The School Newspaper of Cherry Hill High School East


The School Newspaper of Cherry Hill High School East


The School Newspaper of Cherry Hill High School East


Quaker meeting house prepares for 200th anniversary

A wood-burning stove is against a wall of the antiquated room in the Quaker’s Cropwell Friends Meeting House. The stove is framed by benches with pink cushions that are in the same position they were in years before. The ceiling and one wall are adorned with wooden planks that add to the colonial ambiance. To add to the experience, there are photographs of the meetinghouse in its younger days, showing the members in old-fashioned attire with their horse-and-buggies. This June, the meeting house’s members will be celebrating its 200th anniversary.

The graveyard that is in front of the Cropwell Meeting House is older than than the house itself. It was around before the meeting house was built in 1809. The graveyard is still put in use today, although the amount of space available is diminishing.

The Cropwell Meeting House comes to life as the orthodox members sit in silence and try to understand the message of God. Connie Evans, a birthright member whose family, generations back, were Quakers, said, “There is that of God within each person,” meaning, each person’s way of belief is different.

There are currently 25 total members of the Cropwell Meeting House. The Quaker’s quarterly meeting will be held at the meeting house to commemorate the anniversary and a peace pole will be dedicated on the day of the festivities.

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The Quaker population has been decreasing as time has gone on, with many of the members are getting older. Yet, there are still some young members of the Cropwell Meeting House and other Quaker houses in the area.

The 200th anniversary marks the importance that Quakers do not only live in our history textbooks, they live among us.

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    Shirlee DiBaccoJun 10, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    Cropwell will be holding its 200th anniversary celebration on June 28, 2009.
    The public is invited to attend :


    In today’s world it’s hard to imagine what life was like without e-mail or cell phones – but what about what life in Evesham was like 200 years ago?

    The community is invited to experience a glimpse of this capsule in time on Sunday, June 28th at 2 p.m. at the Cropwell Quaker Meeting House located at the corner of Old Marlton Pike and Cropwell Road in Marlton, New Jersey.

    Constructed in 1809, it is one of the area’s oldest historic structures. Today, it stands as an oasis in the midst of sprawling housing developments and retail establishments just off of Routes 70 and 73 in Marlton. The 200 year-old structure remains an anomaly, with its tree-studded, verdant surroundings on a two-acre plot smack in the middle of modern Marlton.

    A committee has been formed to plan events to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the building of this quaint brick structure in 1809. It is still active as a Quaker house of worship, as it has been for these 200 years. First Day worship services are held every Sunday morning at 10. Ironically, one of the members of the anniversary committee, Nancy Barclay, is a descendent of the planners of both the 100th and 150th anniversaries of the building. Other members of the Anniversary Committee are David Barclay, Shirlee DiBacco, Connie Evans, Mary Ann Gilmore, Jenny Suri, and Joseph Laufer. Laufer, who is the Burlington County Historian, was invited to serve on the committee because of his work in researching and promoting of the historical significance of Quakerism in the development of Burlington County.

    The committee has already selected a number of activities to commemorate the historic event. In cooperation with the Evesham Historical Society, there will be a “High Tea” on Saturday, June 27, 2009. On Sunday, June 28, 2009, the public is invited to attend morning worship, and then, at 2:00 p.m., a program which includes an exhibit of historical documents and minutes relating to the establishment of the Friends in Evesham and the building of the Meeting House, a photo exhibit of the 21 Quaker Meeting Houses of Burlington County created by celebrated photographer Dorann Weber, a Lecture by Burlington County Historian, Joseph Laufer, on the Quaker Heritage of Burlington County, a presentation by Arthur Larrabee, from the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, on the history of Quakers in the Delaware Valley. and other events.
    The highlight of the Bicentennial Celebration will be the dedication of a Peace Pole – a lasting memorial to the anniversary, and the centerpiece of a quiet landscaped meditation area for the public.

    The Quaker presence in Evesham predates the building of this historic meeting house by 23 years. In 1786, the Quaker community was established, with worshipers traveling to Mount Laurel or Haddonfield to worship. A school was a first priority, built in 1792, and finally, in 1809 the Meeting House was constructed, at a cost of $1,767.21.

    Members of the Anniversary Committee hope that the events surrounding the celebration will rekindle an interest in Quakerism, if not for theological reasons, at least for the historic role Cropwell Meeting and the other area Quaker Meetings played in the establishment of Burlington County and its ongoing history.

    For more information on the 200th Anniversary of Cropwell Quaker Meeting House, contact Nancy Barclay at 856-424-1403