Parkhurst, Marino speak to HSH
Hammonton Lake Park’s Canoe Club was a home for humor and history for the Historical Society of Hammonton (HSH) on Nov. 2. Speakers Bill Parkhurst and Andrea Marino gave a presentation about the five generations of the Littlefield Family and its historic ties to Hammonton.
The presentation began with Alonso Littlefield who came from New England to come to Hammonton.
“Mr. Littlefield was the first person to come to the, to America from England in the 1600s. And Alonso was the first person that left New England, Maine, come to Hammonton and had a one of the one of the first peach farms in Hammonton on 13th Street,” Parkhurst said.
Littlefield had three sons: Charles, Andrew and CI Littlefield. Parkhurst focused on CI, and his wife Inez Littlefield’s story.
“He graduated from Hammonton High in 1899. He was probably looking, looking for opportunities,” Parkhurst said. “And so he spent some time in Troy, New York, sometime in Pittsburgh working for Carnegie Steel, came back to Hamilton and started electro electrical concrete tracking business and then began to gradually get into coal. And he built the first ice plan actually, the building ice still exists.”
Parkhurst talked about how the ice was not only used for domestic use, but also for produce that would get sent to Philadelphia. CI’s two sons, Lance and Lee took over the businesses while CI was also starting to get into the savings and loan business. If there’s anything to take away from CI’s life, it’s that he was a busy man.
“He was up at about four o’clock in the morning, which I never understood, because, you know, to me, it’s not the time to get up and still dark out. But anyway, to get to his office on Bellevue Avenue, the first office was at Bellevue and Horton, and at five o’clock and with them when they first began the first office, that they or place of business. It was only two employees himself,” Parkhurst said.
But the important thing to take from his life is the legacy he left.
“So, when he first started out their cash, their petty cash drawer for change was $10. When he got retired 1986 And this was talked about the 40s, the 1956 and 1000 customers and $8 million in assets. And he saw that he was part of creating that,” Parkhurst said.
HSH members enjoyed the different stories about CI and Inez Littlefield before turning things over to Andrea Marino, a member of the Littlefield family, to share more stories about the family. Marino shared stories about her grandparents and brought in pictures to aid in some of the stories.
“So they were both graduates of the Hammonton High School Class of 1936. And then they were married three years later in 1939, both at the tender age one, I happen to come across this photograph, which is kind of it’s in high school class of 1936 at their senior Washington trip,” Marino said.
One entertaining story was how Marino’s grandfather loved to do crossword puzzles with a little help, and Marino picking up on that same hobby.
“My grandfather, he loves to do crossword puzzles. He’s always doing the crossword. I don’t know which paper I guess the Enquirer. I don’t know the New York Times if it was. He had this huge book that always sat next to his chair. But it was crosswords,” Marino said. “And I don’t know whether the book was a dictionary, or a thesaurus or a guide to doing crossword puzzles. I have no idea I wish I would have loved because now daily, I do the New York Times Wordle, mini crossword connections, all those little puzzles and I could use that book.”
Parkhurst took back over with the presentation, bringing the presentation full circle to his parents. In the 70s, his parents transitioned into real estate and opened their own office Littlefield Real Estate at 245 South White Horse Pike and Hammonton. Joyce, his mother, headed up the sales division while his father, Alan, headed up the appraisal division.
The most important thing to take away from tonight was the importance of connections within the families and the Hammonton community.
“For me, thinking about connections from generation to generation, whether it’s pieces passed down, or things we have in common, those are the things that bind us and not only tell us where we came from, but also the things we take with us on our journey to wherever we’re going.” Parkhurst said.