by Rick Franzen
NOTES ON THE DAIRY and Poultry FARMS OF TABERNACLE, NJ
Yes, there were dairy farms in Tabernacle! It’s very hard to find information on them, so we ask that if you have any additional information to contribute, please let us know. Here is a summary of our research on the farms. Most of what we have collected comes from life long residents who have been able to share with us some of their recollections.
by Rick Franzen
Haines Dairy Farm
Located at 231 Carranza Road, this dairy was operated by Robert Templeton Haines (1898-1978). In various censuses, he is listed as either a “general farmer” (1920 and 1930) or, a “dairy farm operator” (1940 census). A picture in possession of the Historical Society names this farm as “Sunnylawn.”
In the 1900 census, Robert is a one year old and lives with his parents, Carlton (1869-1935) and Anne Templeton Haines (1873-1933). The head of household is John Wesley Haines (1841-1926) and his wife Martha Carpenter Haines (1844-1911). As head of household, John is a “farmer.” The families are most likely living at Sunnylawn. No research has yet resulted in the dairy farm’s first year of operation.
An interesting side note is that prior to her marriage to Carlton in 1895, Anne Templeton was a school teacher in the local school system, then Shamong Township ( Tabernacle was incorporated in 1901).
Here is an early 1900’s picture of the homestead with Grace and Robert Haines.
In 1967 the farm’s equipment was sold off in an onsite auction. Allen Nixon was the auctioneer. This auction, on February 25th, was just a week before a similar auction for the Clover Leaf Farm ( also known as Breeze Hill). The listing, shown below, was from the February 23rd (page 4) issue of the Allentown Messenger. No cattle re mentioned in the sale and the 40, quart milking cans seem to be the only dairy related item.
Brick’s Dairy Farm
Brick’s Dairy Farm was another of the farms located just off Carranza Road on a private road known as Haines Lane. It was owned by (Joseph) Rogers Brick (1896-1991) who lived on Main Street in Medford and also owned the Medford Concrete Company. The farm was overseen by a tenant farmer named Steve Tomsco and his wife Thelma. They had a daughter named Shirley. It had been reported that this farm had the largest herd of cows during the local dairy farm “era.”
An interesting historical connection to our Historical Society’s Knight-Pepper House rests with the Brick family. (Joseph) Rogers Brick was married to Vera Knight (1897-1971). Vera was the granddaughter of Gilbert Knight (1832-1879), the local blacksmith who built the Knight-Pepper house in the early 1860’s. Vera’s father and Gilbert’s son, Harry Knight (1868-1925), owned West Jersey Cranberry Bogs and had a small bog complex on the north side of Hawkin Road in Tabernacle.
Here is a modern day picture of the farmhouse on Haines Lane.
Prickett’s Dairy Farm
A third dairy farm on Carranza Road, was located in the vicinity of 202 Carranza Road. By the way, before being named Carranza Road, this local road was called Hampton Gate Road. There are a few opinions about the first name of the proprietor, some say Eli and some say Clifford. Perhaps they were one and the same, but we do know his last name was Prickett. Like most area dairies, this one was small, probably with less than 50 cattle. No other information is available about this farm.
This is today’s view of the farmhouse.
Breeze Hill Dairy Farm or Clover Leaf Farm
The operator of Breeze Hill (288 Carranza Road) is tied to three dairy farms in Tabernacle. Mervin Fletcher (1915-2000) at one time or another, ran or was connected to Breeze Hill, Allen’s and Foulk’s dairy farms. An earlier owner of the property was Jeff Simmons. None of the federal censuses from 1940 back to 1910 show a Mervin Fletcher in Tabernacle, so his appearance in town would be after this time-frame. We do know that Mervin at one time lived in Moorestown, prior to World War Two and that he was married to Elsie and had a son named Raymond.
Jeff Simmons does not appear in any local census prior to 1940 and thus his history with the dairy farm is unknown. Perhaps someone with a similar sounding name was the early operator. None of the other “Simmonses” in the early 1900’s censuses seem to fit.
However there is a short story about Breeze Hill that is interesting. About 1939 a very youthful resident visited the farm from his home a short distance away. He had been drawn by the sound of an airplane ( in rural Tabernacle before WW2 this was a rare event) to the dairy. Taking off and landing several times was a “barnstormer” in a biplane. He was giving rides to locals for a few pennies. So the local resident went air-born, with his Dad by his side and they took a tour of Tabernacle by air!
Today the farmhouse appears like this:
In 1967 the farm’s equipment was sold off in an onsite auction. Allen Nixon was the auctioneer. This auction, on March 4th, was just a week later than a similar auction for the Haines Dairy Farm ( also known as Sunny Lawn). The listing, shown below, was from the February 23rd (page 4) issue of the Allentown Messenger. Note mention of the cattle herd size – 59 Holsteins.
Foulk’s Dairy Farm
Located at 260 Flyatt Road, today the farmhouse is uninhabited and in great disrepair. Until the mid to late 1940’s, the farm was owned by Ferman Foulkes (1916-1995). The farm’s land was located on both sides of Flyatt Road. In its heyday it’s herd of cattle never numbered more than 20 – 25 milking cows. None of the original out buildings remain. Other animals on the farm included pigs, horses and chickens.
Foulk’s is one of two dairies in town which had it’s own milk bottle. We know of two in the possession of local residents and have been allowed to photograph one of them. At some point in time, Foulks assumed responsibility for collecting the milk from Allen’s Dairy. It’s likely that this unpasteurized milk was taken to a collection point at the intersection of Carranza and Flyatt Roads.
Here is a current picture of the old farmhouse:
Beaumont Dairy Farm
Census data from the 1920’s through the 1940’s show that John Beaumont (1863-1950) was a local farmer. No mention is made about a dairy. This was typical of how information was recorded in our area. Discussions with his descendants and other long time residents have shed light on this farm’s history.
It had about 100 head of cattle and the milk collected was stored in 40 gallon containers. Latter it was collected and taken to Millside Farms Dairy where it was processed and home delivered. The farms pastures were located on both sides of Carranza Road while the farmhouse was located at 401 Carranza.
For those who follow the genealogy of Tabernacle families, John Beaumont was married to Euphemia Cutts (1873-1930). While John was born in England, it was Euphemia’s father, William Cutts, (1835-1914) who was the last English born Cutts.
Here is a recent picture of the farmhouse:
Allen’s Dairy – Later Fletcher’s Dairy
The old Kemble Inn on Carranza Road was used for many years as the home of early dairyman Victor Allen (1883-1958). Today the location of the barns associated with the farm is Russo’s parking lot, at the corner of Carranza and Medford Lakes Roads.
Mr. Allen came to Tabernacle about 1915 and in the 1920 census is listed as a farmer. He was a dairyman until about 1945 when he sold his milk route to Ferman Foulkes. Later Mervin Fletcher began to operate the dairy, but that events actual start date is not known.
We do know that Allen’s Dairy did use milk bottles. Two are in the possession of the Historical Society.
The reason for Mr Allen’s arrival in Tabernacle has lain unknown for over 100 years. During this research process a startling story emerged. No long time residents spoken with had ever heard of this background.
The year is 1912, the place, very rural Carroll County Virginia, deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Floyd Allen sits in the court room prisoner’s box charged with “ forcefully taking two prisoners from two deputy sheriffs.” “Guilty” says the jury foreman and gunfire blazes throughout the room. When all is over, five are dead (judge, prosecutor, sheriff, juror and witness). Floyd and his brother are later convicted and executed for their participation.
Floyd’s son Victor Monroe Allen is cleared of any charges. He was on of the few “good guys” at this massacre. Victor tries to remain in Carroll County but soon heads north, with his wife, children and mother and settles right here in Tabernacle , NJ. While Emilio Carranza may be our most famous “one-day” visitor, Victor Monroe Allen left behind a shameful notoriety to seek the peaceful life in Tabernacle.
Here is a picture of the Allen’s Dairy home as it is today
In 1944 Victor Allen sold via auction, a herd of Guernsey cattle. Also in the sale was a herd of cattle from Herbert Wills oh Hainesport. Henry Rupp was the auctioneer and the notice below appeared in the August 31, 1944 (on page 4) issue of the Allentown Messenger.
I hope you have enjoyed a summary of the notes we have on Tabernacle’s dairies. While we do not know of any others within the current township borders, we do know of a few in nearby Shamong and Southampton. In Southampton, Roger Kumpl had a dairy just southeast of the Red Lion circle. You can still see the dairy’s barn from Route 70. And in Shamong there were two dairies – one owned by the Jennings family and the other owned by the Abrams family.