The Reunion began in 1923 at the farm of John Gable in Dillinger's Station, Pennsylvania. John was the eighth of eight surviving children of Solomon and Elizabeth Gable. Anne Follweiler writes,
"The day would start with people arriving around noon laden with specially prepared food. The table under the tent would not have enough room on it for all the food. There were usually two seatings. After eating, there would be games for the children and a game of quoits or baseball for the adults. In the afternoon, there would be a program where the children were expected to recite something or sing or play a musical instrument. The last event of the day would be a tractor pulled wagon ride through the countryside. A highlight of the day would be the tapping of a keg of birch beer and the serving of ice cream. Everyone ate all day, but would still find room for some leftovers before the ride home."
It was held there yearly until 1942 and 1943, when the Reunion was cancelled because of gas rationing due to World War II. Florence Schlicher of Corning, PA tells us that most people needed their gas to get to church, and there wasn't enough gas to get to both the Reunion and church.
In 1943, John Gable sold the farm which had always hosted the Reunion, and it was then moved to its present site in Corning (Zionsville), PA. (Corning is no longer on maps, even though locals still refer to this area as Corning. If you reference the intersection of Berks, Lehigh and Montgomery counties, the post office was located just over the Berks' side of the Lehigh county line. It is a private residence today.) This was the farm that John's second oldest brother, Willoughby, Jr., "married into." It was originally Rebecca Schell's family farm, subdivided when she and her siblings married. "Willie" and Rebecca's grandson, William Schlicher, and his wife, Florence (Engleman), are the farm's present owners.
Between 1943 and 1976, only memories of attendees survive. It wasn't until 1977 that minutes began to be taken of the Annual Reunion. These minutes may have seemed trivial at the time, but they have recorded many happenings to the Gable Family, and have served as important historical documentation for genealogists and this website. It is interesting to note that the now commonplace birch beer keg and ice cream is an abundant part of our diet, whereas it would have been a special treat in the early years.
Today, the Reunion continues to meet every first Sunday in August at the Schlicher farm, and we now have 7 generations stretching from Solomon and Elizabeth. Old traditions are mixed with new technology to keep this event alive.