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The Eden Woolley House

The Township of Ocean Historical Museum


Vol. 30, No. 2, Spring 2014

Major exhibit opens at the Woolley House, Sunday, June 29

Exhibit explores the history of houses and the things that fill them


ince prehistoric times, where we live has been about much more than shelter (think of those cave paintings). A new exhibit explores just how our human instinct to nest has played out in the structures we inhabit and the stuff we put in them. “The History of Houses and the Things that Make Them Home” opens Sunday, June 29, in the Richmond Gallery of the Eden Woolley House. The new exhibit examines the influences on the design and content of the American home--from the traditions early settlers brought with them, to the availability of materials, to the transforming power of technology. technology It takes guests on a virtual house tour, revealing room by room how things have changed and how those changes have shaped our lives.

What is home?

It’s where the heart is and there’s no place like it. Beyond shelter, our homes express our tastes, values, and social status. Our neighborhoods abound with

The oldest portion of the Woolley House (rightmost in the photo) was built in 1749-- within memory of the New Amsterdam community --in the Dutch American style. Seventy or so years later, Eden Woolley built the large addition in the Greek Revival style much admired in the fledging democracy and appropriate to his rising status in the community.

Even through the darkest days of the Revolution, Washington wrote home weekly to direct work on his beloved Mt. Vernon. He spent 30 years remodeling and expanding the original farmhouse in the neoclassical style he admired. It is arguably the most copied house in the country. homes that illustrate the point, and the new exhibit asks us to see our familiar surroundings in a new light. It reveals the lineage of familiar house styles--colonial, neoclassical, Victorian, and modern, for example. It explains that the colonists of the new world built houses in the style of the old. That the founding fathers, all men of the Enlightenment, adapted the designs of Greeks and Romans whose rationality they admired. That the clutter and ornamentation of the Victorians expressed their fascination with goods made possible by the Industrial Revolution and made available by the railroads. And that twentieth century architects rejected Victorian fussiness in favor of designs that challenged old assumptions and took advantage of new technologies and building techniques.

The exhibit takes us inside

House design is just the beginning. The exhibit takes us inside, room by room. For all but the rich, our earliest homes were one-room dwellings. The very concept of a single-purpose room (living, dining, bathing, etc.) is relatively new. And even in

early multiple-room houses, people moved from room to room more in pursuit of sunlight and warmth than specific activity. activity In effect, all rooms were “living rooms.” Revolutionary new technologies --indoor plumbing, central heating, and electric light, in particular--made room specialization practical. The bathroom, bedchamber, dining room, library, and parlor emerged as distinct spaces in ways that both reflect and influence life style. Take the living room (aka parlor, drawing room, sitting room, and salon). It has come full circle. As parlor, parlor it was a room often reserved to receive visitors. In time, it became the place where the family “withdrew” to gather around the piano --later the radio and then television. Today, the “great room” has assumed that role and in many homes, the living room is again a more formal space reserved for entertaining guests. The exhibit makes that case that every house has a story, every room has a history. Join us June 29 to learn more. “The History of Houses and the Things that Make Them Home” will be up through June 2015.

Exhibit Opening “The History of Houses and the Things that Make Them Home” Sunday, June 29 1 to 4 Eden Woolley House

Ocean’s Heritage, Spring 2014


Saturday, July 26, at 6:30, at the Woolley House grounds

Museum to honor Vietnam vets and their families at July flag-raising On Saturday evening, July 26, the Ocean Township Historical Museum is raising the flag to honor veterans of the Vietnam War, both living and deceased --and the families who supported them through their service to the country. The ceremony begins at 6:30 on the grounds of the Eden Woolley House. The Vietnam War was a prolonged struggle that started in 1960 and was declared over on April 30, 1975. It pitted nationalist forces fighting to unify the country under the communist regime in the North against a South Vietnamese government closely allied with the United States. Nearly 2.7 Americans (9.7% of their generation) served in South Vietnam during the war. Of these, more than 58,000 died or remain missing, and 300,000 were wounded. Our flag-raising ceremony includes a special service to honor those Missing The last American combat troops left in Action (MIA) and those held Vietnam in March 1973. as Prisoners of War (POW). Our intent is to recognize the service of Vietnam veterans, many of whom returned to a country itself in conflict about the war. In particular, particular we are honoring veterans with a special connection to area families. We’ve W reached out to local veterans groups. And we invite our members, friends, and neighbors to submit the names of loved ones they would like to honor (see sidebar). Information on those honored will be documented in a “Vietnam Veterans Memory Book” to be kept in the Museum Research Library.

Please join us on July 26 to acknowledge the contributions of the Vietnam War veterans who served their country with honor and distinction.

Send the name, service, and rank of the veteran you would like to honor to: TOHM, PO Box 516, Oakhurst, NJ 07755, or e-mail: oceanmuseum. org, or call 732-531-2136.

From the visitors’ log . . .


id you know that the Museum opens by appointment to host local groups? Recently, the Township of Ocean League of Women Voters and classmates from the Asbury Park High School took us up on the offer. Call the Museum (732-531-2136) to arrange for your group to tour and hold a meeting at the Museum.

League of Women Voters members: left to right (standing) Ted Dellinger, Robert Grove, Dallas Grove, Bill Madden; (seated) Don Curtis, Marie Curtis, Sally Madden, Anne Freeman.

Museum crafters complete the 2014 quilt


his year’s quilt (to be raffled off of in December) made its premiere at the April 26th Spring Tea. T Its brown, beige and black fabrics are stitched together in “An Evening Garden” pattern. The photo shows (left to right) Hilda Vafiadis, V Betty Wilderotter, W Gerri Applegate, Marion Vogler, Marge Edelson, Sergie Conklin, and Jeanne Ribsam adding its final touches.

APHS Classmates: left to right (standing) Ann McKee, Rose Valpone, Joanne Falcone, Barbara Rutan, Clara Smith, Betty Napolitano, Peggy Jones, Delores D’Esposito, Vera Ciavaglia; (seated) Lois Malmberg, Marlyn Michaels, Barbara Metcalfe, Joan Dilloian


Ocean’s Heritage, Spring 2014

Share your memories and help us find the oldest living alum

Getting ready for an Oakhurst School Exhibit Each year, as part of our December Holiday Weekend, we premiere a new exhibit. This year, the Holiday Weekend falls on December 6 and 7, and the exhibit, “The History of the Oakhurst School,” is one we’d like your help with. Of course, the old schoolhouse is dear to our hearts. It was the Museum’s home for our first 25 years. But we are not alone. For all those who worked or learned there,

the Oakhurst Schoolhouse is a special place. We know because many of those alum were among the Museum’s charter members. Now we’d like to hear from them--and others--for help with two things. First, in anticipation of the upcoming exhibit, we are in search of the Oakhurst School’s oldest living graduate. And next, we’d like to hear your two-or-three-line memory of the Oakhurst School. Send your candidate for most senior alum and/or your personal memory to or TOHM, P.O. Box 516, Oakhurst, NJ 07755. The 1957 eighth grade class was the largest and the last to graduate eighth grade from the Oakhurst School. In January 1958, the new school on Dow Ave. opened. It drew all students, grades 5 through 8, from the district and marked the end of the kindergartenthrough-eighth-grade elementary school design. In 1978, Oakhurst School closed and has since housed the Board of Education of offices.

General Meeting and Speaker Event

An architectural history of homes Tuesday, June 10, 7:15—Oakhurst School. Architect Frank Tomaino highlights local homes of interest. Exhibit opening “The History of Houses and the

Things that Make Them Home”

Sunday, June 29, 1 to 4—The Richmond Gallery of the Eden Woolley House. A look at the evolution of what we call home and a close-up of several houses of interest.

American Doll Tea

Sunday, July 13 (Rain date July 20)— The Woolley House and ground. Tickets ($30 for one child and her favorite adult) go on sale June 1. Saturday, July 26, 6:30 p.m.—The Woolley House and grounds.


Heather MacDonald sorts through vintage clothing from the Wayne Historical House Museums.

Coming Events

Vietnam War Veterans Flag-Raising

Vintage clothing donated

hat happens when a museum no longer needs items from its collection? In the case of the Wayne W Historic Houses, they generously offer them to other historical institutions. On March 29, Heather MacDonald and Cheryl Miller traveled to Wayne on our behalf and returned with more than a dozen late 18th and early 20th century articles of clothing--including several from the personal collection of Wayne Museums Coordinator Carol D’Alessandro. Heather even returned a few weeks later for more treasures!

Mark your calendar

Two-year-old Pippa Hlatky enjoys the newsletter--one of the benefits of MuMu seum membership.

Your 2014 Membership


f you haven’t already, please send in your 2014 membership dues. Memberships (which runs for the calendar year) are our largest single source of support. They allow us to maintain the Eden Woolley House, open it to the public more than 50 hours a month, install a major and several minor exhibits a year, year and fill the calendar with interesting, fun events. Please help us ensure the Museum is here to tell the story of our community for generations to come! Fill out and return the membership form on the back of this newsletter with your check today.

Museum 30th Anniversary Luncheon Sunday, August 17, 1—The Deal Golf and Country Club. Mini-Exhibit opening

“The Story of the Morro Castle” Sunday, September 7, 1 to 4—The Eden Woolley House.

History Ghost Walk

Sunday, October 19--Woolley House Grounds; Terner Gallery Characters from local history come “back” to tell their stories and entertain our guests.

Holiday Weekend and Oakhurst School Mini-Exhibit

Saturday, Dec. 6 and Sunday, Dec. 7-Eden Woolley House For two days, the Museum is transformed for the holidays. Handmade gifts, homemade goodies, quilt raffle.


Ocean’s Heritage, Spring 2014

Photos courtesy of Kevin Burkitt ( and Gary Edelson (

Left: Guests were served by junior docents (left to right) Kylie Richmond, Natalie Chant, September McCarthy, Noelle Chant, and Allison Hecht. Center: The room buzzed with lively conversation. Right: Brenda Wityk (left) and Marge Edelson pose with U.S. Representative Frank Pallone--a loyal buyer of the hand-quilted work of our crafters.

Delectable tea sandwiches and scones were just the beginning

Sold-out crowd enjoys the 10th annual Spring Tea More than 90 guests sat down to tea, sandwiches, and sweets at the Museum’s Spring Tea, Saturday, April 26, at the West Park Ave. Recreation Center. Live performances filled the air with music. Colorful tables and handmade quilts lining the walls set the mood. The gift auction offered dozens of tempting choices, and the Museum Shop was stocked with handmade works of art. And the good sports entering the fancy hat competition entertained everyone. Event chairs Marge Edelson, Joal Leone, Ginny Richmond, and Brenda Wityk (gift auction) declared the event an unqualified success. It earned rave reviews--and $3,000 for the Museum. “So many hands go into the day, Marge explained. “The crafters who stock our Museum Shop. The volunteers who bake, make sandwiches, and clean up. The members who enlist the support of area businesses and put together our gift baskets. Our junior docents, and more. But when it all comes together as beautifully as it did today, we forget all the hard work and delight in what we have created!” Elaine Slocum, winner of the Most Humorous Hat Prize.

Thank you to these contributing businesses Allenhurst Dry Cleaners Main St., Allenhurst

The Jewelry Broker Hwy. 35, Ocean

Boardwalk Cafe & Pizzeria Monmouth Rd., Oakhurst

Monmouth Bottle Shop Monmouth Rd. Oakhurst

Caramel Shop Hwy. 35, Ocean

Nikki’s Hair Salon Dow Plaza, Oakhurst

Shore Fit Club Hwy. 35, Oakhurst

Shore Lanes Bowling Hwy. 35, Neptune

Monster Golf Hope Rd., Eatontown

Sickles Market Harrison Ave., Little Silver

Cravings Main St., Allenhurst

Nino’s Coal-Fired Pizza Hwy. 35, Ocean

Swagger Blade Wickapeckko Ave., Wanamassa

Cynthia Salter Lewis, MD Rte. 9, Marlboro

Richard’s Deli Brighton Ave., West End

Twp. of Ocean Pool W. Park Ave., Oakhurst

Houlihans Hwy. 35, Ocean

Sea Grass Main Ave., Ocean Grove

Colonial Terrace Golf Club Wickapecko Dr., Ocean

Criterion Chocolates Lewis St., Eatontown

Giannias Pizzeria Monmouth Rd., Oakhurst

Imperial Martial Arts Shrewsbury Ave., Shrewsbury

Panera Bread Hwy. 35, Ocean

Salon L Corlies Ave., Allenhurst

Shore Cake Supply Hwy. 35, Ocean

Jazz Panel with a bonus


full house turned out at the Oakhurst School, March 11, to hear Gladstone Trott, Clifford Johnson, Dorian Parreott, and moderator Jon Leidersdorff discuss the Asbury music scene. All four men are musicians and their experiences and recollections span seven decades. The panel insights were fascinating, but perhaps the highlight of the evening was an impromptu jam session by Dorian Parreott on soprano sax and Gladstone Trott on keyboard. Top (left to right): Gladstone Trott, Clifford Johnson, Dorian Parreott, and Jon Leidersdorff). Bottom: Dorian Parreott and Gladstone Trott

Silverball Museum Ocean Ave., Asbury Park

Taylor Hardware Main St., Belmar

The Turning Point Ocean Ave., Long Branch Wegmans Hwy. 35, Ocean


Ocean’s Heritage, Spring 2014

Speaker, June 10

Architect to share insights on some of the area’s most interesting houses


n Tuesday, June 10 at 7:15, in the old Oakhurst school auditorium at 163 Monmouth Road, architect Frank Tomaino hosts a virtual tour of the some of the area’s most fascinating houses. His talk, “An Architectural History of Homes,” draws on rich examples from nearby communities.

“All houses share the basics. But they get dressed up. What distinguishes them are their ‘hats and belts.’”

Frank Tomaino The examples span the centuries and the range of architectural styles--from the earliest colonial, to Levittown-inspired tract homes, to the boldly modern. Along the way, Frank talks about the building techniques, materials, and aesthetic trends that shaped the shore’s built en-

that you see vironment. He in the picture highlights houses [left]. After 20 designed by some years, some did of the world’s sag and were best architects, repaired. Leon and shares his was right!” personal stories. Frank ToOne such tells maino is a Deal of the time Frank native who now was called in by lives in Oakhurst. Leon Avakian, This 1971 Deal home was designed by Paul RuIn his distina prominent lodolph, dean of the Yale School of Architecture from guished 45-year cal civil engineer, 1958 to 1965 and a leading mid-century American practice. he has to review plans architect known for his use of concrete and complex designed homes, for a Deal home floor plans. schools, and pubdrawn up by Paul lic buildings throughout the country. His Rudolph. Rudolph was an internationally awards include the NJ Society of Architects renown architect acclaimed for his striking “Architect of the Year (2001).” buildings of the 1960s-70s Brutalist period that pre-dated Postmodernism. Rudolph’s works included the Yale School of ArchiThe talk, part of the Museum tecture Building, the Orange County New Speakers’ Series, is open to the pubYork Government Center, and a great glass lic, free of charge. Donations are aptower in Hong Kong. preciated. Refreshments are served. “Leon did not think Rudolph’s struc(We collect and welcome non-perishture worked and asked me to look at it with able items for the FoodBank of Monhim,” Frank recalls. “He asked Rudolph’s mouth and Ocean Counties.) office to beef up some of the cantilevers

An event to delight children, 5 to 12--and their favorite adults!

The American Doll and Teddy Bear Tea is scheduled for Sunday, July 13 The sixth annual American Doll Tea Party takes place Sunday July 13 from 1 to 3:30 ( rain date July 20).

Children and their favorite adults gather under tents on the lawn of the Eden Woolley House. The dolls and their young owners are the main attraction. Children show off the outfits of their favorite dolls (or teddy bears) in a charming fashion show. They make a craft, hear an original story of the Woolley Sisters, and enjoy a tasty tea party.

On this day, the Museum Shop features handmade doll clothes and accessories. Inside the Museum, doll and teddy bear collections are on display. Tickets are $30 and admit one child (5 years and older) and one adult. Tickets for additional children are $10 each and additional adults are $25. Seating is limited. Reservations are a must. Tickets go on sale starting June 1st. Call 732-5316040 or the Museum at 732-531-2136. Phoebe Woolley (aka Heather MacDonald) demonstrates spinning to young guests at last year’s American Doll Tea.


Ocean’s Heritage, Spring 2014

Join us at Deal Country Club Sunday, August 17

30th anniversary celebration

M Message from the Museum



appy Anniversary to us! And just how did this journey begin? The Township’s interest in local history predates the founding of the Museum. In the early 1970s, then Councilman Joe Palaia encouraged a group of citizens to start a local historical society to get ready for the 1976 national bicentennial celebration. Interested residents volunteered, a book was written, and century-old homes were marked. In 1983, a new effort emerged, building on the work of the Historical Society. The Board of Education agreed to provide space for a local museum in the building that had recently become its offices, the former Oakhurst School. Over the summer, volunteers met and developed a charter. Months later, in 1984, the Ocean Township Historical Museum was incorporated. The Museum made its home in the Oakhurst School for 25 years. In 2009, we moved into the Eden Woolley House on Deal Road,which we had worked so hard to restore. The charter members and loyal supporters who began this remarkable journey have grown to our present talented and hard-working membership of over 400 households. Ours is an American success story. A credit to the volunteer spirit of a community where individuals share their talent, time, and resources for a common goal. Come join us, at Deal Golf and Country Club, Sunday, August 17, to celebrate our first 30 years. We’ll honor the people and events who got us here --and look ahead at the exciting road before us. Paul Edelson

ark your calendars! On Sunday, August 17, at 1, we are hosting a sit-down luncheon at the historic and elegant Deal Golf and Country Club to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Township of Ocean Historical Museum. And we’d love you to join us. The thirty years of our own history are filled with milestones, successful events, and--most importantly--talented and dedicated volunteers and supporters. This celebration honors them all. We are recognizing the exceptional people who led the way from the 1984 beginnings in the former Oakhurst School, to restoration and opening of the Eden Woolley House in 2009, to our award-winning status today. Displays of pictures and artifacts from the last 30 years and a silent gift auction are part of the afternoon’s activities. Everyone is welcome--from founding members to the latest visitors. Tickets are an affordable $45 to encourage all to join in the recognition and celebration of this cultural addition to our community. Tickets go on sale June 1. Call the Museum at 732-531-2136 to make your reservations. The Deal Golf Club dates to 1898. Its clubhouse is the oldest in continuous use in the state. Over the years, members have included Robert Todd Lincoln (the President’s son), George Harvey (editor of Harper’s Weekly), William Durant (founder of General Motors) and honorary members, former Presidents Benjamin Harrison and William McKinley.


By the Numbers

35% U.S. households with electricity in 1920 (including only 1.6% of farms). By 1956, 98.8% of all households were wired.

60% U.S. homes with a flush toilet in 1940. (70% had running water.)

50% U.S. homes heating with coal in 1940. (Another 25% used wood)

4.5 Average number of people in a U.S. household in 1900. (By 2012, the number had dropped to 2.6.)

10% Households with people living alone in 1940. (By 2000, the percent of single-person residences had grown to 25.)

$750 Cost of the first commercially available refrigerator (1920)

2,392 Average square footage of single-family home built in the U.S. in 2010


Ocean’s Heritage, Spring 2014

Kay Zimmerer is a founding member of the Museum and co-author of two books on the history of the Township. She and her family lovingly restored one of Ocean’s oldest houses. Kay turned 90 on New Year’s Day and now lives near her son Karl in Centre Hall, Pennsylvania.

I Remember . . .

Finding a house and discovering a history


t was 1963. My young family was in the market for an older house. A fixer-upper in a quiet neighborhood. On September 9, we closed on an “old cottage” with a big barn in the Shadow Lawn Manor section of Ocean Township. Soon after, we moved into an apartment over the barn where we would live while we worked on the house. Though we didn’t know it at the time, our life-changing adventure had begun.

the earliest structure dated back to 1712. It was decision time: renovation or restoration? Were we content to simply make a charming, livable home? Or, were we up to restoring the house accurately--true to its unique and colorful history?

Restoration won

Ed Feltus guided us through the work, which took nearing five years. We removed sun-porches, replicated the missWe knew the house was old, but it ing wing (based on an old photo), wasn’t until I read a description of the duplicated molding, recreated chair restoration of the Hendrickson House rails, and rebuilt damaged cupin Holmdel that I realized just how old. boards. We found period archiThe similarities were striking. tectural salvage from an old farm I contacted Ed Feltus, Director of house being razed. We moved 200 the Monmouth County Historical Asyears of paint and discovered and sociation, the group working on the matched original colors. Holmdel project. I remember the day We made the house whole. A he first saw our house. Work was uncenter hall now divided the old and derway. Plaster dust was flying about new sections. We had six rooms (inus. He reached up and put his fist cluding two parlors typical of housthrough the ceiling, exposing lovely es of the period), three fireplaces, a huge country kitchen and “keeping blue-green beams. He found more A rendering of the Zimmerer house by Marge Edelson room,” and two bedrooms. clues. “This is only half of it,” he anshowing the post-project, restored structure. nounced, “You own a half a house!” Living with history Ed was right. We uncovered the foundation and roof line Generations of Jeffries had lived in the house before us. of the missing section--likely, originally, a one-room house. I could imagine the descendants of Francis Jeffery handcutTogether with the panes ting the lumber and cleaning the 100-acre parcel to build the of hand-blown glass, house that was now our home. Researching their history bewide plank floors, handcame part of our history. We learned that Francis was a Quakmade nails, and walls er who, along with many other Monmouth County settlers insulated with mud and (including Eden Woolley’s ancestors), left New England for straw, these discoveries lands more welcoming to his faith. We got to “know” former confirmed that we had occupants Mary Jeffrey Mount and her sea captain husband an historical and archithrough the logs and letters their descendants shared with us. tectural gem. Deeds datThat September day 50 years ago, we had no inkling of Kay Zimmerer (left) and Marge ing back to the late 1600s the challenges and hard work ahead. But I don’t for a second Edelson, co-authors of two books on showed the property beregret our choice. We lived in a house where the walls did the history of the Township, from a longing to Francis Jeffery talk, and the stories they told enriched our lives. 1973 Asbury Park Press article on (spelled Jeffrey in later Kay Zimmerer the restoration. generations). It seemed

“You’ve bought half a house!”

2014-05 - Township of Ocean Historical Museum Newsletter  

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

2014-05 - Township of Ocean Historical Museum Newsletter  

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