MULLICA HILL — A century of sports and recreation in Harrison Township is celebrated in Game On!, a new exhibition at Mullica Hill’s Old Town Hall Museum.
Over 100 photographs, artifacts, and rare movie footage of a Mullica Hill Quakers Pop Warner Midget Football Championship game in 1954 feature local teams and athletes from the early 1900s through the 21st century. Objects come from many private collections as well as the Museum’s holdings, most of which are on exhibit for the first time.
“Athletics and recreation play an important role in community and family life,” noted the Harrison Township Historical Society’s President Suzanne Grasso. “We are excited that so many people are sharing their collections and stories through this new exhibition.”
Some of the oldest pieces in Game On! focus on the early history of baseball. Mullica Hill, Richwood, Ewan and Ferrell all had their own teams, whose players were young men who sometimes played on more than one team just to have the opportunity to play the game.
“Baseball was a young man’s game in the early 1900s,” said Maier Hitchner, who curated the project. “Local teams played games throughout the region.”
It wasn’t until the 1940s that Little League teams began to take the place of the young men’s leagues, which gradually disappeared. The exhibition includes photographs and uniforms from both leagues.
The township has also been home to a number of notable athletes, including football stars and coaches Robert C. Folwell, Jr. and Jim Leonard, major league baseball player and coach, Jeff Datz, outstanding track star William “Peanut” Gaines, and legendary athlete and Clearview High School coach, Lorriane Boyd Ledden.
Clearview’s early sports history is also represented, including programs for the then newly-opened school’s first interscholastic football game, played on October 8, 1960 at Woodstown.
The exhibition opens on the 56th anniversary of that first game and continues on Saturdays and Sundays, 1 to 4 p.m. through Dec. 11. Admission is free.
Town Hall is located at the intersection of South Main Street and Woodstown Road in the heart of Mullica Hill’s Historic District. Information: 856-478-4949; www.harrisonhistorical.com.