History

A BRIEF HISTORY OF FRIENDLY HOUSE

1894               Initial beginning of settlement movement in Mansfield known as the “Peoples Mission”.

1912                Mission reorganized as the “Friendly House Association” and located at 280 N. Main St.

1915                Friendly House provides the first free playground in Mansfield.

1918                Friendly House provides the first free kindergarten in Mansfield.

1920                Friendly House becomes one of the original charter members of the Community Fund (now the United Way)

1922                First English lessons for new Americans in Mansfield given at the Friendly House.

1925                First free baby clinic initiated at Friendly House.

1931-1972       Director Russell Gimbel and Co-Director Mary Gimbel, called “Mr. and Mrs. Friendly House”, devoted their lives to the community center.

1940                Gift of Hull Road property becomes the original Hidden Hollow Camp.

1948-1949      Construction and opening of present Friendly House on North Mulberry Street.

1950                Establishment of permanent Day Care Center.

1951                Gift and establishment of Hanna Road area playground.

1952                First Golden Age Club in city organized at Friendly House.

1960               The new Hidden Hollow Camp established on O’Possum Run Road.  Happy Hollow Camp organized on Hull Road.

1968               Boals Pool constructed at Friendly House.

1972-1974     Pete Battisti, Director of Friendly House

1974-1996     Bernard Dillon, Director of Friendly House.

1985               Warren Rupp Observatory built at Hidden Hollow Camp.

1996-2006    Thelda Dillon, Director of Friendly House

1997                “Bernie’s Playground” built at Friendly House with memorial contributions in memory of Director, Bernard Dillon.

1998                Construction of new lodge at Happy Hollow Day Camp

2007-present      Terry Conard, Director of Friendly House