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By Regina Goldberg

In October of 1927 my mother, Pauline Vormund, my sister Evelyn Weiss, brother-in-law and their two small children and I first came out to Toms River where my mother bought a poultry farm. She was in ill health and had been advised to try Toms River. At that time the farmers already here found it hard to make a living. So as a supplement their family income, some people rented out rooms. My mother rented a room to Mr. & Mrs. Socolow. She went out to help Mrs. Socolow feed the chickens, etc. and found she liked the life and felt better within 6 weeks than she ever felt in the City. We had come from Brooklyn - Ft. Hamilton Parkway-50th St. where we  had a two family dwelling with a grocery and appetizing store below.

We sold that and moved here and bought the farm where Rose and Jack Fleischman now reside on Old Freehold Road. It was a hard struggle that winter. We all had our own chores to do, Chickens got sick,  prices dropped and the winter was a hard one. The roads were unpaved. There were no shopping centers. There was only one bank, the Ocean County Trust Co., on the corner of East Water And Washington Sts. by the river.  Small stores lined Main St.; A&P, Rays Drugs, Schwarz Meat Market.

The Bea Lea Cattle Farm owned by Mr. McGuire was across the street way back, as near the road were the corn fields. The corn stalks used to grow 8 feet tall. The clover field and hay were a sight to see in those days. The air was pure and always there was the odor of new mown hay in the air.

After a few years we sold that farm to Jack Goldstein's parents and we bought another farm; across the street of Todd Road which my mother and I managed ourselves.

My sister and family built their own farm next door to us. Across from them lived Morris and Sophie Myers, on a farm. By then the prices of eggs went up. I remember one time they were for $1.00 a dozen and the future for the poultry farmers looked brighter.

We used to trudge in the snow to the old Jacob Wexler place where Mr. Rabinowitz would come on a Thursday and schochet chickens for the farmers.

During spring and summers besides the chickens, we had a cow and a garden and fruit trees which kept us busy no end. Preparing the ground, planting, waiting for the harvesting and then all the canning and preserving. Being we had chickens, a cow for milk, cream and cheese and all the vegetables and fruits. There was little else we needed.

We still had coal and wood stoves and furnaces. So we kept busy and there certainly was no time to brood like so many people do today - and no matter how much they have its never enough. We were happier then than people are today because the more they have the more they want.

We saw the youngsters grow up to be fine young men and women and get married and raise families of their own.   I feel they may all well be proud of themselves for a job well done.

Eventually roads were paved and widened . Super markets and shopping centers were built.

I too got married to a fine man, Nathan Goldberg. (May he rest in peace). It was in March, 1932. We then acquired the old farm back again, on Old Freehold Rd. where the Fleischman's live. We not only raised chickens, but our three lovely children, all born at Paul Kimball Hospital. The first few winters were very hard; there was lots of snow and the roads were impossible. When a child got sick, our family doctor, Blackwell Sawyer, could not make a house call. My husband would walk to town for medicine using McGuire's fence poles, barely visible (as they were mostly covered by snow) to guide him, and then followed other landmarks. One winter we had so much snow that tanks from the Armory came to clear it. I can't quite recall, but I believe it was the winter of 1946.

There was a George Washington dance at the Community Center that year and cousins of mine went to the dance and won the prize.

When we first came to Toms River, the Community Center was nothing like it is today. The cellar had a wood burning furnace and many a time my mother and I used to go early Friday afternoon to chip wood to fire the furnace so it would be warm enough to hold services. The floor was of dirt.

It's an unfortunate fact of life, that so many of the first families of Toms River are no longer with us, and are unable to see the changes progress has brought. The golf course, the parks, so many schools, etc. There was only one grade school and one high school in those early days.

If the old-timers could see Toms River and vicinity today they could not conceive or believe all the changes. The Post Office, the College, and Court House and numerous buildings, the Ciba Plant, amusement places, theatres, etc. All a credit to progress.

One by one, my loved ones left me as almost everyone in other families experience . In 1948 I lost my dear mother. A few years later my brother-in-law passed on. My children all grew up and did me proud honors in school. Before we realized it, they all were married within 1 1/2 years and my husband and I were suddenly left alone. To my sorrow, he passed away January 19, 1970. Then I really felt alone despite the fact that I have 8 grandchildren "Kein a Horah" who try their best to keep me happy and proud of them.

Although I live part of the year (winter) in Florida due to my health, I am still a member of the Toms River Jewish Community Center and intend to remain just that, as Toms River will always remain my permanent home.