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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Don Cramer and the Old Giffordtown Schoolhouse

I volunteer at the Tuckerton Historical Society on most Wednesdays and am generally there from 11:15 AM until 3 PM. Stop by to say hello if you are in the area. We have a lot of interesting stuff from Tuckerton and the surrounding area.

The historical society is housed in the old Giffordtown two room schoolhouse located at the corner of Leitz Blvd. and Wisteria Lane, diagonally across the street from the back of Cumberland Farms.

The old Giffordtown two room schoolhouse is presently the headquarters and museum of the Tuckerton Historical Society. (Photo by Pete Stemmer)

The Giffordtown Schoolhouse was originally located at the site of the present day Lighthouse Church on Route 9, across the street from the Rite Aid pharmacy. 

The Giffordtown School on its original Route 9 site, circa 1950's.
(Photo courtesy of the Tuckerton Historical Society.)

Bob Leitz's built a new car dealership next to the old schoolhouse in the 1940's. Eventually the schoolhouse was moved to its present location in the early 1980's.

Yesterday, at the historical society, we were pleasantly surprised when Don Cramer stopped by to make a few donations to the society. Don is the son of Pratt and Vera Cramer of the New Gretna oyster business family. Don's grandfather, Arnold Cramer, built the oyster house at the end of Amasas Landing Road in New Gretna.

The Cramer Oyster House at the end of Amasas Landing Road in New Gretna, circa 1940's. (Courtesy of Arnold Nathan Cramer)

Don came up north from his home in Florida to attend the October 15th Tuckerton High School Reunion. He had commissioned a painting of the old Giffordtown Schoolhouse and stopped by the schoolhouse museum yesterday to present the painting to the historical society.

Don Cramer and the painting of the old Giffordtown Schoolhouse.
(Photo by Paula Scully)

The Giffordtown Schoolhouse painted by Joan Stein Carroll. Mrs. Parker's old Plymouth is parked at the side of the school. (Photo by Paula Scully)

Some alumni of the Giffordtown Schoolhouse were present to admire the painting and talk about memories long forgotten. 

Giffortown Schoolhouse alumni (l-r): Charlie Richmond, Joan Wagenlehner Exel, and Pat Lynch admire the painting of their alma mater(Photo by Paula Scully)  

Don also donated a dictionary won by his grandmother, Gertrude French Cramer, at age 13, at the Philadelphia College of Business Spelling Bee in 1888; a hand rung school bell used by Gertrude, who taught at the New Gretna Grade School; a 1956 baseball signed by the Tuckerton High School baseball team; an old telephone from an Atlantic City hotel; and an antique wooden fishing reel. The items will be cataloged and added to the museum collection.

Don holding an old wooden fishing reel. (Photo by Paula Scully)

As you can see, there is never a dull moment on Wednesdays at the Tuckerton Historical Society. You never know who is going to drop by with interesting goodies. Yesterday it was Don Cramer. Next Wednesday, who knows? Stop in and see!

Pete S

PS- Anyone out in the Blog-O-Sphere who attended the old Giffordtown Schoolhouse? If so, please share a memory or two with us.

1 comment:

  1. Hallo!

    Could you tell me the history of the old Giffordtown School House? I have lived for many years in the hamlet of Giffordtown, Fife, Scotland and wonder of there is a connection.

    Best wishes

    M S Sanders