?
DC: No. It was torn down.
RM: And were you born at home?
RM: How many siblings did you have?
RM: What are their names? Or were they? And do they still live?
DC: My sister, Harry’s mother, was Pauline, and my brother, Arthur, and me.
RM: You were the baby.
DC: Yeah. Mmhmm.
RM: And how long did your family live in that house?
DC: Well, they couldn’t have been there when my brother was born, and he was born in 1917, I think. And — see there were two families. My daddy and his brother married sisters. So we were all living together until my other — my uncle and his wife, having so many children, that my daddy had somebody build us a home further down toward Tabernacle.
HW: Across the street like.
RM: On the other side of the road from this.
HW: Mmhmm. From the farmhouse, yeah.
RM: Is that house still there?
DC: Yes. You mean the house that my daddy had built?
RM: Is that where you grew up, Jackie?
RM: That’s where you spent most of your married life?
DC: No, no.
JK: But you spent the beginning of your married life there.
DC: Oh, yeah.
HW: Yeah. the beginning.
JK: As did your mother
HW: Right. Right, and my dad and I was born in that house.
RM: OK. So, the sisters married the brothers.
RM: That means two Gerbers married two Worrells.
HW: No — Pepper.
RM: Oh, right. That’s the generation before you.
JK: And it was more than two.
HW: There was five altogether. Five from one family married five from the other
HW: The Peppers and the Gerbers.
RM: So they’re all over Tabernacle. Offspring — and their offspring.
RM: What were your father and mother’s names?
DC: Father was William Phillip Gerber. And my mother was — you know there was a question about her name.
JK: It wasn’t for sure Nettie? Nickname? Maybe?
DC: No. [Long pause]
RM: It’s alright. You can take time to think. It’s ok.
RM: What did people call her?
DC: Nettie, I guess.
RM: And your dad. What did her call her?
DC: He didn’t talk much — he didn’t! [Chuckles].
RM: Maybe she just kind of read his mind about what should be done? In the
house? How did they meet?
DC: I don’t know. They didn’t tell me very many things.
RM: Well, a lot of parents are like that, they are. So he lived all his life in Tabernacle,
DC: Well, they —
HW: I think a portion of his life. They really grew up, I guess, when they were
younger, down near Batsto.
HW: Because my grandfather showed me — it’s a home now, but it was a school.
Along the — I don’t remember the name of the county road — but – 3
RM: Is that where he was born?
HW: I’m sure it was in that area, called “Bulltown.”
HW: Uh huh.
RM: And is it the road that Batsto is actually on?
HW: Right. Yeah, I can’t remember the number of it.
RM: Me either, but I know when I go down 206, it branches off like that.[Motions left]
HW: Yeah. It branches off and then you come to Nesco.
HW: Make a left on that road, I don’t know you say it’s –
RM: It’s not so easy to read because it’s so small.
JK: Do you think the Gerber kids were [??] siblings were born there? And they all
lived there then?
HW: I think so.
RM: What did their father do?
HW: Their father was — came from Germany over into Philadelphia, and from what I
gather, he was a baker, in a baker shop.
RM: [To DC] Do you remember that?
DC: I just remember hearing it.
RM: But, I guess, did he have the bakery — did he work as a baker down there by
HW: You know, I never heard, but evidently they moved from Philadelphia to Batsto,
as near as I can remember. And they — they could have worked there at Batsto.
RM: It was still working then?
HW: Oh, yeah!
RM: ‘Cause this would have been in the late 1800s, early 1900s? 4
DC: ‘Cause Uncle Herb was born in 1900.
RM: Now Uncle Herb was one of the brothers?
HW: Brother to her father
RM: Brother to your father, too.
RM: I’m getting mixed up!
HW: Oh, you will! [Laughter] This is quite a family…
JK: His mother was my mother’s sister.
RM: Ok. Ok, so it wasn’t the brothers.
RM: The two brothers who married them were, they were Peppers.
HW: No, Gerbers. The mother was a Pepper.
RM: Ok, ok. It’s the opposite of what I thought. So, it’s interesting that they moved
from Philadelphia, and he was a baker, right to the middle of the woods.
RM: I know some people in Nesco, they probably passed by now, who used to do a
lot of gathering from the woods and process the stuff. Oh, I can’t remember their
name now, but I think it’s in here. [Pinelands Folklife]. Do you know if your family
ever, you know, used –did they make use of the stuff from the environment?
HW: Well they worked in the cranberry bogs, and helped build the dams, and things
RM: So was that true of your father? Did they work in the cranberry bogs and help
build dams, and things like that?
DC: Whatever the rest did, he did. 5
RM: But then when he was grown, he started farming.
RM: And your father?
HW: Well, I — the Worrell family?
HW: He worked at a chemical plant. Well, he did other things beside that. He
farmed a little also. And things got real bad around the Depression time, and he lost
his job that he had started. He went up to Skillman, New Jersey. There was a state — uh, something like over here at the Four Mile, the county, for children who were in
need of a lot of help.
RM: Oh, ok.
HW: He worked on — him and his brother, Stanley, worked there, you know, till
things got better, then they came back to their original job.
RM: At the chemical company?
HW: Mmhmm. They farmed along with it.
RM: And the chemical company was right here in Tabernacle?
HW: No, it was in Pemberton.
HW: Yeah. It was called the [Permuda??] company. They made water conditioning
RM: So this would have been in the 50s, to 40s?
HW: Well, really in the 30s. ‘Cause I was born in 1930.
RM: Ok, and he was doing that
HW: And her — in my grandfather and grandmother’s home.
JK: And by that time, they were in Tabernacle.
RM: So do you know when they moved from the Batsto area to Tabernacle?
HW: No, their home was fairly new when I was born, so it had to be in the 20s, that
the home was built. In fact, at the time, when I was born, they were just putting
electricity down this street…this road. (Meaning Medford Lakes Road.)
JK: Now were the Peppers already here? Were they in Tabernacle already?
HW: You know, I don’t really know the background of where they, you know,
JK: But they were an Irish family, weren’t they?
RM: So, about your dad, when he — after he was grown up, did he begin farming
DC: Well, they bought this farm, and at that time they were thinking that they might have to go to war.
HW: One brother did. George Gerber. He was in World War I. That isn’t her father.
That’s a brother to her father.
RM: Brother to her father. OK, gotcha’.
JK: Father? Oh, father, right.
RM: Um, Dee’s uncle.
RM: Ok. Did he come back?
RM: So they bought the farm, but it was looking like we would go to war, so how did
that affect their family or what they did?
DC: Well, they just lived.
JK: Did they not have to go to war because they were farmers? Pop Pop?
DC: I think so.
JK: Uncle Phillip?
HW: Phillip, yes.
JK. And then did they start the blueberry farm. 7
DC and HW: Later, later.
RM: So let’s go back to you [Dee]. Where did you go to school?
DC: In Tabernacle.
RM: Mmhmmm. Which school was it?
HW: Tabernacle Elementary School.
RM: It wasn’t the Friendship School? That was too old.
HW: Yeah, yeah.
JK: One room? Was there one room?
HW: Two room school. ‘Cause I –
DC: Now, I’m not sure of that even.
RM: But you went there for all the grades? All the way up to eighth grade?
DC: Well, I had to go — our grade had to go to Vincentown. I don’t know if it was the seventh and eighth grades, or just the eighth grade. That’s where I graduated from. And I was afraid of the teacher. She was strict. I was afraid I wasn’t going to pass. [Laughter]
RM: But you did. You did pass. How did you get to school from here?
DC: A bus.
RM: There was a bus. So all the Tabernacle kids were going there for seventh or
DC: See, I can’t be sure, because I can’t remember.
RM: But probably. Well, maybe some didn’t go onto school?
DC: I don’t know? I’m trying to think of the man that used to be the driver. He lived in a house near, where Alfors [Pharmacy on Rt. 206] is now.
RM: Where’s Alfors?
HW: On the highway on 206.
DC: Yates Plaza.
RM: Ok. Uh huh.
JK: Mother, everybody calls you Dee. I’d like you to explain what you remember.
DC: Well, I’m not really sure, but we must have been talking about words, and I was always interested in words.
JK: So how does that connect with….
DC: They called me “Dictionary,” I think. [Laughter] Otherwise I don’t even know why.
RM: And after eighth grade, was there a high school to go to?
DC: Yes, it’s like, you know, Lenape is now. It was Rancocas up at Mt. Holly.
RM: Mmhmm. So kids from different towns went to that school.
RM: And you went there? How did you like that?
DC: Well, we always thought we were backward.
RM: “We” meaning the people from Tabernacle? Why was that?
DC: ‘Cause we were poor, I guess.
RM: Was that the truth, or was that what the other people thought, because they
lived in a town?
HW: Yeah, that’s what I think she means. Yeah.
RM: And what about this notion of “Pineys”? A lot of people who don’t live around
here think, “Ohhh, if you go down there in the Pinelands, there’s somebody behind
every tree with a shotgun.”
HW & DC: [Laughter]
RM: Is that kind of what the people in the towns thought?
DC: Well, you know I’m telling you how I am. But some of the kids overlooked it. Now my cousin, Bee, you know, she even got to be the treasurer of her high school class. Was a year below me. So it’s just like Jackie said, my attitude.
RM: You may have felt they were thinking you were behind.
Where did your family go to shop?
DC: Well, mostly Medford.
RM: And did a lot of the cranberry workers live in Medford? I know there are some
streets where there are workers’ houses.
RM: Were those for people who, like, worked in the cranberry bogs?
HW: And farming. Now, before they moved to Tabernacle, when they were in Batsto,
they shopped at Egg Harbor.
RM: That’s right. It was closer.
HW: Yeah, in fact, [Vivian?] still does, I think, for a lot of things.
RM: So what did you do then after high school, after you graduated?
DC: Got married. [Laughter]
RM: Really, right away?
DC: Pretty soon.
JK: Can you talk about how you met dad, and how that came about?
DC: Well, I didn’t even know — his parents lost all the money they had. Their savings and everything. And so Mother Collins, that’s my mother-in-law, her brother lived in Indian Mills. You know — Shamong. And so they came to live with them and Jack didn’t come. He finished out his high school in Hammonton with a boyfriend. What’s his name? Bob? Was it Bob? He lived until he graduated from high school there. And then Jack’s mother came to our church because she played the piano sometime, I think. And I think Jack made a hit with the girls. [Laughter]
DC: But we used to like to go to Atlantic City, to the Steel Pier, and one time a busload of us went there, and for somehow, at the Steel Pier, something was wrong and we couldn’t do like we were supposed to, and kind of — Jack took over, and got it settled up so we could go in. And that impressed me! [Laughter]
RM: So then how did it go?
JK: Didn’t he have a job?
DC: He had a job with Mr. Haines.
HW: Oh, yeah.
RM: Haines, doing — ? What was he doing for Mr. Haines?
DC: At the shop?
RM: What did Mr. Haines have a shop for? 10
HW: It was a little ordinary –
HW: Store, for groceries and cigarettes and stuff like that. Ice cream and –
DC. Gas. Gas, too.
HW: Well, gas.
RM: Where was that store?
DC: It’s still up there.
HW: No. That’s another store.
HW: There’s a big house two doors from the church, Methodist church. If you’re
looking at the church, on the right, there’s a big building there. And that was the
RM: Is it the one — does it have some big windows in it yet? Is anybody living in it?
HW: There had been up until about — what? Six months or a year ago? And I think, if I heard the story, it might have been that their parents or something left them a home, and they moved. And I’m not — that’s just hearsay. I’m not sure. But that’s where Jack started to help. And they also delivered groceries to different people. And I was only a little guy at the time, and I used to ride with him around his route that they took
people’s food and groceries to.
JK: [To Dee] I heard that he spent a little extra time at your house.
DC: Yeah, a little bit.
RM: So that’s how you got to know him better and your parents go to know him?
And then when did you get married?
DC: Well the date was March the 28th, 1937. (Correction below, 1938)
RM: And where was the wedding?
DC: 1938, I mean. Well, my brother and his wife, took us to Maryland ’cause you didn’t have to wait, like New Jersey had to, and when John made up his mind, he said, “Now or never!”
RM: [Laughing] Oh, wow!
DC: He was his own boss, wasn’t he? 11
RM: Very decisive. So where did you get married in Maryland?
DC: I was just looking at those things yesterday, and the guy was a minister –
JK: Elkton? Was it Elkton?
RM: Who went with you? Did your parents go with you?
DC: No, my brother and his wife.
RM: They stood for you?
JK: And he did ask Pop Pop’s permission, right? Do you remember what Pop Pop
DC: Something — like “if he can take care of her,” or something.
JK: What I heard was “if you think you can take care of her.”
DC: Do you remember that, Harry?
JK: So he had his blessing.
HW: I probaby wasn’t around, I probably was outside playing.
RM: So did you have a wedding party when you came back here? And where did
you move into? Where did you live then?
DC: With my mom and daddy.
RM: And were your brothers and sisters still living there?
DC: Well, maybe for a while, but then Harry’s mother and father built a house, had a house built.
HW: Yeah that was it. In 1939, I think.
RM: So then you moved into that house with his parents?
DC: No, my parents.
HW: She was still there with her parents, and my mother and dad lived there while they were building the house next door. I was eleven at the time, and since I was born in my grandmother’s house, when they got ready to move, I said “I’m not going because this is my house.”
JK: Just next door. Just next door and it still is. [Laughter]
RM: Let’s go back to what life was like when you were a kid. How long did your dad
work in the store.
JK: No no — her husband.
RM: Oh, right. Well, go back to her dad and mom, when they had a farm.
DC: Now the place where Jack lived in Hammonton, to finish out high school, was his boyfriend, and the boyfriend’s father called Jack and asked him if he would like to have a job in Hammonton. And so he went and got a job in Hammonton for the Atlantic City Electric.
RM: Then he continued to work there for many years.
RM: But he also farmed.
HW: Yeah, actually right on this property. (Meaning 420 Medford Lakes Road)
RM: And now your dad, he was always a farmer? Your father?
RM: And that property was where?
DC: Right up the road.
RM: Do you know how many acres he had?
HW: I think it was around sixty.
RM: What did he grow?
DC: Tomatoes. I remember going to Camden when my daddy; took a load of tomatoes there.
HW: Campbells. (Meaning Cambell Soup Compamy)
RM: Campbells, uh huh.
DC: And they didn’t have big fields of asparagus, did they?
HW: Well, quite big. Yeah, they grew mostly vegetables and corn.
RM: The kinds of things people grow around here now.
RM: And did they sell it to bigger markets? Was there a produce auction around
HW: No, there was people that would come and pick up their whatever and take it to
New York. That’s where most of the stuff that they grew went.
RM: That’s interesting — not to Philadelphia. Philadelphia’s close.
HW: Well, some.
RM: Some to Philly, some to New York.
RM: And did you have to do any work on the farm when you were a kid?
DC: Well, we used to have some nights that we would — they would set out tomato plants, and the kids would come and do that.
RM: Help place the plants?
DC: You know, put the plant down and some other kid would. And then we’d have supper at Aunt Pauline’s.
RM: Aunt Pauline lived right near you?
DC: No she lived over here. Over next to –
HW: On (Rt.) 206. Their properties actually butted up against each other. Farther down.
RM: Did you ever have to help pick? Vegetables?
DC: Well, I did some blueberries, picked some blueberries.
HW: Did you ever have to pick tomatoes?
HW: I guess the boys did that.
RM: When did they have the blueberry fields? Was that from the beginning, or was
that something they started later?
DC: Well, started later.
RM: And are those fields and blueberries still here in the area?
HW: No. When their property — the farm was sold — they took the blueberries out and went to regular farming again. The people that bought it.
RM: Who bought it?
HW: Uhhh — I can’t think of their names. 14
HW: No. Where the Four Winds Farm is. That’s where the old house was. They tore that down and built a new, more modern home.
RM: Now did the Russo’s or Contes, did they own any of the land that had been in
DC: No, they came later, didn’t they?
HW: They rented it. In fact, they farm it right now. A lot of that property — the
RM: But none of the farmland now is in your possession? All of it was sold to others?
RM: And what was your mom doing in the house? What can you remember — what
was going on when it was tomato harvest or peach harvest? Did you have peach
trees? Peach orchards?
DC: I don’t remember that.
HW: No, I don’t. No, it was mostly, you know, vegetables.
DC: I remember them once, in the kitchen. I don’t know if they were cleaning chickens or what, but they were working together.
RM: So you also had some animals?
HW: Horses. They had horses.
RM: To do the farming?
HW: The farming. And back then, tractors were just coming into existence.
RM: The horses were pulling plows and such? How about things that you — did you
raise your own pigs, chickens?
DC: We did, I think.
HW: We did, ’cause when I was, say eleven or twelve, what they would do was, you know, they would have their own pigs. Then, when it come time to kill the pigs — hog killings. All the local farmers would come in together and do it in one day. And I remember my cousin and I, Ernie, we would take off from school that day, to be around where the farmers were doing their thing with the pigs. And actually [laughs], they had dinners, you know, for all the men would come into the farmhouse, and we — you know — it was really something special for us. To see what was going on, you know. In fact, they would take the bladder from the pigs, and make a football out of it for us kids.[Laughter]
RM: Do you remember hog killing? What were the women doing?
DC: That’s what they were doing –
HW: Oh! You know, they’d take the internal part, the intestines, would make sausage with it — small intestine.
RM: The women were doing that?
DC: I remember them sitting in the kitchen.
RM: Mmhmm. Working together and talking. Did the children have a role? Did you
have to do something?
JK: Mother, I remember in Grandma’s house, when I was small, coming in and seeing this big structure, this big wooden structure, that took up almost the whole living room, and it was — had little pins around the wooden base — and the sheer curtains stretched across, and it was a way that the curtains would be dried.
JK: Do you remember that?
HW: Oh, yeah.
JK: Do you remember that, Mother? That was one thing that Grandmom did, I guess.
HW: Yeah, that’s how they used to do it.
DC: What was she doing?
JK: It was a big wooden structure that the sheer curtains –
HW: And there was little nails all around that they would hang it up, stretch it.
RM: Do you remember your mom canning vegetables?
DC: Well, I don’t remember it, but she did.
HW: Yeah, they did. They even did, not only vegetables, they also did it with meat. I guess they call it “cold pack,” where they would from the animals. One time, they even, during the war, Second World War, they all got together and had steer, you know, in the field where the irrigation hole — where they pump water from now
–used to be pasture where the steer went.
RM: Who did the steer belong to?
HW: Well, my dad, my grandfather, my uncle, and I think Autie [sp??] after they would even kill a steer, then divide it up, when it was gone they would do the same thing.
RM: Do you remember, did you have any milk cows?
DC: Yeah. I remember — now see I can’t remember even –
RM: That’s ok. We can wait, we can wait.
DC: But they didn’t have any to market, did they?
HW: No, just for the milk.
RM: Did you ever have to milk the cow?
RM: Was that your brother’s job?
DC: No, I don’t think so.
RM: Did your family hire anyone to help with the farm? Hire any workers?
DC: No, because my dad and his brother, they did it.
RM: They did everything. There was a big family and they would help each other?
Did everybody go to the Methodist Church over here?
HW: As far as I know. I don’t think there was ever any church that they went beside
RM: Do you remember if you would go every Sunday?
DC: Well, I believe so.
JK: Mother is now the oldest living member. You became a member at what —
twelve? Twelve or so? Can you remember?
DC: I guess so.
HW: My grandmother was a Sunday school teacher in the church.
DC: I was a Sunday school teacher, too, later.
RM: And did you have festivals and special events there? Do you remember, for
harvest time or Labor Day or July 4, or did the town do that?
DC: I remember — across from Seneca. What is that? Harvest Home? They’d have that.
JK: And what was that?
HW: Well, that was a community affair, you know what I mean, from the whole town. They would get together, and they had buildings you know. Well, not so much buildings. They had a — what do you call it?
RM: Kind of a shelter?
HW: Yeah. Right in that point. If you’re going Carranza Road, right in — branches off on Hawkins Road, right in that point. You know, back farther.
DC: I remember Russ Gerber ran all the way from Medford to there, for that –
HW: For that occasion.
JK: Did they do it once a year? And it was a big community party?
HW: Yeah. In fact, Shamong, their shelters are still there.
RM: And that was for the harvest time, at the end of the heavy work season.
RM: And what kinds of things would they do there? Would they have contests…?
HW: I can’t remember — .
HW: I’m sure they did. You know.
RM: Do you remember, Dee?
RM: Lots of food? What are some of the things that your mom made that you
normally — that was your normal food at your house, like for dinner?
DC: Well, mashed potatoes and gravy, I guess. Roasts. Macaroni and cheese and succotash.
HW: Stewed tomatoes.
RM: Did you have pole limas?
DC: I was still trying. [Laughs]
HW: My dad did. He really had some nice pole limas.
RM: I love pole limas!
HW: I had some right here in the — what I call my garden, but the soil’s not the best for them, but we’d get enough to put in the freezer. Yeah.
RM: Did you have to help shuck those limas?
RM: Did your mom do that?
DC: Well, she worked.
RM: She worked hard. Was that something that the ladies would get together to do?
DC: I don’t remember?
JK: I remember helping, too, to shuck the limas. Yeah. And Lee. Lee helped. You
were working by then, so you were off the hook.
RM: And what kind of — did your mom make, like, jam? Things like that — jelly?
DC: I think she did make some.
RM: Did you have strawberries?
DC: Not a lot, but I think we got some.
HW: Yeah, they not only had the farm, they also had their small garden. You know, like strawberries just for themselves.
RM: And, now, did your parents live in that house until they died?
DC: Yes, mmhmm.
RM: And when did they pass?
DC: ‘70 –
JK: ‘75, ‘76 –
DC: Was it ‘74 and ‘75? I don’t know.
JK: No, ’cause Katie was born in ‘75, and Grandmom –
DC: And was Bill killed in ‘75?
JK: Yes, yes.
RM: And Bill was –
HW: Her brother’s son.
DC: Coming home from college, wasn’t he?
JK: West Virginia.
DC: West Virginia.
HW: Well, he had already graduated from college, and he went out West someplace
to an Indian reservation.
JK: In North Dakota or somewhere like that.
HW: Yeah. It was altogether different than what they told him it was going to be.
DC: Peace Corps, wasn’t it?
HW: I –
RM: The American version of that.
HW: Right. Well, anyway, he was on his way home from there but he stopped in to
his college to see, you know, friends. And left there and was killed on the way home.
RM: From a car accident? That must have been a real blow to the family.
RM: So did your mom and dad die very close to each other?
DC: One year. Seems to me it was ‘74, but I know that [?] was born.
JK: I think it was ‘75 and ‘76, probably.
RM: How old were they then?
DC: I just saw it yesterday, looking up stuff. He was 88, I think, and she was 83.
RM: They lived pretty long lives. Did the town then have a mayor while you were
growing up, did it have a government, or was it just part of Shamong?
HW: When they separated, everything was — you know — they had their mayor, and I don’t know — back then I don’t — it was too small.
RM: Were any of the members of your families ever mayor or hold public office?
HW: No. School board and things like that they were on.
RM: So what did you kids, when you were kids, what did you do for play? Where did
you go? You’ve never been to Apple Pie Hill. Do you remember if there were ever
any big fires when you were living here?
DC: It was really bad when Vivian — they had a big fire, didn’t they? Up there. 20
HW: The closest fire that I remember was over here, the woods on (Rt.) 206. If you’re going south, it would be that woods right from Medford Lakes Road on down to where it’s all built up now. I remember that. It scared me to death.
RM: Were peoples’ houses destroyed?
HW: I don’t think — at that time it was just woods. The houses that were along the highway, were all protected. It was cleared far enough that it didn’t burn any homes
that I know of.
RM: That was around what year, if you can remember?
HW: I would say around 39. I was only a young kid.
JK: Harry, do you remember when Torusio’s farm burned down?
HW: Yeah. [Inaudible]
RM: Where was that?
HW: That was on Carranza Road. Go to the crossroads, make a right, it’s about a
mile down on the left.
RM: And their home was completely destroyed? Was anyone hurt?
JK: I remember going and seeing the barn and seeing the carcasses of the cows.
HW: Oh, yeah.
JK: Larry was in my class. Louie, I think, was older.
RM: That was around what year?
HW: That was later than — I might be thinking of another one, the other–. What
farm are you talking about?
JK: I just told you everything that I remember. [Laughter]
HW: I didn’t know whether it was up, farther up Berkies [sp?], the Bricks people,
owned that farm.
RM: Was there a fire brigade, volunteer fire department, in Tabernacle?
HW: Well, I think that just started in 1940. Fellow by the name of Summers [sp?]
started the fire company, and that’s now the Tabernacle Fire Company. It used to
called Medford Farms Fire Company.
RM: Medford Farms was what area? It was part of Tabernacle. Can you show me
on here? 21
HW: I can tell you better. From Tabernacle-Medford Lakes Road all the way down
through to the point of Carranza and where our township line stops. All that area
where the firehouse is, in that area, and some across on the other side of (Rt.) 206.
RM: So it was fully within Tabernacle? It didn’t share a border with Medford or
HW: Well, they border, but it didn’t extend into the other townships. Medford
RM: Did the area around here where you live have a special name? How did people
refer to it?
HW: Just as Tabernacle.
RM: This was Tabernacle. And in your lifetime, the township building was always
HW: Yep. And getting back to the school, in the parking lot of the town hall is where
the small two-room school set on a kind of an angle. I went the first year, kindergarten, to school, and I remember, a friend of mine which was older, they used to come — you know, there was a steps came up from each side, and a little porch, and there was a cover like over, and I was walking in front of the steps. Somebody was ringing the bell and hit me in the head! [Laughter]
RM: Did you ever have peddlers, people who came in for knife sharpening or — do
you remember that? Or somebody that wanted to take pictures?
HW: We had milkmen that came and fish man from Tuckerton — Cramer [sp?]. A hokey pokey man that came, we called him.
RM: What did he do?
HW: Ice cream. Homemade ice cream.
RM: Where’d he come from?
HW: I’m not sure where he did come from.
RM: And that was when you were a kid?
HW: Mmhmm. Oh, yeah. Like they do today, ring a bell. A little old Model T – model
car. Homemade, you know what I mean, to suit their purpose.
RM: Now once you were married, you started — you were married in 1938, and
Jackie was born — .
RM: So in those seven years, were you working at home, helping with the farm?
DC: I wasn’t helping much.
HW: What year did you start with the telephone company?
DC: 1950. She (meaning Jackie, her daughter) was five.
RM: Did you ever belong to a sewing circle, a quilting group?
DC: Well, I went, but I wasn’t any…
DC: Yeah. Went to Aunt Rae’s, right next door.
RM: The group they called the Sew n’ Sews? Eventually they called it the Sew n’
DC: Yeah I think so.
RM: So Rae said one time when I interviewed her, the sewing group when the
asparagus came in.
DC: Oh, yes
RM: Because that’s when work would start. I think we have a picture in here
[Pinelands Folklife.] This is something the Sew n’ Sews made, the Signature Quilt. I
think it probably has a lot of names that you’ve talked about on it.
JK: Mother had, and helped with, some quilts. She had — I want to say — Mother,
how many quilts do you have this group made? Three, maybe? I have one, and you
have at least one. So she had some made, and I know she helped with them.
RM: Do you remember when that group started, or was it before you were even
RM: How about your mom? Was she involved here?
HW: Some, and even my wife used to help. Not as much, naturally because it was started before –
RM: It was quite an old group.
RM: Now did you do canning, pickling? 23
RM: Making jam.
RM: Your mom was doing that for you?
DC: I guess so. [Laughter]
RM: So why did you decide to work at the phone company?
DC: Well, I guess I figured it was time…
HW: Something to do.
RM: You and your husband figured it was time for you to go to work. And where did
you, where was that located?
DC: Yeah. In Mt. Holly.
RM: How did you get there?
DC: Well, I guess – I don’t know when I started to drive. Pete [?] took us, I think, to get her license.
HW: I’m sure you had it before you started to work.
RM: How did you like that job?
DC: It was good.
RM: What did you do there?
DC: I was an operator.
RM: That phone — plugging in? What area did that cover?
[Short discussion about Harry’s wife’s doctor appointment.]
RM: Now where is your house from here?
HW: Right across the street. [Laughter] I’ll tell you a story about that. My aunt and uncle, our aunt and uncle, had a farm in back of me. And they had a cow, or a couple of cows, or whatever. You know. And we used to go and get the milk from them. And every night –we’d go every day, fresh milk. Anyway, I remember telling my dad when we went by that property, I said, “When I get old enough to have a home, I’m going to buy that lot, and build a house!” And it worked out just that way.
RM: Why did you like it so much? 24
HW: Just the way — it had been farmed. It was part of this property that the only thing I can remember about the original owner, you know, was [Concannon?] her name was, and all these houses on this side of the road was part of this property on this side of the road. And that was sold to the Haines’s in Vincentown, and
RM: Haines’s are cranberry people mostly, right?
HW: Yeah, but they happened to be dairy people. They’re the ones that bought it. They bought this piece of property, and I bought the property on the other side. And they had sold a property between me and my cousin that she married an Abrams, and Abrams is from Southampton, not Shamong. And that’s how we, I guess, come to buy because I had thought about — I don’t know what it was about it, but I just wanted to buy that
[inaudible] when I get old.
RM: Well, congratulations. That was good!
HW: Well, anyway, to make a long story short, we were married at 19, my wife and I,
and two years later — three years, I guess it was, I was 22 when I was drafted into
the service for the Korean War. And when I came home, that’s when I started to build a home. Her brother Arthur — Ottie [sp?], we called him, he was a carpenter, and at that time, when I built a house, I had people from all over come and help, you know, put up the frame and do the roof. It took us a year to build it, because we’d work and work on weekends, nights and everything.
RM: But it was kind of a community effort to help build it.
RM: Can I get back to when you were a kid? What did you do when somebody got
DC: Well, the doctor could come out then.
RM: Where did he come from?
DC: Medford, I guess. Dr. –
HW: Doctor, what we called Dr. Ed Haines.
RM: Was there a hospital that anybody ever had to go to?
DC: Yeah, one of my uncle’s little boy died, I remember. Lester. We felt so bad about that.
RM: What did he die from?
DC: See, I don’t know. Don’t remember.
HW: I don’t remember. I guess he was maybe four or five.
RM: Are all your people buried in the Tabernacle Methodist graveyard? 25
HW: Well, it’s a Junior Mechanics graveyard.
RM: Oh! It’s just — I read that. It’s just by the one beside the church.
RM: Oh! Across the street! I’m just guessing like crazy here!
HW: Carranza Road, right? Make a left and you go down about three-quarters of a mile. You got out — that way — make a left and then it’s about three-quarters of a mile.
JK: On the left.
HW: It’s the Junior Mechanics. The one that’s at this crossroads, they don’t bury much in there anymore.
RM: Was it previously people who belonged to the church?
HW: Oh, yeah. The town –
RM: Did your mom have any special remedies she used, for a sore throat, or if you
had a fever?
DC: I don’t remember her complaining anything.
RM: Or with you when you got sick?
DC: I don’t remember getting sick! [Laughter]
RM: Well, maybe you didn’t. Look at you — you’re pretty healthy now. And living to
a nice old age. Just one or two questions about the town, and this area. How did you
feel when it started to grow a little bit? When they started to build houses and
development. How did the local people feel about that?
DC: It was ok, if they were good people.
HW: But I think some people kind of wished it didn’t happen.
DC: We sort of thought that we were kind of poor, didn’t we?
HW: We didn’t think it — we were! [Laughter]
RM: And the ones that came? Were they poor?
HW: I guess they were middle class people, so far as I know.
RM: Yeah, there are some pretty big houses now in Tabernacle. Did your taxes go
up, too? One time when — I think it was within a year that I moved there on Powell
Place Road, one of the men from — maybe it was Medford Oil — came to fix the
furnace, and he was talking a little bit about how things had changed in Tabernacle,
complaining that the new people moved in and the taxes went up, and the old folks
couldn’t continue to live here! And I thought, “Maybe I better move!” [Laughter]
“I’m one of the new people! Course, I’m paying the taxes, too.” So did the Pinelands
Commission — did those changes when the Pinelands Commission and the
regulations came in, did that affect you at all?
HW: No. It actually helped us.
RM: How is that?
HW: Well, they couldn’t build in the Pinelands.
RM: It meant that it didn’t continue to grow.
HW: As much That’s one problem that they have ways of getting around the laws for the Pinelands. A little scary sometimes. Well, just for instance, the way things are going with the pipeline.
RM: Ohhh, yes!
RM: Yeah, they have pro-development people on the Commission now. But they got
a court stoppage on that, right? Maybe if we get a more conservation-minded
governor in next time, it will be safer. But I believe the county has done — the county
freeholders have done pretty well to prevent some of that.
RM: Well, I think I’m going to let you go for now. Is there anything else you want to
tell me, any story you remember?
DC: Jackie wanted me to tell when she was born, and Harry’s father took me to the hospital.
HW: In Mt. Holly. That was –
DC: ‘Course, he left me there. I remember lying there waiting for the doctor to come. I wanted the doctor to come! Because I didn’t know that I could help myself. I never had any training about having a baby or anything. So I just thought the doctor’s got to come. So he did, and I remember being home, in upstairs bedroom. It used to be your parents [Harry’s] before they moved. And I remember feeling contented with the new baby. [Laughter]
RM: How long did you stay in the hospital before you came back home? Do you
DC: [Shakes head “no.”]
RM: And do you remember, did they give you something to put you to sleep during
RM: No shots. No gas. Just going through the whole thing, and you heard her first
DC: I don’t remember that! [Laughter]
RM: Well if you went through childbirth with no kind of anesthetic or anything, I
think you were pretty well tired.
DC: And my doctor didn’t charge any money. He didn’t charge any money of people that were in the service.
RM: Was your husband in the service at that time?
DC: Yes. He didn’t see her till she was three months old, I think.
RM: Where was he?
DC: He didn’t go out of the States. He was in Florida. He was in Texas, North
Carolina, he was.
RM: Did you move with him?
DC: [Shakes head no.]
RM: You stayed here all the time?
DC: Yeah, I did.
RM: SO he didn’t have to go to Korea.
HW: Actually, he was in the Second World War. I was in the Korean War.
RM: And when was he in the Second World War? What year? Your husband.
RM: He didn’t go to Europe?
HW: No, he didn’t leave the States.
DC: He had trouble with his ears, wasn’t it?
RM: So he was in the Second World War, not the Korean War.
HW: Well, the end of I call the Second World War.
RM: And he got to come home — how many years was he there? 28
DC: Two or three, I think.
RM: Must have been a worrisome time for you.
DC: Well, my family were close.
RM: That’s good. Any other stories you remember? [To Jackie] That you would like
to prompt your mom or ask about? Maybe you’ll think of some other things, because
sometimes when you start remembering some things, they remind you of other
things. My tape recorder and I could come back.
Well, thank you very much!
End of interview.
2. Interview with Rickey and Eileen Haines
113 Carranza Road, Tabernacle, NJ 08088
March 29, 2017.
Present: Rickey Haines (RH) and Eileen Haines (EH)
Interviewer: Rita Moonsammy (RM)
RM: We’re starting! Do you want to tell me — first of all, would you both tell me your full names, your dates of birth.
RH: Ladies first.
RM: Eileen –
EH: Eileen Frances Worrell Haines
RM: Ahh! You’re a Worrell too! OK!
RH: Her mother was a Gerber.
EH: And my date of birth is May 17, 1944.
RH: Richard Christopher Haines. (Coughs) Excuse me. My date of birth is January the 23rd, 1939.
RM: And you were born…
RH: Right across the road.
RM: Right across Carranza Road. And what were your parents’ names?
RH: My parents were Richard Isaiah Haines and my mother was Ethel Katherine Tustin.
RM: How do you spell that?
RM: Was she from this area?
RH: She was from Philadelphia.
RM: How did they meet?
RH: Well, her father ran the farm across the road. And all this ground.
RM: Even though he lived in Philly.
RH: He was a florist in Philadelphia.
RM: What did he do, rent this?
RH: Well, I guess he farmed it — before me. And after — he died — I was only six months old when he died, after that they rented the farm.
EH: He had been married before.
RH: Yeah, he had two families.
EH: He had two families.
RH: All my relations had two families. [laughs] Except me.
RM: Well, women used to die in childbirth, and stuff like that, it wasn’t unusual, right?
RH: No, they didn’t.
RM: To have a second family.
EH: They didn’t. I mean, his second family was, the children were as old as his (second) wife. His (Rickey’s) grandmother.
EH: And when he died, he gave the ground to his grandmother and she had it as long as she lived.
RH: But she couldn’t (re)marry.
EH. But she couldn’t (re)marry.
RM: It was like in the will or something?
RH: If she (re)married, it (the land) went to her kids.
EH: And then, I don’t know how, his older children owned the ground –
RH: They got it in the will.
EH: Yeah, but what ground is it?
RH: It’s called “the picnic woods.”
EH: It was called “the picnic woods”
RH: That’s what we called it. That’s where they had the Harvest Homes (old farming communities used to call it the Harvest Home, but it was a town picnic that took place outside). It’s on Hawkin Road.
EH: And that was a big picnic that the whole town –
RH: Before my time!
EH: The whole town came to it.
RM: They didn’t do that while you were…
RH: No. That’s before me.
RM: Why did they stop?
RH: I have no idea.
EH: I do not know.
RH: Maybe because they died. I don’t know.
RM: I know that that was a common thing in farming communities, but…
RH: Used to have one in Shamong, too.
RM: And was that one going on at the time?
RH: Not that I know of. I don’t ever remember.
RM: Well, when did this area start to get suburbanized if you can call it that? You know, when did it start not being all farms?
EH: When was this road [Carranza Road] — this road wasn’t …
RH: This road was gravel when I was a kid.
EH: When he was a kid.
RH: And Medford Lakes Road, where Shawnee High School is, you couldn’t go through there in the summer time. It was all sand.
EH: Deep sand, like … Anyhow, his grandfather was — one of the kids were given the property on this side.
RH: The first family
EH: The first family was given the property on this side of the road, and they had called where my son lives — my son lives right next door — that was called the “pig lot.”
RH: “Hog lot.”
EH: “Hog lot.”
RH: Before me, it was always called the “hog lot.”
EH: That’s all of where — well, now — he calls it “Reidel Drive” but the township calls it “Ridell Drive.” All that area, was called — belonged to his…
RH: My aunt, from my grandfather’s first marriage.
EH: Your grandfather Tustin.
RM: That’s an interesting name. Do you have any idea of what that derivation was?
RM: I haven’t ever heard that name before.
EH: His grandmother’s house — well, when she died, this piece across the road was
deeded to his uncle and his aunt and his mother.
RH: Not together. They had all different….
EH: Each got different pieces.
RM: And it was farmland at that time?
RH: Oh, yeah.
RM: And that would have been around what year?
RH: What was?
RM: That she died and they each got their piece?
RH: When she died?
RM: Yeah, and it got broken up that way.
RH: I can tell you — if I can get it out. (Here Rickey is reaching into a cabinet to get out a book.)
RM: Is that your file cabinet? (Laughter)
EH: Anyhow, with his grandmother, well, his uncle got this piece right here, across
the road, and his mother and his aunt got, I guess from almost where Seneca’s
driveway is over and they decided to….
RH: Well, where Seneca’s driveway is was Foxchase Road. You know where
Foxchase Road is?
RM: Well, I know where the one (road) is that intersects with Powell Place Road is.
RH: Well, that used to come all the way out to here.
RM: And when did that get cut off?
RH: Oh, probably in the early 50s.
EH: They were farming it.
RH: People that were farming it. (They) didn’t like cars going across there so they blocked it off.
RM: So is the property that Seneca’s on now, was that …. that was your…?
RH: Well, part of it. My mother’s and my aunt’s, and the rest of it belonged to Cutts brothers. And some of it, I guess part of (the) Beaumont farm, also.
EH: Yeah, it goes back to….
RM: Did you say Cutts?
RH: Yeah. Cutts brothers.
RM: Now who were they?
EH: They’re right up here next to the cemetery…almost to Holy Eucharist. Well, the
oldest one is… [Unintelligible]
RM: Give me a decade. You were alive. Did your grandma?
RH: When she died? Oh yeah.
EH: Yeah. My kids were even little then.
RM: Or your great-grandma. She’s the one that gave it to….
RH: No…My grandmother.
RM: Oh, I always have trouble with this! I ended up with Dee (Collins). They had to draw a little chart for me to keep clear who was who.
RH: I didn’t have a great-anybody (meaning great grandparents, etc.).
RM: They were gone by the time you came along?
RH: Oh, yes.
RM: How many siblings do you have?
RM: None? You were the only kid.
RH: Yeah, they gave up.
EH: And his father was an only child.
RH: And my father was an only child.
RM: So all those Haines on this property aren’t because of your dad. Not this
property, but around Tabernacle.
RH: Had nothing to do with my father. This property didn’t. My mother’s father.
RM: Where you live now?
RM: And how many acres do you have?
RH: Fourteen, I think it is, now.
RM: So did you move from there here, after you got married?
RH: No. My mother and father built this house, and I moved in here when I was two years old, in 1941. And then they got divorced around, I’ll say, ‘58 or ‘59. And I lived here with my father, and then he got remarried, and I guess they lived here for about a year, and then I bought the house from them, and he moved to Medford Lakes.
RM: And that was in what year? That was before you and Eileen were married?
RH: Oh, yeah.
EH: That had to be around (19)60…?
RH: I was by myself. That was probably around (19)60 or (19)61.
RM: When did you guys get married?
RM: So your dad lived in Medford Lakes with your stepmother.
EH: He was something over there, wasn’t he?
RH: Well, he was the assessor — tax assessor — and the court clerk, and he sold real estate.
EH: That’s pretty much why they went to Medford Lakes. Here he was…
RH: Here he was the tax collector until — and he had…
EH: The store.
RH: The store, next to the cemetery.
EH: Where it’s vacant right now. Holly had it for a flower shop.
RM: Yeah! Uh huh!
EH: That was the general store
RM: Oh, was the store that’s Nixon’s here — at that time?
EH: That was the post office at one time.
RH: He gives false information. He says that’s been here since 18-something. He’s full of shit! [Laughter]
RM: Well, it sounds good, doesn’t it?!
RH: Not to me it doesn’t! I don’t go there!
RM: Really? A matter of principle?
RH: Well, not because of that.
EH: Well, there’s a couple of reasons that have happened that…
RH: We won’t discuss that.
RM: You just don’t like to shop there.
RM: And so, your dad had that store, and it was like a general store? And that’s how
he made the family living.
RH: Yeah, and I think that’s — and his father, his father was the tax collector, and when he died, my father took over for him, in Tabernacle.
EH: And he collected taxes right here at the house.
RH: He collected taxes here.
RM: Your grandfather’s name was what-Haines? What was his first name?
RH: My grandfather?
RM: Yeah, your dad was Isaiah?
RM: Your grandfather was Howard.
EH: His dad was Richard.
RH: Richard Isaiah.
RM: Richard Isaiah. Oh, right, ’cause your middle name — is your middle name
RM: I’m sorry. You said it before – Christopher.
RH: After my other grandfather.
RM: Ok, ok. Alright, I think I’m keeping this straight.
RH: I doubt it. [Laughter]
RM: So he didn’t do any farming. Your family hasn’t — your dad?
RH: No, he just…
EH: He just run the general store.
RM: Who was here before your grandfather? A Haines? Do you know that?
RH: His father, Howard K.
EH: But do you know — he lived over..
RH: Yeah, their house is still here. If you go down Flyatt Road, from the old school, go right across the highway, the first house on the right is the Haines house.
RM: And who lives there?
EH: We don’t know.
RH: No idea.
EH: We don’t know.
RM: So it’s like from the 1800s?
RH: Well, weren’t the pictures there in the — that I had down at the meeting?
EH: (Eileen is showing a picture.) This one?
RH: Yeah. Yeah, I guess that’s the bag.
RM: Oh, yeah! I loved looking at those pictures. Could have stood there for a long time and looked at them. So that was your great grandfather, right?
EH: I don’t know which one it was.
RH: [Unintelligible] — Frank Crain’s house.
EH: Frank Crain lived over…
RH: That house is on New Road, just past the school, on this side of New Road.
RM: Just past the Middle School?
EH: Yeah, kind of — the drive almost across from the driveway — like the far driveway.
RM: Does the house still look like this?
RH: Very close. It’s got an addition on the back.
RM: I’m going to have to look at that with different eyes now.
EH: That addition — I was going to say — this I don’t think is there.
RH: He was the first township clerk, Frank Crain, in Tabernacle.
RM: And was that C-r-a-n-e?
RH: Yes. Oh, no no no! A-I-N!
RM: A-I-N. (Crain) That’s the Haines house? And it’s still there, just across 206 on Flyatt Road.
EH: It looks a little different.
RH: First house on the right.
RM: I’ll have to drive over there just to see it. Now, are those relatives?
RH: (Looking at more pictures.) Yes, my grandfather and grandmother. Tells you on the back, I think.
EH: And Martha.
RM: Haines. OK. Around 1850. Or is that…? Yeah.
EH: 1900. Doesn’t it…?
RM: Wow, I should say!
EH: 1900, I think.
RM: Is it?
RM: That sounds more like it, ’cause I don’t think his — yeah, that would be too long ago.
RH: My father was born in 1910.
RM: So nobody on that side was ever farming?
EH: You said he died there in — [Unintelligible]
RM: Nobody on your side was ever farming — that you’re aware of.
RH: Well, they were [?], that’s all I know.
EH: And this is the picture of the store before your dad had it.
RH: That store burned down. That’s where the original township records were…
RM: In the store?
RH: And that building burned down. And the house next to it is still there.
EH: Lily (Fitzpatrick) lives in it, and then the church is — the Methodist church is right next to that.
RM: And now — but is this where the store that — was the florist and now it’s closed up?
RM: So did you help out in there? In that store a lot?
RH: When I was a kid.
RM: You did? What was it like?
RH: I never had a whole lot of time for it. She worked there.
EH: I worked there. That’s when I met my husband, there (meaning Rickey Haines).
EH: Well, I knew of him before. But never really…
RM: So you were a Gerber.
EH. I wasn’t a Gerber. My mother was a Gerber. I was a Worrell.
RM: Oh, ok. So is Harry a cousin?
EH: Harry is my first cousin. His dad and my dad are brothers. Were 13 (other siblings) — my dad has 13 brothers and sisters.
RH: Didn’t have television in those days.
EH: Needed — my dad, I think, was the first that went to high school, out of the family, because they needed them to work on the farm, to keep the family going, you know.
RM: By the way, this is off topic, but I tried to call…
RH: Now the farm that they farmed, they rented from my grandfather, they lived across the road…
EH: At Foxchase. Where they lived at Foxchase.
RM: So where they lived, they lived down on Medford…
EH: Harry, yes…
RM: Close to Dee.
EH: Yes, the very first house in from the highway.
RH: Dee is Harry’s aunt.
RM: Right. So, did you [Eileen] live down on that road?
EH: I lived up here on Chatworth Road. Um. The, it would be, the — coming — if you came out Zimmerman Road, and came toward Tabernacle, I was the first house there on the right, and it’s still there, I mean, you can see the horses and all behind them there.
RM: So that was kind of close to where the Ormes live?
EH: Yeah, well…
RH: Well, across the field.
EH: Across the field, ’cause we would, when I was a kid, we would go up to the corner, and then walk up — that’s where my grandmother lived.
RH: Betty Orme was a Gerber.
RM: And she was a Gerber.
EH: She was a Gerber — Olive Gerber. Olive and George Gerber. And that’s where Aunt Betty, probably was born.
RH: Betty and her mother (pointing to Eileen) were sisters.
RM: And Betty was — who to Dee and ….
EH: A cousin. Just like I am. My grandfather Gerber and her grandfather….
RH: And Dee’s father were brothers.
RM: OK. They were two of the five brothers who married the five sisters. So did
these families get together a lot? I might not even know…
RH: Hell, no! They don’t even hardly talk to each other.
RM: Really? Why would that be? They’re just not — well, what about your family?
What about the Haineses?
RH: Don’t have any relations.
RM: That seems so funny, since there’s so many — you know, since the name is all
RH: They’re not related.
EH: This was the Gerber Family.
RM: Oh, what a great picture! Now this is the Gerbers — who Gerber?
EH: That’s Harry’s father and my grandfather — and, not — Harry’s grandfather and my grandfather, Phillip Gerber, he lives around here where Four Winds is. He had — his farm was there. Rae Gerber — Edward was one of the brothers. And who else.
RH: We’re gonna have you really confused by the time you leave here!
RM: I’m not trying to keep it straight at this point! I’m going to end up asking you to
draw me one of those little things. And you know what else? I got a big map of
Tabernacle, and what I would love to do, is to get people to mark where these
different farms were, or houses. I got this great big thing. And we won’t try to do
that now, because I want to, you know, just listen to you tell me about all these
families. But it would be really nice to have a map, you know, that shows where the
different families were. So, we’ll keep that in mind. I’ll come back and bother you
EH: See, this was my father, and this was Uncle Pete. He lived here in Tabernacle; he lived on (Rt.)206.
RM: OK, and he was a Gerber.
EH: And this is Aunt Emily, and she was an O’Neal, and she lived over on Flyatt Road, where the farm is with everything all around it, across from the sod farm, like. So they all stayed here in Tabernacle. But this was all his family.
RM: I love that. (Talks about her pipe dream of kids moving here.)
EH: I have the pipe dream! Because my son lives here, my other son lives behind them on Reidel or Ridell Drive, whatever you want to call it. They can come up through the field, and come up without have to go on the road.
RM: Oh, that’s nice. And they have kids?
EH: They have kids. That’s years ago, but the top one (gesturing at a picture), they have three kids. And — but the youngest one there, in her lap, is going to be eighteen in May. And now they’re at the college age, so they’re all going to go to college.
RM: And what do your sons do?
EH: Mike works….
RH: He’s uh — well, I don’t know what they do call it now. He works with Fish and Wildlife, and he’s the — well, he started out as heavy equipment operator, but now he’s the boss. He’s got his title over there. I don’t know what it is. (Unintelligible as Eileen goes to look for his business card in the kitchen.)
RM: And what about the other one?
EH: The other one…
RH: He’s an accountant.
EH: He is a CPA, MRA, PSA.
RM: Is his office around here?
RH: Oh, yeah. He has one in Medford Lakes and he has one — he works in Toms River.
RM: Hmmm. He’s got a hike.
RH: He goes all over the state.
RM: And how many kids does he have?
RM: I figured there were grandchildren coming here when I saw that tire swing out
EH: (Showing photograph) This is my youngest one.
EH: And he works for Holman Frenier and Allison (Accountants) and this was Mike.
RM: (Reading business card) “Crew Supervisor, Equipment Operation, Bureau of
Land Management.” So he really knows what’s going on around here with…
RH: He doesn’t work around here.
EH: His main office is in Collier’s Mills.
RM: Where’s Collier’s Mills?
RH: You go up Route 539, and it’s up there, uh…
RM: By New Egypt?
RH: No, past New Egypt.
RM: Past New Egypt.
EH: But he works all over.
RH: He works all over.
EH: I mean, he can be over to Pemberton, around the water and all over there, or he can be putting birds out in Medford, off of Ark Road…
RM: Putting birds out?
EH: Yeah, pheasants, for the hunters. And…
RM: I didn’t realize they did that, the way the stock fish.
RH: Stock fish. [Unintelligible] by the bucketful.
RM: So what does he think of the Pinelands Reserve, the restrictions?
RH: I don’t think he’s ever said.
EH: I don’t think that’s he’s really likes the deal that’s up at Chatsworth, because he’s a hunter and it’s cut down a lot of their hunting ground, and that kind of stuff, you know.
RH: Oh, you’re talking about the…
EH: DeMarco’s property.
RH: Conservation laws.
RM: But it’s helped to keep the area from getting overrun, right, with more
suburban houses and development?
RH: Well, I think DeMarco should have sold the grounds to another cranberry grower.
RM: What are they doing with it now?
RH: Not growing cranberries.
RH: It’s Franklin Parker Preserve, or whatever they call it.
RH: You go in there and you hike, and I guess you can camp there.
RM: Now the Lees still have cranberries in Tabernacle.
RH: Down in Washington (Twp.).
RM: What other families are growing cranberries in Tabernacle?
RM: The Cuttses?
RM: Oh. Moores Meadows.
RM: Richie — Ricky — somebody whose name is Richard, too, O’Neal. He has an
insurance agency? I’m supposed to interview him on Friday.
RH: That’s her cousin.
RM: Your cousin? [Laughter]
RH: He used to be my partner.
RH: In farming.
RM: Oh, you farmed.
EH: We farmed all this property where Seneca High School is. It was a hundred acres that we farmed.
RM: How did you feel about it when they decided to put a high school there?
RH: Better than houses.
RM: True. That took a long time to get approval, didn’t it? Seems to me that I
remember the head of the Department of the Interior even came and made a visit
here at some point. A lot of wrangling about whether or not they could build a
RH: They put the school on the lowest spot, and they put eight thousand loads of fill dirt under there.
EH: I don’t know if it was eight thousand; it was a lot, a LOT! Trucks! I mean, I would count ’em. A couple hundred every day.
RM: Oh, my god. Your road must have been like — while that was being put up.
RM: Why did they put it on the lowest spot?
RH: Don’t ask me. I have no idea. Have to ask the engineers that designed it.
RM: What’s it like with the school now? Has it changed things for you much?
EH: Not too much.
RH: No, not much.
EH: There for a while we were having an accident usually once a week, but that was a couple years ago, but I haven’t noticed too many accidents now. And just first thing in the morning — and a lot of times now, it’s before we ever get up because we’re retired and everything.
RH: Well, so many people bring their kids to school.
EH: Yeah, not (on the buses, that irritates you?)
RH: The buses aren’t nowhere near capacity. And there’s hundreds, and I’m not exaggerating, hundreds of cars go in there in the mornings and come out. Hundreds of them!
EH: But it doesn’t really bother us, and…
RH: It doesn’t bother us, but I think it’s ridiculous.
EH: And in the afternoon you have the traffic and the buses, but it doesn’t really bother us. We said — we were irritated when they said they were going to put a school there and everything — we said “Well, we’re gonna move,” but it never….
RM: Didn’t have that big an impact in the long run.
EH: No, no.
RM: Well, that’s good.
EH: Well, the only thing, the impact that it had was the drainage that they have. My son’s house is low and with the drainage that there is, he gets a lot of water — well, he did get it in his basement, but I think that he’s got it pretty much, he’s got a couple, two, three sump pumps running all the time, you know, because of the way…
RM: So he’s more across from the school.
RH: Right across from.
EH: Right across.
RH: He’s on the corner.
RM: So he must get more noise or activity.
EH: He gets the bright lights…
RM: Oh, that would really bother me.
EH: But I don’t hear them complain or anything, ’cause their kids are at the age now where sports, and so they’re running constantly, you know. They have them in karate and so they…
RM: So are his kids going to that school?
EH and RH: Not yet.
RH: They’re over here — Tabernacle.
EH: (Showing pictures) This one is in second grade, and so when his mom’s not home, usually they’ll call and ask me “Will you meet the bus,” because the oldest one is in the middle school, and he comes home earlier, and they won’t allow him to get off the bus when — they’re the first ones to get off. They won’t allow them to cross the road, so he rides around. He goes past his house three times before he gets home from school. Now the second one, the youngest one….
RH: That’s his choice.
EH: Yeah. ‘Cause his mother did make arrangements for the second one to have somebody go and meet the bus, go across the road to bring him back across the road, and because he is a very nervous kid. And so…
RM: That gives him more confidence.
EH: Yeah, but they won’t allow — they just come in, and really and they have to stop, you know, it just does give one first car, I think, can get in behind them off Carranza before, you know, they have to stop, you know. But as long as he’s in the elementary school, I think somebody has to meet him, but otherwise nobody has to meet them.
RM: So the granddaughter who’s going to college now, she went to Seneca?
RM: She just had to walk across the street!
EH: Well, the…
RH: Well, now they have to drive. [Laughter.]
EH: Well, our grandson and granddaughter both, they both went at the same time, and they walked through the woods, because there’s a little piece of woods between the two houses, and they walked through the woods and then they walked across their Uncle Rodney’s property to the school. You know. Now the youngest one, she don’t like to walk, so she would always get her friends to come in, and they’d come in this way and go pick her up and bring her back, you know. She plays softball, and
she has so much equipment that it was too heavy for her to carry, you know, so…
RM: So let me bounce back to — wait! Did you tell me what your dad did?
EH: My dad worked, he was….
RH: He worked in the mill.
EH: In the mill, GLF: Grain League Federation.
RH and EH: In Bordentown.
RH: That was the last place he worked.
EH: Yeah, which became Purdue eventually.
RM: What did they mill?
EH: My mother was a substitute mail carrier, for twenty year, I guess. She never became a full time, so she never got a pension or anything. She liked just being for them to call her and say “Can you come in?” and she’d get up and work that way.
RM: Did she have something she drove around Tabernacle?
EH: No! They had to use their (own) car.
RH: Her car.
EH: That’s right. You had to use your car.
RH: Use your — even the regular carriers had to use their own vehicle. They didn’t have a federal mail jeep. She [points to Eileen] did the same thing.
EH: I started…
RH: She was a full time…
EH: Yep. When I started, I was only a sub, and I had to use my car, but then they gradually got the mail trucks, and so then I became…
RH: They all have mail trucks now, but originally they had to use their own car.
RM: So when you were carrying mail, was the post office at that store still?
RM: Because you said the store was your dad’s…yeah It was where it is now?
EH: It was on Main Street in Vincentown. They tore it down, where it was. They’re putting a park in there now.
RM: So you had a way to go. You had to go up (Rt.) 206.
EH: Yeah. I had to go up to (Rt.) 206 and into Vincentown.
RM: So you carried mail in Vincentown?
EH: I carried — most of the time I was out here on Oakshade Road in…
RH: Shamong, mostly.
EH: I went down Oakshade Road and did Hollybush and across the road and did Tabernacle where Doug lives. What’s that called? Harrowgate. Did Harrowgate and then went back to the post office. Then my son was going to go to college, so I said I better go full time. Before I did that, I worked in the cafeteria at Tabernacle School. And I worked there all while the kids were in elementary school, elementary and middle school. Then I had the part time job at the post office, but it would just be Saturdays most of the time that I would work as a sub. And when she (the full time carrier) took a vacation, well then I would have to call in sick at the school, and go work there (post office), and then it came that there was an opening for a clerk’s job in the post office, so I went over and became a clerk at the post office. Well, I had twenty years all together with the post office.
RM: And that was your last job.
EH: That was my last job, yeah.
RM: (Talking to Rickey) And you did a number of things. But was any of them your actual job? You said you were a fire warden and something else.
RH: Section fire warden for the state.
EH: Well, you were a farmer way up until…
RH: I farmed, and when I started to work for the state. It was a part time job. And then it evolved into a full time job.
RM: Now you said your dad didn’t farm. He had the store. When did you decide to
EH: No, when you got out of high school.
RH: I farmed when I was IN high school.
RM: You worked for somebody else?
RH: No! I was on my own.
EH: That’s when Richard O’Neal and him became partners.
RH: After I got out of school.
RM: And now where was the land you were farming?
RH: Right there.
RM: The one across the street.
EH: He did farm this.
RH: Yeah, I farmed this. This ground belonged to her.
RH: And Rich’s (O,Neal) aunt
EH: [Unintelligible] Flyatt Road, where his father farmed.
RM: All this while you were in high school?
EH: After he graduated.
RM: You have a lot of initiative.
RH: Why not?!
RM: Why did you decide to farm?
RH: I don’t know, I….
EH: His aunt told me….
RH: Always wanted to farm.
EH: From the time he was a little kid, he’d go out and he would plant, I don’t know what if she said it was a carrot or what, and she said he would plant it and he would go, let it go for a little while, and then he would go out and he would pull it out and look at it and then he’d put it back in the ground again. [Laughs]. So I guess that’s what…
RM: He liked to watch things grow. So what did you start with? When you were in
RH: When I was in high school? Field corn. Then after that it was tomatoes and carrots and sweet corn.
EH: Then we went to pick-your-own.
RM: Oh, did you? Over here?
RM: Now when was that, ’cause I don’t remember ever seeing a pick-your-own.
Conte’s was the — no! Four Wind Farms? Was blueberries. Yeah, I figure it must
have been him. But that was my first awareness. I was still living in Mt. Laurel. We
would come and pick blueberries, and then I think I didn’t know about Conte’s until I
moved here, but I didn’t — so you were before Conte’s even, before Four Winds
RH: Yeah, well, Joe Conte moved here from Red Lion. He bought Bob Haines’s farm and one of the Fletcher (Fletcher’s was a dairy farm) farms. He used to farm on Red Lion Road in Southampton Township.
RM: Red Lion Road. That’s the one that goes off like that, off of 70?
EH: I think it’s on the Eayrestown, Red Lion-Eayrestown Road. The one that goes past the Red Lion Inn on that side.
RM: Oh, that’s ok. Right. So when did you stop farming?
RH: I don’t remember, really.
EH: Well, we were still farming when we had the fire. ’83, I
RH: House fire.
EH: The upstairs.
RM: This house?
EH: Yeah. See, it was a snowstorm, and I was still working at the school.
RH: It was a blizzard.
EH: It was a blizzard, and they had called the night before and said school was cancelled. And when we went to bed, we had a fireplace, and it had a heat-a-lator in it, and he banked it up and everything. I woke up about one o’clock, and I said to him, “Did you close the fireplace?” And he got up and looked and he… I don’t know what he saw, but he says…
RH: I saw that the wall was — I looked up the chimney and the wall was burning, outside the chimney.
EH: So I — he said, “Get the kids up”!
RH: What happened was the mortar had deteriorated and fell out from the chimney. It was a wooden wall, that…
RM: And you just happened to wake up.
RH: That’s all.
EH: And he said “Get the kids up,” and we got the kids dressed and went downstairs. Well, we called the fire company right away. We were downstairs before the smoke alarm ever went off. We were all dressed. But we did lose a little poodle, ’cause the poodle was in with the boys and the boys thought it had come out, and it didn’t. We lost the whole upstairs.
RM: Holy cow! How long did it — was the fire company coming from Tabernacle?
EH: But it was a blizzard.
RH: Well, not this firehouse.
RM: No, but the one over on (Rt.) 206.
RH: Well, we had four of them in there. We had everybody.
EH: Yeah, there was all of them.
RH: We had Medford and Indian Mills, Vincentown, Hampton Lakes.
EH: They did — pretty much the upstairs. The only room that it was in was our
bedroom. It went right up — my closet was right there and it just burnt everything
in my closet. And his closet was on the opposite side of the room and it looked just
like newspapers hanging on the hangers in his closet.
RH: It just melted.
EH: You know, and….
RH: That’s what it looked like. That’s be your shirt hanging there. (Holds up a piece of newspaper.)
EH: And so, he was doing something that he wasn’t supposed to do at the time. He
pulled the electric meter off of the…
RH: That was the first thing I did — go out and take the electric meter.
RM: During the fire? Before the fire.
RH: Yeah, before the fire company…
EH: Yeah, got here.
RM: Because you weren’t supposed to have it there? Or why did you take it off?
RH: No, no, no! You’re supposed to call the electric company.
RM: While there’s a fire? And wait for…?
EH: Or the fire company calls them, or somebody calls them.
RH: You’re not supposed to fight a fire in the house if the electricity is on. So I took the meter and I put it in my truck. And after they had the fire out, I just put the meter back [unintelligible]
EH: And we saved the whole bottom of the house.
RH: We saved everything else.
EH: We could dry the water up and everything where the fire company had put
water on it. So we saved most of the things in the house, so we didn’t have to replace all of that. Our insurance did cover everything that we had to replace, but if we had left the water in here and everything, we would have had to replace all the wood.
RM: How long did it take to rebuild?
RH: Oh, we had it done by….
EH: February and we was done in June, I think it was. At the time we were farming
and they had just — ’cause we had cows over at….
RH: Just killed the cows.
EH: Yeah, we had just killed the cows for our meat, and they were hanging out back,
and we said we had too much equipment and everything for nobody to be here. The
insurance company rented a house trailer and we put it right next to the house.
RH: Right here. This room wasn’t here then.
RH: They put the trailer right here.
RM: Well, that was good, but that was a change, living with…
RH: It wasn’t the best of house trailers. [Laughter)
EH: Yeah, we farmed until, what? Mike must have been going to high school?
RM: Why did you decide to stop?
RH: Financial reasons.
RM: It wasn’t…
RM: Didn’t pay?
RH: And then we built the co-op.
EH: Co-op down the highway and then they carted the corn down there to get
RM: Now I’ve gone to the co-op, or I did, for some years ago, and I don’t remember
seeing them selling anything there but plants and maybe…
EH: They shipped it out.
RH: The produce was mostly all corn, was put on a truck and hauled to wherever.
EH: To New York.
RM: They don’t do that anymore?
RH: They’re out of business.
RM: Right. I know, but they get sold or it’s open again under some other…
RH: Yeah. Rich. A fellow named Rich from Hazel — or Redmond. I mean Redmond!
RM: But he doesn’t run it as a co-op anymore.
EH: Mmhmm. Just an outdoor farm market. Yeah.
RM: How many acres was it that you were farming?
RH: All together maybe a hundred and fifty or sixty. There’s a hundred across the
RM: So your yearly round was like — when did you start for the new season?
March? Seems to me that’s when I see the ground starting to be turned over by the
RM: Did you ever grow asparagus? There are still some asparagus fields on — at
least there used to be on Medford Lakes Road, but I haven’t seen anything on there
for a couple years.
RH: I think there’s still a few there by the house. I think that’s asparagus, but that
might be gone.
RM: I know the Contes used to sell it in big amounts.
RH: You have to have at least two years to get the asparagus.
RM: But then does it grow every year? I know that it takes two years to get it.
RH: Long as you take care of it.
RM: So what’s the first thing? You’d start plowing, or — ? Tell me about what you’d
RH: You’d plow first.
RM: Did you put cover crops on?
RM: What would you put on?
RM: And then you’d just — there’s no kind of…
EH: They’d just cut that in when they’d plow.
RM: And then when would you actually start planting?
RH: Ohhhhh — April.
RM: Did you have help besides family?
RM: Where’d you get your help?
EH: Well, when we planted tomatoes, my sister-in-law and my dad’s sister, Aunt
Emily, and our minister’s wife would plant the tomatoes. It had a machine where
two of us would sit side by side and have this tray of tomato plants in front of us and
had a wheel that went around and you had to be ready to put it on the wheel and it
would plant the tomatoes. So we would plant two rows at a time.
RM: And then what did you have to do?
EH: Then we had to go back in between…
RH: You mean to grow the crop?
RH: Well, you had to fertilize it, and spray it, and cultivate it.
EH: And we had to walk over and see if we missed. You know, ’cause sometimes you couldn’t get your plants apart to put them in there. So then you had to put…
RH: You usually had somebody walk behind.
RH: To plant where they missed.
RM: Did you have to weed?
RH: Yeah, that’s cultivation.
EH: Cultivate is what he would do with the….
RM: With the….
RH: With a hoe?
RM: Yeah. After the plant was in and growing.
RH: Yeah, you had to.
RM: And then who picked the crop?
RH: People from Philadelphia.
RM: And were they — I remember the first couple years I was here I saw, I think it was Cambodians, would be brought out in a van or something from Philadelphia?
EH: Ours were just black people. They had a crew…
RH: They were mostly the same ones all the time. But they wanted to work.
EH: The crew leader.
RH: They don’t want to work anymore.
EH: And they — it was — they would have one of those ladies, she would start a
RH: She’d have a charcoal grill and she’d cook their meals for them.
EH: Cook fish and all that.
RH: Very good food.
RM: I can imagine!
EH: I never ate anything. He would eat a little.
RM: Did the other farmers around here get similar…?
RH: They all did the same, too. For Campbells.
RM: And when did you start getting Puerto Ricans, I imagine were the first ones that
RH: Same time.
EH: Yeah, we have a building down here that they built for the Puerto Ricans, it was
their house. We would — you would get them, what, in…?
RH: Get them when we start planting tomatoes.
EH: Yeah. And they were funny because they would have an inspector come out and inspect the house. You had to have screens on and you had to have mirrors and
RM: Is that the Department of Ag? Or Labor? Who did…?
RH: Labor, I think it was.
EH: And they would inspect it and they would put a — say on there that it was ok.
As soon as you put the Puerto Ricans in there, they would turn the mirror around
and they would take the screens off. (Laughter) Sometimes they would have a party
and they would drink and they would have a party. Well, one morning he went
down to get them and they had had a pillow fight, and he said they had feathers all
over the place! And that day they didn’t work. (Laughter)
RM: Now, did you have to get, like a permit to have them come in? Were they
migrants? Did they then go back to Puerto Rico?
RH: Yeah, they went back to Puerto Rico. We didn’t have to have permits. Most of
them came to the Glassboro — I can’t think of what it was called.
EH: You got them from…
RH: Because most of the Puerto Ricans at that time came through the Glassboro…
EH: He always went down to Glassboro and would pick them up.
RM: Would they have crew leaders, too?
RH: No. I was the crew leader.
RM: How about Mexicans? Did you ever have them working here?
EH: We never had them.
RM: ‘Cause I know the Contes and the Russos had a lot of Mexicans.
RH: Yeah, they came after the Puerto Ricans.
RM: In the 90s. None of those people settled here?
RH: Well, Larry Conte married one.
RM: Mexican lady, right?
EH: Now, my daughter-in-law…
RH: Our daughter-in-law is Puerto Rican. And her father worked for Bill Haines.
RH: Bill Haines, in Hog Wallow.
RM: Uh huh.
EH: And he’s — she’s the one on that picture. (Showing picture.)
RM: I see. Pretty girl.
EH: She was one of their youngest. I think there was seven kids, I think. And Bill
Haines provided them with houses and all. And they stayed year round. I mean,
they would just go down (to Puerto Rico) maybe…
RH: Yeah, they lived there.
EH: A month or so.
RH: Well, Puerto Ricans are citizens of the United States.
RM: Yeah. Right. So that wasn’t an issue.
EH: Yeah, so… But that’s…
RM: But it isn’t like Hammonton. Hammonton’s got a lot of — Latinos there now and I guess a lot of them are Guatemalans.
RH: That’s why I’d rather go to the Hammonton Walmart. I get along with those people better than I did with the ones in Lumberton! [Laughter]
RM: Where did you go to school?
RH: Just up the road.
RM: The brick building?
EH: The brick building, yeah.
RM: That’s the alternative school now.
EH: Yeah, it was only…
RH: Four rooms.
EH: It was only four rooms when you went there, right?
RH: There were two classes each.
EH: And when I went they had added on the first two rooms, I think it was, so that there were six rooms, and they added the bathrooms, and a teachers’ room, and you went up steps to get to the older part.
RM: So did that — when there were two classes in one room, the one teacher was teaching two different grades at the same time?
RM: A country school. My mom taught in a country school. In Missouri.
RH: They had two different grades?
RM: You know, I don’t know that. I wish I’d asked. There are a lot of things you
don’t think about asking until it’s too late. But she was orphaned and she was in
foster homes for — from the time she was around ten until she was eighteen. And
she decided she wanted to be a teacher, and she went to school in the summer, to
college classes, and in the winter she taught. And she did that for eight years till she
got her teaching certificate.
RH: Well, I think a lot of people did (that) in those years.
EH: I was going to say, when you went, it was the same way, wasn’t it?
RM: And where did you go to high school, Mt. Holly?
EH: I didn’t. I was the first class to go all the way through Lenape. My brother, he
was the first class to graduate, but he went to Mt. Holly, or Rancocas Valley, for two
years, and then he did two years at Lenape.
RM: Now how many different towns was Lenape getting then?
EH: Same as what they do — Woodland!
RH: Woodland wasn’t then. No.
RH: But all the other ones were in…
RM: Yeah, but Marlton goes to Cherokee, right?
RH: All in Lenape District.
RM: Right, right.
EH: But they originally all went to Lenape.
RM: Mmhmm. Yeah. And your sons went to Shawnee, or did they go to Lenape?
EH: Our youngest son went to Shawnee. My oldest son went to vocational school.
There at Medford. The Vo Tech. Well, it’s called something else now.— IT.
RH: I don’t know.
EH: I don’t know what it’s called now.
RH: Burlington County Institute of — something.
EH: Yeah. Technology.
RM: What was like the biggest event in Tabernacle, usually. What were some of the
kinds of things that…?
RH: When I was a kid?
RM: Uh huh.
RH: Wasn’t much of anything.
RM: Did pretty much everybody…?
EH: The church was everything pretty much for me, I think.
RH: I didn’t go to church.
EH: He didn’t go to church. Yeah.
RM: But did they have things, like a picnic, or — and everybody …?
RH: Yeah, they had those things.
RM: Would go to that or only the church members?
EH: Mostly the church members. Maybe the PTA had something. You know, they
had a dinner that the school had a — ’cause you read in your dad’s thing about the
school having the — a dinner.
RH: Oh, the school had a venison dinner for the kids.
RM: For the kids?
RH: For the kids. I don’t think they could do that today.
RM: Probably there would be people object to the fact that it was hunted. So, were
most of the men around here hunters?
RH: Years ago, yes. Everybody hunted.
RM: And were there hunting clubs then?
RH: Oh, lots of them!
RM: With club houses?
RM: What was the closest one?
RH: Woodstown. You know where Russo’s Puerto Rican house is and irrigation hole
on Chatsworth Road?
EH: Where Hillman’s Concrete was?
RH: Right across the road? Right on the hill there. That was Woodstown Deer Club.
RM: And the name was Woodstown Deer Club?
RH: Mmhmm. The people came from Woodstown because, at the time, there were no deer in South Jersey. So all the people had to come up here to deer hunt.
RM: Oh, you mean farther south. Why was that?
RH: You gotta ask somebody more important than me! They just weren’t there! (Laughter) There was Shiloh. They came from Shiloh.
RM: Wow, Shiloh. That’s…
EH: Well, the Shiloh ones…
RM: That’s way down in Cumberland County — way down!
RH: They had a deer club right before you get to Bordentown Deer Club. It was a quonset hut.
EH: Yeah, side — it was a quonset hut.
RH: I think it’s still there. You just can’t see it anymore. It grew up in woods.
RM: Now this New Harmony Gun Club, that’s…
RM: Chatsworth. Did any of the people in Tabernacle belong to that one.
RH: I don’t think so.
RM: Did you ever belong to one?
RH: To a deer club?
RM: Uh huh.
RH: No, we just had a bunch.
RM: A bunch? Did your bunch have a name? The Tabernacle Bunch?!
RH: The Lower Forge.
RM: Lower Forge? Where’d that name come from?
RH: It came from Lower Forge! [Laughter]
RM: Where’s the Lower Forge?
RH: Up on the Wharton Tract.
RM: Was there a forge…?
RH: Before the state owned it.
RM: Was there a forge there? Is that how it got…?
RH: At one time, yeah.
RM: So, was that your gathering spot?
EH: They would go up…
RM: You had deer stands there?
RH: Well, they built a cabin there, and paid the state — I forget how much money
every year to have the cabin there. But then when the state bought the Joe Wharton
estate, they burned all the buildings down on it.
RM: So there aren’t any gun clubs…
RH: Not on state property.
EH: So you, when you were — or the kids, when the Haines, had blueberries up,
farming at Tabernacle Eagle [?], and he — they used his — what did he have?
RH: Puerto Rican house.
EH: Puerto Rican house. For their gunning club.
RM: So, when — would you go there and stay there for like a few days like some of
them did, when they came in from other places, or would you just go out on the
weekend or what?
RH: They would stay there for the week.
EH: They would go up on…
RH: Sunday and stay till Saturday.
RM: And how long is the deer season?
RH: At that time it was a week.
RM: It’s just a week.
RH: It still is, the regular deer season. For shotgun, just a week. But you can hunt
deer now, from Labor Day to Easter, I think.
EH: Because of bow and arrow and…
RH: You have bow and arrow. You have…
RM: So they don’t have seasons for bow and arrow.
RH: Yes they do. But it goes on and on forever.
EH: The state gets more money. ‘Cause every season you have to have a different
license. He just…
RH: I just bought my license.
RM: How much does that cost?
RH: Well, being a senior citizen, you get the firearms for half price, which is half — is $15.50. And bow and arrow is $16.50. [??] a dollar more. Then if you want to hunt turkeys, you have to get a turkey permit, which I have, too.
RM: So you still hunt all those things? All those critters.
RM: And is the Lower Forge Bunch still…?
RH: Not really.
RH: What’s left of us is just me and my cousin, Paul, who was — his father was in it. That’s how I got in it, ’cause my father was in it, too. But now we meet down here at my shop.
RM: Where’s your shop?
RH: Right down…
EH: Where the Puerto Rican house was.
EH: ‘Cause that Puerto Rican house was made into a shop, and then now…
RH: That’s what it was.
RM: When you say “shop,” do you mean “mechanics shop,” where you keep your…?
EH: Yeah, that’s what it was. Now it’s kind of a shop for breakfasts.
RH: Yeah, we have breakfast there every Sunday.
EH: Every Sunday.
RM: For whom?
RH: Whoever wants to come?
RM: Well, I’ll have to come sometime? [Laughter]
EH: A restaurant stove that they have in there, and he has a dishwasher.
RM: Who does all the work?
EH: Him and my son.
RH: Well, I used to do it, but now Rodney, my youngest son, he comes up and does the cooking now.
RM: When did you start doing that?
RH: When did we start? Oh, hell! Ten years ago or more.
RH: Well, a friend of mine had MS. He lived in Chatsworth, and I guess we started for him, originally.
RM: To raise money?
EH: No. Nobody pays any money. They just bring a dozen eggs or a pound of bacon or…
RH: We don’t charge.
RM: You don’t?
RH: Everybody brings something.
RM: But it’s open to anybody?
RH: Well, if I say it’s alright to come…
RM: Could I come sometime? [Laughter] Because it’s…
EH: It’s not the fanciest place.
RM: Excuse me! Do I care about fancy?
EH: Everybody, they just come in and they have coffee and…
RH: They get all the news for the week.
RM: Well, that’s why it would be a great place for somebody like me to go.
EH: Then my son, he gets up — between the two of them, they get up around 5:30,
6:00, and they get down there and they cook sausage and bacon and scrapple, and
then when people get there…
RH: Get ready the day before.
EH: They make pancakes and…
RM: Do you ever do anything like a barbecue?
RH: Well, we did for a few years. But we haven’t done that for fifteen, probably.
EH: Years, years ago, he used to have…
EH: A snapper soup.
RM: No kidding! Well, that’s a real tradition.
EH: Every year we…
RH: I still make that.
RM: You catch the snapper yourself?
RH: I always have, but I haven’t done that lately.
RM: Where would you get them? Around here?
RH: Go right across the road to the crick and get one.
RM: What crick is that?
RH: Bread and Cheese Run.
RM: Bread and Cheese Run. Oh, yeah, I was looking on here [map] the other day.
EH: Right next to the cemetery.
RM: The, uh… [cross discussion about sites on map]
RM: Yeah, that’s Bread and Cheese. Do you know how it got that name?
RH: No, I don’t.
RM: That’s an old name, I assume.
EH: Somebody said that the Indians used to go there and they would have bread and cheese. (Laughter)
RM: Bread and cheese sounds good to me!
RH: I’ll have a little whiskey, too, with it! (Laughter)
RM: Have people fished in there a lot?
EH: No, it’s not that big. People used to, off of — [trying to remember] —
Friendship. People used to take their cars up to…
RH: Oh, they’d wash them! Yeah, they would pull in the crick and wash them.
RM: Wash their cars in the creek?
EH: Yeah. Just — Zimmerman — take Zimmerman Road and just go to your left a
little bit and…
RM: Now, Zimmerman Road coming from Medford Lakes Road or coming from Patty Bowker Road?
EH: Patty Bowker Road is Chatsworth Road, yeah. It was off of Patty Bowker Road,
you would — Zimmerman Road onto Patty Bowker.
RH: Right where the Girl Scout Camp is now — that property.
RM: Oh! Well, the Girl Scout Camp is on Powell Place Road, or part of it.
EH: It used to go next to Zimmerman’s.
RH: Oh, Ok! On — yeah.
EH: They used to pull in there.
RH: Yeah, I’m in the wrong place.
EH: They used to pull in there.
RM: To wash their cars or fish?
EH: RH: To wash their cars.
EH: But it was — you know where the Zimmerman property is?
RH: Right by the junk yard.
RM: No, I know Zimmerman Road, but I don’t know where the Zimmerman property
EH: Well, the Zimmerman property is the big old house…. It’s an old, old house.
RM: Is it still occupied?
EH: I don’t know.
RH: I don’t think anybody’s living there right now. I don’t know. They might be, but
I don’t think they are. I mean, it’s habitable, but…
RM: If I come down Patty Bowker and then go on to Zimmerman…
EH: No, you don’t want to go on Zimmerman, you want to stay on Patty Bowker
EH: And you would make the turn off of Zimmerman onto Patty Bowker to your left.
RM: Going up toward Powell Place Road.
RM: Or going up toward Foxchase-Friendship Road.
EH: Yes, yes.
RM: And it’s on the left.
EH: It was on the left, and it was far…
RM: You know, these things you mention, I’ve been passing stuff like that without
RH: Well, you wouldn’t know it.
RM: I’m going to have to go out and pay attention to them now.
EH: I don’t know whether there would be room to put the car in there now, it’s
grown up so.
RH: I don’t know if you could get to there because of the guardrail.
EH: Yeah, yeah.
RM: Why did people wash their cars there?
RH: It was easy. You just pull your car in there and wash it. That’s fresh water all
EH: It was easy, yeah. Fresh water all the time.
RM: I guess they didn’t have hoses at their house?
EH: I don’t think hoses were used at that time. They didn’t use them that much at
that time. I mean, if they wouldn’t have a lot of money, you know, so that they would
have been expensive to buy them.
RH: You have to remember there weren’t many people living here then. There were
no houses up where you live, nothin’. Couple of houses.
EH: There — the road — it’s not the road that goes to, back to the icebox.
EH: The road that went back to the icebox?
RH: What the hell’s the icebox?
EH: Oh, you remember! Wasn’t it called the “icebox”? There was a…
RH: The only icebox I know was right out back here. We had one.
EH: No, it was called the “icebox,” I thought, went back almost across from where
they used to wash the cars. There was a little road that went back there.
RH: I have no idea. Never heard anything about an icebox.
EH: Oh, you did too.
RM: Why did they call it the “icebox”?
EH: I don’t know. I was a kid.
RH: Probably somebody threw their icebox there.
EH: I’ll have to ask [??], ’cause he mentioned the icebox the other day, something
like that, and…
RM: Ok, so they washed their cars in Bread and Cheese Run, but they didn’t fish.
EH: There was never that much water.
RM: How about Friendship Lake or Friendship Creek?
RH: Well, that was all private then. You couldn’t…
RM: So there really wasn’t any place to fish?
EH: No place to fish.
RM: Or you had to go out of town, you had to go— ? Or did people fish much, they
just mostly hunted?
EH: I don’t know. I don’t remember people fishing much.
RH: Well, you — down to [?] bogs you could fish.
RH: There’s people that still fish…
RM: I heard that, I remember when we were doing that project, that people would
vandalize the cranberry bogs, sometimes go in and mess up the gates and stuff like
EH: Run off the…
RH: Well, they do. Just for something to do, I guess.
EH: Just like these kids that went in Philadelphia and — that cemetery.
RH: Turned over the tombstones in Philly. Nothing better to do.
RM: It’s hard to think there’s nothing better to do, but…
[Cross talk about vandalism]
RM: So, you would go hunting — where would you — in the Puerto Rican house, is
that where you’d clean and butcher the deer?
EH: Used to be a certain time they’d kill the pigs.
RM: Hog killin’.
EH: Everybody would bring their pigs down here and they would…
RH: Cut ’em up.
EH: Cut ’em up.
RH: Well, kill ’em.
RM: “Down here” meaning down here on your property?
EH: On our property right there at the building.