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 of Richland County)
  • 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
  • 2017     Construction of Sand Volleyball Pit/Playground at Friendly House
  • 2017     New Waste Water Treatment Plant constructed at Hidden Hollow Camp
  • 2018-2019     Construction of new Barn at Hidden Hollow Camp
  • 2019     Construction of two new cabins at Happy Hollow Day Camp
  • 2019-2020     Construction of new parking lots at Friendly House
  • 2020     Construction of pond and waterfall on corner of Mulberry Street and Springmill Road
  • 2020     Construction of shade pavilion at Happy Hollow Day Camp
  • 2020-2021     Major repair and reconstruction of Hidden Hollow Camp pool mechanical room, restroom, and deep end decking
  • 2020-2021     Demolition and reconstruction of Girl’s and Boy’s Central Wash Houses at Hidden Hollow Camp