Township of Ocean Historical Museum, Ocean Township

#110 of 117 in Museums in New Jersey
For more than thirty years the Museum has been open to the public so that permanent exhibits, our Annual Exhibit, and collections of historical materials may be seen and utilized by anyone who is interested in local, county or New Jersey History.

Each year Museum members have designed and produced an Annual Exhibit that deals with historical aspects of the Shore area. The Annual Exhibit is open to all. There are usually several hundred visitors. Peggy Dellinger is the Exhibit Chairperson. Exhibits are open all year during hours when the Museum is open.

An educational program for third grade students of local schools has been offered since the Museum was first opened. Titled "What Was Life Like One Hundred Years Ago?" The program happens at the Museum, in a schoolhouse that is over one hundred years old. The students learn what life was like in school, as well as in the home, through the use of artifacts, photographs and explanations by the Museum volunteers. As of 2009 this program has served more than 9,885 students. Museum volunteers have begun presenting the program to other groups and schools.

A Speakers Bureau has been created to offer historical presentations to area organizations upon request. Many programs have been presented.

Another ongoing accomplishment is the marking of "Centennial Homes" in Ocean Township. Plaques designating homes that are over one hundred years old remind residents of the history of our community. Over sixty homes have been awarded plaques.

The Museum was responsible for the preservation of a Victorian playhouse from a former estate in Wanamassa. Permission was received from the developer, who was about to demolish all structures on the property, to move the playhouse to Museum property. Since being moved the playhouse has undergone extensive restoration and furnishing. The playhouse is open to the public and is now located at Eden Woolley House.

In cooperation with the Monmouth Council of Girl Scouts,Cadette Troop 181, the Museum has developed and printed a brochure titled "Centennial Sites, a Self Guided Walking Tour." The centennial buildings in the Oakhurst village section of town are identified and marked in this nationally recognized local history project.

Museum members have written two books: Township of Ocean, Landmarks and Lore was printed in 1994. Township of Ocean, one of the"Images of America" series in 1997. Marjorie Edelson and Kay Zimmerer produced these books.

The Oral History project began in 1982 when Ocean Township High School history teacher Martin Lefsky received a Humanities Grant to have high school students interview older residents and record their memories. The tapes of that project were the beginning of an ongoing oral history collection that records the recollections of long time area residents. Museum volunteers continue to seek out people with stories of the past and tape record their memories for posterity. Paul Edelson currently chairs the project.

There are a number of varied collections housed in the Museum:

•The Community Collection consists of numerous photographs and newspaper clippings from the various sections of the Township and surrounding communities.

•A Postcard Collection includes picture postcards featuring Ocean Township and surrounding towns.

•The P.T.A. Collection has been donated by the Oakhurst School Parent Teachers Association. This is a collection of notebooks detailing the annual activities during most of the school years between 1939 and 1957. The collection includes photos, meeting minutes, newspaper clippings and activity programs.

•The Cemetery Collection contains burial records and maps from the:

Wayside First Methodist Church

Old First United Methodist Church of West Long Branch

The Old Oakhurst Cemetery just over the border in West Long Branch

•The Book of the Dead includes records from several small cemeteries in surrounding communities.

•There is a School Book Collection of about one hundred school text books dating back to the nineteenth century.

•The Library Collection is a group of pamphlets and books related to the history of New Jersey towns and villages. Included are the Historical and Biographical Atlas of the New Jersey Coast and History of New Jersey.

The Museum is currently working to save and restore the tower on the property adjoining the Museum, and behind the Ocean Township Library.

Funding for the Township of Ocean Historical Museum provided by the New Jersey Cultural Trust.

The Museum also received an operating grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a Division of the New Jersey Department of State.
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Township of Ocean Historical Museum Reviews
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5 reviews
  • Eden Wooley used to ride his horse and buggy 6 miles down the formerly dirt and likely locally named Route 35 to the Quaker Meeting house in Shrewsbury. The town sold the pristine land to a developer ...  more »
  • A historical building full of important memorabilia. Hosted by volunteers who care about the place. Changing display is always wonderful.  more »
  • In the rare times when they are open on a weekend (first and second Sundays of the month), this is a fantastic and free visit for any historical aficionado of the Monmouth county area. the men and women that operate this are unbelievably knowledgeable and expect a guided tour from very well-informed and articulated hosts. The major display inside the Western room of the Wooly House changes yearly in the June timeframe. Last year's was all about world war I, in this area the current installment discusses prohibition and speakeasy of Oakhurst and Ocean township. Truely a phenomenal place to spend a rainy or snowy winter afternoon. This may not be the best place to bring children although they are welcomed.
  • Really great place to visit, if you like New Jersey historical places.
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