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The Historical Preservation Society of Upper Township NJ Inc.

GANDY HOUSE-1815: Historical Preservation Society of Upper Twp, Cape May County, NJ
 Upper Township
Cape May County, NJ

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HPSUT Friendship School

Friendship School July 2023

 The Friendship School

 This historic property contains the circa 1930 Friendship School, a circa 1900 privy, and a circa 1917 coal storage shed.  The Friendship School was originally donated in 1976 by William Wells, grandson of Enoch Clouting to the Upper Township Bicentennial Committee during a time when Upper Township was particularly interested in its earliest buildings. The committee, headed by the late Curtis T. Corson, evolved to become the nucleus of the Historical Preservation Society of Upper Township (HPSUT) in 1977. Virginia M. Wilson was its’ first President.

 The history of the Friendship School begins when it was incorporated in May of 1831 with Jonathon Corson, Lewis Corson, and Seth Young as trustees. The students’ tuition was paid for by parents in 1830, but by 1869, public funding for schools was established. In the 1862-63 school year, 52 students crowded into this 15’x 20’ structure, and of those students in the teacher’s roll book, 24 were Corsons!

 The school itself is standing on its fourth known location! It was originally located 6 houses southeast of its present location. It was used for classes until it was replaced with a larger building in the 1860’s. The abandoned school house later owned by resident, Lot Corson, became known as “Lot’s Temple” because church services were held there. Then, it was moved to Enoch Clouting’s farm where a corn crib was placed on one side. It is Enoch’s grandson who kindly donated the school.

 The school building was in extreme disrepair when it was moved from the Clouting property to the corner of Ocean Ave. and Shore Road.  According to an undated news article, “mere fragments of the (original) building remained” although “some of the heavier corner posts were salvaged.” Nevertheless, restoration of this Friendship School was researched and planned by Kyle Fleetwood of Tuckahoe and James Wilson of Marmora; with assistance from Matt Unsworth, Robert Entirkin, Curtis Corson III, Somers Corson, Marshall “Ted” Behr, Guy Himmelberger, Harry “Hap” Folger and other members of the Bicentennial Committee. It was completed in 1980.

 All replacement wood matched the original in size and material and great care was taken to restore it to its original appearance. Locally sourced materials for the restoration/reconstruction came from the Van Vorst sawmill in Petersburg, the Hess sawmill in South Seaville and the Brewer sawmill in Dennisville. Benches donated by Myra Clouting Biggs, were reproduced by Matt Unsworth. The teacher’s desk is a reproduction also made by Matt Unsworth. Hardware for the building was hand-wrought by Robert Entrikin of Petersburg. Although it does not qualify for the State and National Registers listing because it retains little original historic building fabric, the building is important to the historical time line of Upper Township.

 Also on this site are two old frame buildings: a circa 1900 privy donated from the property of the Seaville School on Kruk Drive and a circa 1917 coal/storage shed donated from the Palermo School on Route 9.  The coal storage shed, was donated by Wes and Doris Nickerson with Jim and Nancy Siegrist helping with its restoration. It was added to the property in 1993. Three three-seat privy (outhouse) from the old unused Seaville School was donated by Sharon Kruk in honor of her father, and was restored by Lewis Albrecht and Jim Siegrist. It is a work of art (with a French style roof), but is non-functional.

 A special item, the cedar flag pole, from which flew a U.S. flag that flew above the capitol in Washington, DC, was donated by former Deauville Inn owners, Walter and Gloria Carpenter in December of 1983. (Since replaced)

 The Friendship School was dedicated on September 10, 1983 by Virginia M. Wilson, President of the Historical Preservation Society of Upper Township, Upper Township Mayor Leonard Migliaccio, HPSUT members: Ebbie Unsworth and her son, Matt Unsworth, and guest speaker, New Jersey State Senator, James R. Hurley.

 Upper Township continues to own and manage the property and the school, while HPSUT members manage the inside and its activities. Each Upper Township Kindergarten class is invited to the annual Kindergarten Day to learn what a student classroom life is like in a one room school house in the early 1800’s.

 [Main Source: Joan Berkey, A Survey of 80 Historic Buildings and Sites in Upper Township Architectural Historian, and the Historical Preservation Society of Upper Township, 2017.]


Version Date: 23 Jun 2023














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The Historical Preservation Society of Upper Township NJ Inc.
P.O. Box 658
Marmora, NJ 08223-0658


Last Page Posting Date ~~ Thursday, July 27, 2023