History

old-schoolIn the 19th century, Lumberton Township included what is now Hainesport Township, and contained five schools: Easton, Lumberton, Eayrestown, Fostertown, and Hainesport.

In 1917, Lumberton residents felt the children would have better educational opportunities if the small one-and two-room schools were consolidated into one multiple-room building. The people of Hainesport chose to maintain their own school and the municipality divided in two. The consolidated Lumberton school — with four classrooms — was built in 1918.

The education of boys and girls has always played an important role in Lumberton . Even at the turn of the 20th century students were offered a progressive education and exceptional programs. Lumberton was the first school district in New Jersey to operate a school bus and one of the first in the state to provide hot lunches, prepared by parents and brought to school. The Lumberton Parent-Teacher Association organized one year after the state association organized.

Over the years, Lumberton slowly grew and so did the school. In 1940, three classrooms were added to the four-room building. Two more rooms were added in 1952, nine rooms were added in 1955, and another addition was completed in 1961. During the 1990-91 school year, the 1917 wing was demolished to make room for a new addition.

The Pre K-1 elementary school is named in honor of Mrs. Florence L. Walther, a principal and teacher in Lumberton until she retired in 1939. Mrs. Walther lived on East Landing Street until her death in 1957. Florence and William Walther, who was District Clerk, were leaders in consolidating the school district. The main lobby in the Walther school holds a painting of the original four-room school, given by Mrs. Walther and her son in memory of William.

In September 1991, Lumberton Middle School welcomed students in grades five through eight. A wing was added in September 1996, which housed ten classrooms, two science demonstration rooms, one computer lab, and fourth grade students. In January 1997 the auditorium and two music rooms opened.

In September 1998, Bobby’s Run School opened for children in grades three through five. This school was named in honor of Lumberton’s first settler, Robert Dimsdale, a Quaker,who purchased land in 1684 to build and operate a sawmill. The Bobby’s Run name comes from a small tributary on the Dimsdale plantation that emptied into the Rancocas Creek. In September 1999 a new wing housing eight classrooms opened.

In keeping up with the township’s explosive growth, Ashbrook Elementary School opened for students in grades 2-3 in September 2003. This school was named after Joseph Ashbrook, who owned a dairy farm on the tract of land and ran a milk route through Lumberton and neighboring towns. A four classroom addition was constructed to connect Bobby’s Run School, grades 4-5, and the Middle School, grades 6-8, as well as renovations to all schools, including the Middle School’s state-of-the-art Applied Technology Lab and Walther School’s fully-equipped Computer Lab.