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Hear Ye! Hear Ye! 10-Year-Old Makes Grade as New Town Crier

Joey Rihl, a fifth-grader at Haddonfield's Central School, has a new gig.

There's a new town crier in the borough of Haddonfield, and he's a 10-year-old kid.

That's right. A fifth-grader from Central School will be shaking the bell and informing the fine citizens of Haddonfield about the news of the day. At least, he'll be part of a team that does.

Joey Rihl wowed judges at the historic Indian King Tavern recently during tryouts for a new town crier. He sat among older, more seasoned criers during tryouts and forced judges to rethink how they wanted to shape this volunteer position to highlight a borough historic treasure.

"We wanted to have one town crier, but we had so many good applicants we now have five," said Bill Brown, who led the selection committee. "Joey was just so knowledgeable about town history and the Indian King Tavern, we had to select him."

The Huffington Post on Feb. 13 chose Joey Rihl as its Greatest Person of the Week. Congratulations to Joey—check out the Greatest Person of the Day page

Joey credits his interest in history on a first-grade play.

"I played Abraham Lincoln in a first-grade play and it all branched out from there," he said. "I used to be able to recite most of the Gettysburg Address."

Two years ago, he visited the 260-year-old Indian King Tavern on Kings Highway East and, in an instant, he knew what he wanted to do when he grows up.

"I found it neat," he said. "I thought, 'One day when I grow up, I want to work there.' I didn’t know growing up meant two years."

The Indian King Tavern Museum is at the center of Haddonfield's historic district, and is landmark in United States history. With Trenton and Princeton already under siege from the British, New Jersey's General Assembly met at Indian King in 1777, read the Declaration of Independence into the minutes and officially declared New Jersey an independent state. The assembly also adopted New Jersey's seal at Indian King. 

Indian King Tavern was New Jersey's first historical site, declared as such in 1903.

Rihl will share the duties of town crier with four others, all decades older than him. When he's not acting as the crier, he'll be a docent of the museum, informing and guiding guests around the historic property.

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Patricia Saia February 06, 2013 at 11:05 PM
Joey, It is so fitting that you have become a herald of history in your very own home town. You are truly a “great”-nephew and a “great”-grandson, and we know your love of history will always be an inspiration to others, especially to those who visit the Indian King Tavern and the historic town of Haddonfield. Love, Aunt Pat, Uncle Tony, and Mom-Mom
donnelly February 07, 2013 at 01:41 AM
Hey nice job Joey! I remember that play... Mr.Regan please Stand up!
donnelly February 07, 2013 at 01:44 AM
Mrs.wagner? Hi! I miss you soooo much!!! Your still the best!-Beth Ann
Theresa Gostovich February 07, 2013 at 12:55 PM
Congratulations Joey in making the new town crier. We can't wait to visit!
Mary Goodwin February 07, 2013 at 06:26 PM
Joey, what a wonderful contribution you are making to our town. I can't wait to hear your performance. Mrs. Goodwin

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