Thursday, July 2, 2015

SBPL Local History Blog #4.  The Tempel family’s “Trambytent Tentel” in 1960s SB.

The Tempel family enjoyed tent camping. When they came to South Brunswick in the early 1950s they decided to open a place for others to camp. We like to camp, too. Camping guidebooks in the 1960s indicated there was a tenting campsite in the area, but we never found it – probably because they had closed, selling the land in 1970, at the time our search began. Last year, as volunteer local historian at the South Brunswick Public Library, a newspaper article about the “Trambytent Tentel” from July 1961 was found in a recently donated South Brunswick GOP Scrapbook and the mystery was revived, but still unsolved.

I used to think the Tentel was somewhere off Stout’s Lane. However, recent deed research with online records at “Middlesex County (NJ) land records,” using a technique called “deed chaining,” revealed lands noted as Tract 1: Block 82, Lot 6 (4.85 acres) and Tract 2: Block 81 Lot 15 (0.6 acres) as the same lands the Tempel’s purchased from Joseph and Gertrude Schach in 1952. SB tax maps showed this site was on Route 1, North.  These Block and Lots showed that the former “Trambytent Tentel” was on Route 1 at the old “Infomed” site, just south of the current Target-Staples-Best Buy shopping center and just north and opposite to Raymond Road. The Tempel’s land began at the most northerly corner of Edward M. Anderson’s lands and also touched on the United NJ Railroad & Canal Company (later the Rocky Hill Branch of the PRR). This separated the two parcels, now the “Rails to Trails” pathway from Kingston to Monmouth Junction.  The Tempel’s sold the same lands in July 1970 to Charles Anderton. More recently owned by Web-Sci Technologies Inc., this tract is for sale in 2015.  

Using “,” that indexes the (Trenton Times), provided more information about the Tentel and the Tempels.  “Trambytent” stood for “Travel America by Tent” coined by Arthur E. Tempel, a technical director at E.R. Squibb & Sons. While living in South Brunswick in the 1960s, Arthur Tempel served on the Planning Board and his wife, [Merrie] Carol Tempel served on the School Board. Their three sons helped out at the camping facility and one, Joseph Tempel, represented South Brunswick at Boy’s State in 1966. The Tempel sons likely graduated from South Brunswick High School.  

This information solves some of the questions about the “Trambytent Tentel” and where the Tempel’s lived (deed states there was land and premises) it doesn’t tell us much about the Trambytent Tentel and the Tempel family, perhaps you can. Consider this a request for more information about the Tempel family and/or the “Trambytent Tentel.” 

Compiled by Ceil Leedom, Volunteer Coordinator of the South Brunswick Local History Collection. June 2015.