2015-02 - ocean's heritage newsletter

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The newsletter of the Township of Ocean Historical Museum, Monmouth County, New Jersey


  • Oceans Heritage, Winter 2015

    Its not that the Museum calendar isnt already quite full. But a good idea is a good idea, and this is one that couldnt wait. So, on Friday, November 21, we launched the pilot of a new project: Family Stories Video Histories.

    The new project is designed to pre-serve and share the personal recollections of family members and friends whose familiar stories tell of how things used to be, of how we came to be, of events and characters well worth remembering. We are inviting people into the Museum to sit down, interview loved ones, and preserve and share personal and local history.

    Making it happenOnce again, the

    skill and generosity of our talented mem-bers brought the good idea to life. Former talk-show host Dallas Grove volunteered to spearhead the project. Video engineer Mort Burkeofferedhis time(and equipment) to videotape and edit.

    A new idea for preserving and sharing local historyFamily Stories video history project underway

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    The Eden Woolley House


    How it worksInterested parties contact the Mu-

    seum to request a videotaping. Dallas works with participants, helping them identify key themes and stories, select photos, and prepare for the interview. She is there during the taping to support and coach. Mort is cameraman and direc-

    tor. He and Dallas collaborate to hone the footage into a coherent interview.

    A copy of the resulting DVD goes to the family, another to the Museum where it may be used in historical research and educational programs. A $25 donation helps cover expenses.One good idea leads to another

    The pilot produced a charming and captivating interview between Gail Lev-enson and her 90-year-old mother Flor-ence Harris. So captivating, in fact, that another idea occurred to us: Why not share it more broadly?

    We have arranged with Ocean TV, the townships community cable channel (77 on Cablevision and 22 on Verizon FiOS) to air a monthly Museum-produced pro-gram, Hometown History, featuring, among other things, highlights of our Family Stories. Stay tuned for details!

    Who in your family or circle of friends holds the stories? Honor them with an invitation to participate in the Family Stories Video His-tory Project. Call (732-531-9264) or email (oceanmuseum.org) to explore the possibili-ties.

    Professional interviewer and Museum member Dallas Grove coaches Florence Harris, 90, and her daughter Gail Lev-enson, at the videotaping of the Family Stories pilot.

    Florence Harris, subject of the Family Stories pilot, shared memories of her grandparents, Russian migrs who settled in Brooklyn around 1910. He was a Talmudic scholar; she was a determined survivor who led the family to the U.S. and helped it survive the Depression by brewing bathtub gin. Florences husband joined the Marines in 1939 at 18. Before his war-time deployment overseas, he was a member of the Drum and Bugle Corps that accompanied Franklin Roosevelt on his recuperative visits to Warm Springs, Georgia. Family stories include recollectionsoffirst-handimpressionsofthePresident.Florenceherselfhadaconnectionwiththe Roosevelts. She worked for 17 years for a childrens organization founded by First Lady Eleanor. Trudie Lash, the wife of Eleanors biographer Joseph Lash, was her co-worker.

    Member Mort Burke is our tech-nical expert.

    Florences Story

    Florences grandparents

  • Oceans Heritage, Winter 2015

    The Scottish village of Brigadoon ap-pears magically for one day every 100 years. We do better than that. For two days every year, the Woolley House becomes a transformed space, a soon-to-disappear setting where guests welcome in the start of the holiday season.

    On December 6 and 7, more than 300 people entered that transformed space to enjoy model trains, vintage toys, galleries dressed for the season, a bit of shopping, and the premiere of a mini-exhibit. The Holiday Weekend was a record-breaker, earning rave reviews and more than $2,540 for the Museum treasury.

    Phoebe Woolley (aka Heather Mac-Donald), dressed in her 18th century garb

    line and at each site, including our Mu-seum) describe each venue, suggest tour routes, and provide an easy-to-use map.

    Details of this years event will be posted on the countys website. Google Weekend in Old Monmouth.

    and playing her dulcimer, entertained visitors in the Richmond Gallery. The Our Town Gallery featured a model train lay-out, a delightful collection of vintage pop-up books, and a new exhibit--Oakhurst School Remembered. The Hearth and Home Gallery, emptied of artifacts, was for two days a charming boutique and bakery, filled to overflowing with hand-craftedgifts and home-baked treats.

    Children searched from gallery to gal-lery to complete their Find the Christmas Trees game cards. Parents and grand-parents added their own memories at the Oakhurst School exhibit and amused a new generation with stories of what school was like decades ago. Boys and girls had sepa-


    The Holiday Weekend was our own Brigadoon

    Left: Model trains encircled a village green created from Victorian paper cut-outs. Center: The Hearth and Home Gallery is transformed into a Museum Store where crafters Jeanne Ribsam and Marion Vogler sit ready to help shoppers. Right: Bethany Swartz (9) and Cate Dorocher (8) of Westfield fill out their Find the Christmas Trees game cards.

    Weekend in Old MonmouthFor the eighth year in a row, more than 40 of Monmouth Countys most note-worthy his-torical sites are opening to the public, all at the

    same time. Saturday and Sunday, May 2 and 3 are the dates of this years Week-end in Old Monmouth, a self-guided tour sponsored by the Board of Chosen Freeholders and the county Historical Commissioin. And once again, the Eden Woolley House is featured.

    In recent years, the tour has in-cluded sites from around the county as diverse as the Ocean Grove Auditorium and National Guard Militia Museum, Sea Girt. Tour guide books (available on

    2014 quilt winner, Anne Marie Sparaco

    Four Corners, Shrewsbury

    Support from trusts and foundations

    You know that the Museum is an all-volunteer organization and that all the funds we raise go to operate and maintain the Woolley House. But perhaps you do not know the role that several trusts and foundations play in raising those funds. Our sincere thanks to those listed here whose generosity helps make our operations possible.

    Saturday and Sunday, May 2 and 3

    The William T. and Marie J. Henderson Foundation ($1,000)

    The Wells Fargo Charitable Foundation ($1,000)

    The Rita & Harry Greenberger Founda-tion Inc. ($500)

    The Brunetti Foundation ($500) The Renzulli Charitable Trust, spon-

    sored by Libero Marx and Giuliana M. Renzulli ($250.00)

    rated playgrounds! marveled nine-year-old Lilli Kenny, visiting with her grand-mother Mary Osborn Siver.


    afternoon. Way-side resident and Museum mem-ber Anne Marie Sparaco won. Anne Marie--like all the Holiday Weekend visitors --left hap-py.

  • Oceans Heritage, Winter 2015

    brief general meeting (long enough for the electionofMuseumofficers).Itisthenextin the Museums Speakers Series.

    The Museums 11th Annual Spring Tea will be held Saturday, April 25, from 2 to 4 (seating at 1:30) at the West Park Avenue Recreation Center, Oakhurst. Tickets ($25) are available starting March 1. Call 732-531-2136 to reserve your space. Single tickets are available, but the most fun is coming with friends and reserving tables for four or eight!

    Youll enjoy tasty tea sandwich-es, breads, desserts, and scones (with whipped cream, butter, or jam)--all made by Museum volunteers. Youll be offeredavarietyofdeliciousteas.Therewill be a gift basket auction, a sale of

    From bubble wrap to bar codes were surrounded by inventions that range from clever to life-changing. Yet, with due deference to Edison, we rarely stop to wonder where the innovations that ease, enrich, and extend our lives come from.

    It turns out that bubble wrap and bar codes--not to mention the Band-Aid, air-conditioner, drive-in theater, cell phone, tran-sistor,artificialknee,colortelevision, electric guitar, professional baseball, and M&Ms--are among the in-ventions that came from the fourth most patent-holding state in the union.* Our own New Jersey!

    Share the pride and learn about the creative New Jersey minds that have given us a safer,more efficient, andmore entertain-


    Speaker, March 10

    Spring Tea tickets available starting March 1

    New Jersey author to speak on states history of innovation

    quilted crafts and doll clothes, and a fan-cy hat contest.

    The Tea sells out every year. Please buy your tickets early. They must be pur-chased in advance--none are sold at the door.

    Gift Auction Items WelcomeDid you receive a holiday gift you cant

    use? Maybe we can! We welcome new items for the Spring Tea gift baskets. Call 732-531-2136 or simply bring your items to the Museum (hours are printed on the back of the newsletter). We will transform your dona-tions into delightful packages--and revenue for the Museum!

    Reserve your table

    ing way of life. Join us 7:15 p.m., Tuesday, March 10 at the old Oakhurst Schoolhouse (Board of Ed Offices) auditorium, 163Monmouth Road, Oakhurst to hear Linda Barth, author of A History of Inventing in New Jersey, speak.

    Lindas fascination with New Jersey history was piqued when she be-came a fourth grade teacher and taught it as part of the curriculum. Over time, her interest in state history expanded to