The Eden Woolley House
The Township of Ocean Historical Museum
Vol. 29, No. 3, Summer 2013
Museum’s 5th annual history ghost walk features characters from the Asbury Park exhibit
History walk brings spirits of Asbury to life O n Sunday, October 20, the Ocean Township Historical Museum holds its fifth annual History Ghost Walk, this year featuring the characters from its exhibit “Asbury Park: The History of a Jersey Gem.” It is a ghost walk designed to delight, not fright-and well, yes, to share some history, too. The event has two parts. 1) Outside, guests are guided along the path east of the Woolley House to meet and interact with the talented young actors who bring the spirits of Asbury back to life. You never know for sure who will turn up--we are dealing with the other side, after all. But as we go to press, we have reason to expect
court in the 1924 Baby Parade. Guests sing along with turn-of-the century tunes, swing to numbers from the 30s and 40s, and meet “our own” Connie Francis.
The spirit of Evelyne Kane hosts a reunion of performers from Asbury’s musical past in the Terner Gallery. She shares her experience in the 1924 court of Queen Titania--the beauty contest winner who presided over the city’s Baby Parade.
Photo courtesy of Karen Schnitzpahn, The Roaring 20s at the Jersey Shore
2) Inside the Library’s Terner Gallery, guests enjoy performances from Asbury’s Victorian, jazz, and pop eras. Here they are hosted by the spirit of Evelyne Kane, a member of Queen Titania’s
The Ghost Walk is known to sell out. Call the Museum (732-531-2136) to make your reservation. Come shop the Museum Store, enjoy free refreshments, and spend a fun and informative Sunday afternoon. Tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for children.
HISTORY GHOST WALK
James Bradley, Asbury’s eccentric founder, is among the spirits to appear at the Ghost Walk. He’s eager to clear his reputation and explain his vision for a Christain city by the sea! the likes of James Bradley (Asbury’s founder), Arthur Pryor (Asbury’s “Music Man”), Lorenzo Harris, Sr. (Asbury’s gifted “Sand Man” artist and civil rights leader), Barbara Samaha (lingerie peddler who opened Dainty Apparel and became the city’s leading woman business owner), Agnes Frick (an usherette at the Mayfair), and more!
Arthur Pyror’s ghost returns to explain how he got from John Philip Sousa’s band to the boardwalk in Asbury Park.
5:30 , Sunday, October 20, 2013 (Rain date October 27) The Eden Woolley House grounds Terner Gallery, Ocean Library
Artist and community leader Lorenzo Harris., Sr. returns in spirit to tell the story behind his legendary sand sculptures and his role in desegregating Asbury schools.
$7, adults. $5, children
(Reservations encouraged. Call the Museum 732-531-2136)
Ocean’s Heritage, Summer 2013
SOLD-OUT CROWD ENJOYS THE AMERICAN DOLL TEA
espite record heat and humidity, this year’s American Doll Tea, Sunday, July 14, garnered glowing feedback. Guests toured the Museum filled with
dolls and teddy bear collections, watched Phoebe Woolley spin wool, made beaded bracelets, participated in a fashion show, heard an original story of the Woolley sisters, visited the Playhouse, and enjoyed homemade treats served just like an English Tea. No wonder everyone raved! Our treasurer, too, has a glowing review. The Tea raised $1,600 --$1,000 in reservations and $600 from crafts. The young tea-goers show off their favorite dolls. The girls and their adult guests totaled 83--a sell-out crowd again this year.
Twelve junior docents were among the 31 volunteers who made the tea possible. Front, left to right: Jamie Watt, Claire Taylor, Megan Kelleher, Madison Burch. Back, left to right: Sarah Hazelrigg, Rose Doherty, Abigail Jannarone, September McCarthy, Lauren Pingatore, Karla Smith, Natalie Schussler, and Kolbe Kary.
Museum honors 46 local veterans of the Korean War
More than 90 attend flag-raising
Erin Guire and Keith Ackerman
Oakhurst home added to list of centennial houses
E Korean War veterans pose at the flag-raising in their honor. Seated, left to right: Jerome Kessel, Tom Taylor, Harry Terris, Gavin Siciliano, and John Walzer. Standing, left to right: Madeline Newberry, Irwin Gerechoff, Mel Hood, Pasquale D’Esposito, Anthony Gallo, Vincent D’Esposito, James Manning, Stanley Shapiro, Anthony Caltabilota, Alfonso Freda, Ralph Perone, and Walter Piasio.
Saturday, July 27, 2013, the 60th anniversary to the day of the end of hostilities in Korea, the Museum honored 46 local Korean War veterans with a Lou Parisi flag ceremony at the Eden Woolley House. World War II Marine veteran Lou Parisi spoke on the history of the
Korean Conflict. Museum President Paul Edelson read the names of the veterans being honored. Boy Scouts from Troop 71 in Oakhurst and Troop 30 in Toms River conducted the flag ceremony. Joseph Kane from Ocean Township High School played “Taps.” Following the program guests were invited into the Museum to view a mini exhibit of Korean War photos. A listing of the veterans is on display by the Museum flagpole.
rin Guire and Keith Ackerman are the latest Ocean residents to mark their home with a centennial plaque, adding it to the ranks of 54 other structures in the township. With the support of the Museum, the couple did the research and provided the documentation to qualify. Each year a new group of houses reaches the 100 year mark. Several arts-andcrafts style homes built as part of Wanamassa’s early 1900s “high class bungalow community” are among those now eligible. And there are many others. If you believe your house is 100 years old or more, consider honoring it with a centennial plaque. In large part, the information needed is found on the property deed, available from the Hall of Records in Freehold or the archives at the Monmouth County Library in Manalapan. Call the Museum at 732-531-2136 to learn more.
Ocean’s Heritage, Summer 2013
Hand-crafted items available whenever Museum is open
Mark your calendar
Shop the Museum for unique gifts n addition to books, mugs, magnets, and tee shirts, our Museum Shop now offers quilted and knitted one-of-a-kind articles made by the Museum Quilters. Need a gift? Shop local. Our talented crafters have fashioned lap quilts, baby quilts, place mats, table runners, doll clothes, hats and scarves and more. Once only available at Museum events, the hand-fashioned items are now found year round in the Museum Shop display cases. They are available anytime the Museum is open. The charming inventory reflects the season--pumpkin knit hats for fall, shore themes for summer, tree ornaments and much more for Christmas. The crafters even take special requests--you can order the size, color, and theme you want! All quilted items are 100% cotton and completely washable. All knitted articles are washable unless they
are tagged with a wool content. Our hand crafted Museum merchandise is “made in the USA in Ocean Twp., NJ.” As one enthusiastic mom said, “I can’t believe the quality and prices. I know what these doll clothes would cost in the city. I’m stocking up!”
he New Jersey Historical Commission has awarded the Museum a twoyear $5,000 operating expenses grant. The money frees up funds for opportunities discovered in the application process itself. For the past ten years, we have been singularly focused on restoring the Woolley House and establishing it as a regional resource. As we responded to the application criteria, we recognized the time has come to look forward. We’ve set four strategic goals: 1) refine our governance; 2) grow membership by 50%; 3) increase leadership depth; 4) build a capital fund for future Woolley House upkeep and expansion. The application process was a month-
By appointment as weather permits.-Eden Woolley House
Antiques Appraisal What’s It Worth? Friday, September 20, 7 to 9—Terner
Gallery (Library Building). Local experts appraise your treasures.
Ocean Township Fallfest Saturday, September 21, 10 to 4 (rain date September 22)—Joe Palaia Park
(corner of Deal and Whalepond Roads). The Museum will be represented.
Just a sample of the treasures available.
Museum wins a $5,000 operating grant
Walking Tours, Museum grounds
long effort by the ad hoc team of Paul and Marge Edelson and Ted and Peggy Dellinger. “When we documented our story,” Paul admitted, “it Ted Dellinger tackled made impressive the state’s daunting reading. In just five computer system and years, we’ve come led the team. from two rooms to the fully restored Woolley House. We’ve furnished two permanent galleries, installed five major exhibits, raised $30,000 a year, year and nearly doubled our membership. It’s time to ensure our success is sustainable.”
History Ghost Walk 5:30 Sunday, October 20 (Rain date October 27)—Museum Grounds and Terner
Gallery (Library Building). The spirits of the Asbury Park Exhibit come to life! Call 732-531-2136 for reservations. General Meeting and Speaker Event “Train Travel and the Transformation of the Jersey Shore” Tuesday, Novem-
ber 12, 7:15—Oakhurst School Auditorium. Local historican and author Gary Crawford speaks.
Holiday Exhibit Weekend
Saturday and Sunday, December 7 and 8--Eden Woolley House
In memoriam We mourn the passing in recent months of three Museum members.
r. Harold and Addie Gabel who died within eleven days of each other--Abbie, age 89, on August 1; Harold, aged 90, on August 12. They lived in Oakhurst 63 years. Two recent exhibits featured items loaned to us by the Gabels.
iola “Vi” Miller, 82, died June 8. Vi lived in Oakhurst. Vi joined the Museum several years ago. She was a member of the Tantum family.
The Museum’s oldest visitor--ever.
Sunday, August 5, Asbury resident Irene Lam (102 years old) came with family to enjoy the Asbury Park exhibit. From left to right: Irene Evanoski, Dan Sferas, Susan Sferas. Getty Evanoski, and Irene herself. Her parting words, “See you next year!”
Ocean’s Heritage, Summer 2013
Behind the scenes, skilled staff manage the Museum’s collection
A view of the curator’s job
Message from the Museum
embers are the lifeblood of the Museum. They are advocates --raising awareness in the community of our importance as a cultural, educational, and historical resource. They are the talent pool from which we draw the volunteers who sustain the programs and services that are offered to the public mostly free of charge. Today, the Museum opens 50 hours a month manned solely by volunteers. We offer four speaker events a year open to the general public. Our trained Museum docents guide every Ocean third grader through the history of our town. Our Library, staffed by professional (unpaid) librarians, provides genealogical and historical information for research and study. I doubt there is a Museum in the state offering the range of hours and programs provided by the all-volunteer Eden Woolley House! To sustain this standard, we have set a goal to increase our membership (currently at 331 families) by 50% in the next five years. You can help. I am requesting that you “Ask a Neighbor” or “Ask a Friend” to join the Museum voted “best in Monmouth County” three years running in the Asbury Park Press reader’s poll. We have barely scratched the surface. Ocean’s population hovers around 27,000 and Monmouth County’s, more than 600,000 (27% of members live outside the township). With your help, we can exceed 500 members well before our 5-year target. Introduce your neighbors and friends to our Museum, bring them for a visit, share your newsletter, extend a personal invitation to join! Paul Edelson
Eileen McCormack (seated) with her team Alice Timms and Chuck Alcott examine Woolley family documents from the 1930s--a store ledger and lesson book recently donated by Lois Pyle.
hen the Museum opened its doors in the old Oakhurst Schoolhouse 30 years ago, its collection consisted of some oral history tapes and a few items scavenged from the attics of members. Today, we have 2,827 items--and counting. And our ability to quote an exact number is no accident. Eileen McCormack, Museum Curator, was there in the beginning. As we grew, so did her interest in keeping our records straight and our collection safe. She began keeping manual records and in recent years, has worked with PastPerfect, software designed specifically for museums to catalogue and manage artifacts, photographs, books, and documents. “I enjoy organizing and making order of things,” Eileen explains. Good news for us. Before she took charge, we had no way to know what we had or to retrieve what we had for research and display. Eileen and her team accept or decline
donated items (based on a Board-established policy), catalogue each with a description and history, store items under appropriate conditions, scan all photographs, and pull artifacts from the collection as they are needed for exhibits and programs. The 2,827 items quoted earlier, though impressive, is not everything. There is still a backlog. The team processes about six items in each weekly three-hour work session and is making steady progress. Eileen wears another hat for the Museum. She is also our Technology Director, overseeing and managing the Museum’s computer system and more. In recent months, she researched, purchased (at bargain prices), and installed a new desktop, laptop, and printer. The project is near completion. It is one more example of the talent and dedication--not always visible to public --behind the Museum’s ongoing success.
Committee formed to update Museum bylaws
The Museum Board has chartered an ad hoc committee, under the leadership of member Marianne Wilensky, to examine our bylaws and recommend changes to meet our current governance needs. Since the bylaws were adopted 30 years ago, the Museum has grown nearly ten fold and taken on responsibility for the maintenance and operation of the Eden Woolley House. It’s time. Members are welcome to participate. Currently, Jack McCormack and Peggy Dellinger are signed on to serve. Call the Museum at 732-531-2136, if you’d like to join the effort.
Ocean’s Heritage, Summer 2013
Local author and historian speaks Tuesday, November 12
Talk: Train Travel and the Transformation of the Jersey Shore
ome inventions make small differences. Others change everything. At 7:15 on Tuesday, November 12, at Board of Education offices at 163 Monmouth Road, Oakhurst, local author and historian Gary Crawford makes the case that the steam locomotive was one such history-changing innovation. In his talk, “Train Travel and the Transformation of the Jersey Shore,” Gary lays out the role that railroads played in the development of Monmouth County and the Jersey shore. Successful lines, and some not so successful, created a transportation system that linked large population centers with remote seashore communities--destinations that, no matter how inviting, had for generations remained practically inaccessible to the large populations in New York, Newark, and Philadelphia. Trains changed all that. They gave families a way to escape the oppressive, pre-air-conditioning city heat for the cool Altantic breezes. Travelers packed their trunks and headed to the shore--often for the season. (Wage-earners commuted by
train from their vacation homes or hotels into the city.) Ocean Grove, Asbury Park, and Deal were among the coastal communities planned and developed in response to the opportunities made possible by train travel. Join us 7:15, Tuesday, November 12 at the Board of Education Offices, 163 Monmouth Road, Oakhurst. The presentation is open to the public, free of charge. Donations are appreciated. Refreshments are served. (We collect and will deliver non-perishable items for the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties.)
Gary Crawford has published two books and many articles on historical subjects. Visit his website at atwww.crawsat.wix. com/garyscrawford.
Gerry Gregory, skilled carpenter and valued volunteer, stands by his latest project for the Museum
Blackboards with Oakhurst School names now in the Woolley House
isitors to the Museum when it was housed in the Oakhurst School will remember the original classroom blackboards still on the walls. As former students and teachers visited, they were invited to sign their names on the old slates. The boards and their signatures became a treasured artifact. This spring the slate boards were moved to the Eden Woolley House. Thanks to Gerry Gregory, a volunteer carpenter, they have been mounted, covered in plexiglass, and framed on the walls of the second floor Conference Room. Many of the signatures date back to Museum beginnings 30 years ago. And the signers themselves go back much further! The slates and the history they represent, recently threatened with demolition, are safe in their a new home.
“What’s It Worth?” Museum fund-raiser
Antiques Appraisal September 20 at the Terner Gallery YOU HAVE A NATIONAL TREAand antique consultants. Collectively, SURE! Okay, maybe not. But as any fan their credentials include a degree in art of “Antiques Roadshow” will testify, it’s history, post graduate and certified apgreat fun to learn the hispraisal studies, a tory and value of the stuff fine arts gallery diwe collect and cherish. rectorship, and a From 7 to 9, Friday professional record evening, September 20, appraising art, furin the Library’s Terner niture, pottery, glass, Gallery behind the Muand much more. seum, expert appraisers For over two Chris and Rose Myer decades, Chris and will estimate the value Rose Myer have of your treasures. For $5 owned and operated Chris and Rose Myer an item (limit three items), the Shore Antique you’ll learn what they’re worth and why. Center (previously in Point Pleasant Beach Together, Chris and Rose have more and for the last 5 years, in Allenhurst). than 60 years experience as art, estate, Each expert oral appraisal is $5 (en-
tirely benefiting the Museum). As insurance companies require a Written Appraisal Report, knowing the replacement value can help you decide whether or not to pursue one. The experts can recommend how to obtain one and can advise about preservation and restoration. (If a piece is oversized or extremely fragile, please leave it home and bring photos!)
What’s It Worth? Fundraiser 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, September 20 Terner Gallery 701 Deal Road, Ocean Township
$5. per item Light refreshments
Ocean’s Heritage, Summer 2013
Collaboration with the Asbury Park Historical Society makes for a lively opening
“Asbury Park: The History of a Jersey Gem” opens in the Richmond Gallery Putting an exhibit together involves rounding up the photographs, artifacts, and memorabilia to tell the story. Here we are grateful to the Asbury Park Historical Society, the Asbury Park Library, and the individuals who generously shared their treasures and memories--and to George Hoffman, who carved the magnificent carousel sea dragon in the center of the exhibit.
The exhibit begins at the beginning, with Asbury’s founding in 1871 and its early decades as a wholesome Victorian resort
hylis Fife, our volunteer at the Welcome Desk, stopped counting at 115. “They’re coming in all the doors!” It was tough to keep track. Not a bad problem to have on opening day of a major exhibit. Sunday, June 30, “Asbury Park: The History of a Jersey Gem” premiered in the Richmond Gallery of the Woolley House. Outside, the Asbury Park Historical Society set up a mini-festival with boardwalk food, fortune telling, and more. Inside, visitors poured over the exhibit, which covers Asbury’s beginnings, its mid-century heydey as a thriving resort and retail center, and the rich, diverse cultures of the West Side. It was quickly apparent that Asbury holds a special place in the hearts of many. (The prize goes to John Fragale-see photo-- who wears his memories under his sleeve!) Even life-long Asbury “experts”-who lived, worked, and played in the city seemed to discover a fact or two that surprised them. Old friends and classmates reunitedJohn Fragale stopped by the -some after many years. And new Asbury exhibit and showed generation of fans, who knowAsbury off one of his own--an only in its current rebirth, learned the amazing tattoo of the city’s city’s hip new life is true to its coloriconic images. ful past.
Don Stine, President of the Asbury Park Historical Society, cooks pork roll and hamburgers for the crowd.
Old friends and colleagues Dorian Pareott (left) and George Hoffman hadn’t seen each other in years.
George Hoffman delivers his hand-carved sea dragon to the Museum and--with a little help from his friends--assembles, installs, and test rides him in the Richmond Gallery.
The Mayfair lives!
ince its demolition in December 1974, many have mourned the loss of Asbury’s spectacular Mayfair theater. It was a one-of-a-kind architectural wonder whose storied star-lit ceiling, grand staircase, ornate chandeliers, and posh rest rooms are still talked about with wonder --and regret. Imagine then, the joy of discovering (as we did researching the Asbury Park exhibit) that the Mayfair lives. Businessman Eric von Grimmenstien III has built a home theater, recreating the Mayfair from its architectural salvage in the basement of his Indianapolis home.
Von Grmmenstien used doors, sconces, and and other pieces of the original to recreate the Mayfair’s lobby, concession area, and theater.
Ocean’s Heritage, Summer 2013
Arthur Pappaylion is a real estate agent, retired Long Branch schoolteacher, and active member of the Greek community. He is 45-year resident of Ocean Township with life-defining memories of growing up Greek in Asbury Park. Here he shares a few of his many colorful stories.
I Remember . . .
Growing up Greek in Asbury Park
he Greek community helped shape Asbury’s commerce, culture, and religious traditions. The first immigrant families arrived in the early decades of the 20th century and by 1960, 80% of the concessions on the Asbury Park boardwalk were owned and operated by Greeks. My family had two of those establishments--my grandfather’s Jack and Jill’s Tea Room and my father’s Excellent Tea Room (later Evelyn’s Seven Seas Restaurant) just north of Convention Hall. What a time and place for a first-generation Greek boy to grow up!
Evelyn’s Seven Seas Restaurant is shown in the foreground, with umbrellaed tables in its outside garden. The building burned in a 1963 fire and the restaurant did not reopen. Why Asbury Park? In the first half of the 20th century, Asbury was a growing resort with a wide boardwalk just right for concessions. It was a place where newly arrived immigrants could find work in the restaurants and shops. But we Greeks are a competitive, innovative, and independent lot. It didn’t take long before we were opening restaurants and candy shops and running our own operations. As a teen in the 1950s, I counted no fewer than 18 Greek-run restaurants and candy concessions in the city! Making salt water taffy Most of the Greek restaurants on the boardwalk made and sold candy. The signature goody was salt water taffy. Despite its name, there is no salt water involved. Legend has it that the proprietor of an Atlantic City candy store salvaged wrapped taffy that had survived a devastating storm. He sold the salt-covered candy and the name was born.
Our family had its own story. We made and sold candy in our restaurant. When a tourist asked my dad if salt water taffy was made with salt water, he pointed to a pipe above the vat of candy-in-progress and assured her it carried water directly from the ocean. He slipped some salt into a glass, filled it with water from the pipe, and offered her a taste! He let her in on the joke later--or so he told us! My dad put me to work on the taffy. My job was to stir the ingredients in a big copper vat with wooden paddles, pour the mixture onto the metal cooling table, and knead it. From there, the taffy-in-the-making went on the pulling machine in the store window where passers-by could see it stretched, cut, and wrapped. The church The church is a central and unifying force in the Greek community. Asbury’s first Greek Orthodox congregation worshiped in the basement of the public library (1929-1937). In 1937, the congregation converted the Interlaken Hotel into a church. (I remember going to Sunday School in the kitchen!) In the 1950s, it built St. George Orthodox Church on Grand Ave. In the late 40s, the annual Holy Cross Celebrations (the blessing of the waters) began. For decades, at the Asbury beach each September, young men from the Greek churches in the area competed to retrieve a cross tossed into the water by the archbishop. As a fifteen-year-old, I was one of those young men. Oh, the water was cold! Both St. George Church and I moved from the city to Ocean Township: the church The archbishop tosses the cross in April 2012 and I decades into the sea from Convention earlier. Our new church holds Hall to bless the waters. The many treasures and memories Greek community hopes to revive the Holy Cross Celebra- of its Asbury beginnings. So do I. tion this September. Arthur Pappaylion