The Eden Woolley House
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Oceanâ€™s Heritage, Winter 2018
Left: The healthy took to wearing masks believing they would guard against infection. (They didnâ€™t.) 1918, National Archives. Right: Sign in a naval yard in Philly warns of the epidemicâ€™s effect on war production. 1918, U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command.
No other disease, no war, no natural disaster ever killed so many in so short a time
1918 Spanish Flu wiped out ~3% of the world population
he numbers boggle the mind: 20% of the world population infected and at least 40 million dead (as many as 675,000 in this country). A drop of 12 years in average U.S. life expectancy in a single year. Itâ€™s unthinkable. Yet, the influenza pandemic of 1918â€”the deadliest disaster of modern historyâ€”has been the worldâ€™s most under-reported horror story, even while it was happening.
How come? One would expect that a menace that was taking the lives of tens of thousands in a matter of months would capture the headlines and generate public panic. But a search of The Asbury Park Press for the last three months of 1918 (the height of the epidemic here) shows limited and dispassionate coverage. As the death toll rises (8,477 in the state by the end of the year) and schools, churches, and theaters close for weeks on end, other stories fill the front pages. Even the New York Times commented on the absence of national panic or excitement. Maybe it was the rapid onset and
ebb of the diseaseâ€”it had played out, for the most part, by summer of 1919. Maybe the carnage and horror of The Great War, which filled the papers, also numbed the senses. Whatever the reasons, the reaction at the time was remarkably subdued and the retelling today, what little there is of it, is largely under the radar.
Fueled by war The origin of the Spanish Flu is still debated. But there is little doubt that it was fueled by the war. The virus was airborne, spread by breathing. Cramped conditions in the trenches, massive troop movements, crowded hospitals, malnourished and displaced populations made war-torn Europe a perfect breeding ground. And the disease traveled from the battlefield to our homefront with a vengeance. (A single case at Ft. Devons, Massachusetts, in September 1918 became more than 6,000 in a single week.)
Defying patterns The influenza pandemic defied expected patterns. Most flus are worst in winter,
this one peaked in the U.S. in fall. Typically, the very young and very old are most vulnerable. But half those who died were between 20 and 40 years old. (One theory suggests that the virus triggered an overreaction of the immune system--strongest in healthy adults.) The disease worked uncharacteristically fast: a patient could go from healthy to dead in the course of a single day.
Perspective We look back on history knowing how it all turned out--seeing the course of events as inevitable. But not so to those who lived it. Maybe itâ€™s time, on the centennial of the Spanish Influenza, to imagine what it was like in the fall of 1918. More than 100,000 Americans were dying in a war that threatened the world order and whose outcome was uncertain. Millions around the globe were succumbing to a killer that seemed to be threatening human survival itself. Itâ€™s a chapter of history worthy of a place in our collective consciousness.
Ocean’s Heritage, Winter 2018
Left: The exhibits in the “Our Town” Gallery were rearranged to make room for “Farms Galore: Ocean Township’s Rural Past.” Right: Ten-yearold fraternal twins Olivia and Allison Hage of West Long Branch convinced their mom to bring them to the Holiday Weekend at the Museum to take the photo for their Christmas card!
“Farms Galore” exhibit premieres during the Holiday Weekend
nce again, for the first weekend in December, the Museum decorated for the holidays, turned one of its galleries into a craft gift shop and bakery, premiered a new exhibit, and invited the public to stop in. More than 120 people did just that. Children searched the Museum to find angels hidden in the galleries. They paused to watch the model trains travel around a vintage toy farm set. The adults who visited got a head start on their holiday shopping
and enjoyed the new exhibit. The exhibit reminds visitors that Ocean Township, like most of Monmouth County, was largely farmland— as recently as the 1950s. A map of Wayside in the 1930s, dot-
ted with labels locating nearly 30 farms, sits next to one of Wayside in 2014 showing all the farms gone. Visitors are invited to add a label to the map for a farm they remember that we may have overlooked.
December 8 Bus Trip to Winterthur
Left to right: Stan Kolodjeski, Rosalie Harvey, and Mike and Joan Berzansky pose in front of a tree decorated with dried flowers in the 176-room mansion’s conservatory.
Quilt winner Tasi Pappaylion of Wayside has been buying raffle tickets for nine years. 2017 proved a charm! “I’m ready to repaint the bedroom to give it the perfect home,” she told volunteers when she stopped by the Museum to pick up her prize.
interthur (pronounced “winter-tour”), the former estate of Henry Francis du Pont, occupies 60 acres of sprawling, naturalistic gardens in Wilmington, Delaware. On December 8, 42 visitors arrived by bus from the Museum and spent the day touring the mansion, which today
houses the country’s finest collection of American decorative arts. The day included a guided tour of the former living quarters, lavishly decorated to show how the du Pont family celebrated the holidays. The bus trip netted the Museum $1,235.
Ocean’s Heritage, Winter 2018
There’s a lot more to a uniform than meets the eye
Next up in the Speaker Series: Arthur Green, March 14
t 7:15 p.m., Wednesday, March 14 in the auditorium of the Board of Education Building, 163 Monmouth Rd., Oakhurst, military-history scholar Arthur Green carries the Museum’s current focus on World War I* to the level of the individual soldier— what he wore, what he carried, and why. Using artifacts from his impressive private collection, he puts the American Doughboy’s uniform and equipment in its historic context and gives us an insightful look at the life of the American G.I. in this bloody and senseless conflict. “Our involvement was relatively short compared with the other combatants,” he reminds us, “but it was decisive.” The Allied troops, decimated and discouraged after more than three years of trench warfare, welcomed arriving American forces with relief. The Americans were fresh, determined, and wellequipped. Arthur describes just how well equipped. Just a few years earlier, the U.S., in response to lessons learned in the Spanish-American War, overhauled how it outfits the military. Olive drab became the standard. Cotton webbing replaced leather. For the first time, uniforms came in summer and winter versions. As Arthur puts it, “The Army got a face lift.” Please join us for “The Well Equipped Doughboy.”
Military-history scholar Arthur Green with a campaign hat and 1912 Army jacket from his collection.
The speaker event is open to the public, free of charge. Donations are appreciated. Refreshments are served. (We collect and welcome non-perishable items for the Fulfill food bank.) * See “New Jersey and The Great War: Local Stories of WWI” at the Eden Woolley House, the micro-exhibit at the Library, and WWI film series at the Library through June.
useum member Joe Bove took it upon himself to build a partnership between two natural allies—the Museum and the Ocean Township Library (located behind the Museum). Working with head librarian Rachael Scalise, he put together a World World I film series to complement our exhibit “New Jersey and the Great War” that runs through June. (Sgt. York plays at the Library 2 and 6:15 March 20. See “Coming Events,” p. 7.) Joe didn’t stop there. He has installed a micro-exhibit on the war in the Library display case that currently features poet/soldier and NJ native Joyce Kilmer and information on the role of baseball in the war. Stop by and see for yourself.
Spring Tea A Garden Tea Party
West Park Recreation Center, Oakhurst
1:30 p.m., Saturday, April 28 Homemade tea sandwiches, breads, desserts, and scones Gift auction and hat contest Quilts and crafts boutique
Open to the public
$25 (Tickets go on sale March 1 and must be purchased in advance.) Call 732-531-2136 to reserve your space (Single tickets are available, but it’s more fun to come with friends.)
Ocean’s Heritage, Winter 2018
Message from the Museum President
2017: A banner year for the Museum The road to success is always under construction. —Arnold Palmer
Ensured fiscal integrity
t the end of each year, the Museum president puts together an annual report for the Board and for the record. It’s one of my favorite responsibilities. The list of what our dedicated and talented volunteers accomplished last year is inspiring, and I thought you might like to see for yourself.
Held five successful fund-raisers (Spring Tea, American Doll Tea, Flea Market, Winterthur Bus Trip, and Gold Event). Raised $5,500 from the quilt raffle and craft sales.
Brought the history of the region to life
Received income from three grants.
Maintained and managed our collection
Opened the Museum to the public 50 hours a month and hosted over 2,000 visitors (628 children, 1,474 adults). Installed “NJ and the Great War: Local Stories of WWI” in the Richmond Gallery and the mini-exhibit “Farms Galore: Ocean Township’s Rural Past” in the Our Town Gallery. Installed a micro-exhibit on WWI in the Library display case and collaborated with the Library on a WWI film series.
Continued to process new and backlogged artifacts and documents into our collection.
Maintained records in the professional Museum software PastPerfect, ensuring the accessibility of the collection.
Operated and maintained the Eden Woolley House •
Continually inspected the house and ancillary buildings and handled issues as they arose.
Installed and electrified a shed--bringing to five the number of buildings we maintain (Woolley House, Playhouse, shed, pool house, and Tower).
Contracted for the few things our volunteers couldn’t handle: replacing the sump pump, repairing the AC and water damage it caused, and installing a new Museum sign.
Engaged and educated students •
Delivered customized programs to a record number of student groups, including all Ocean third grades, four Intermediate School classes, four high school history classes, and a group from Brookdale.
Spread the word •
Produced a Speakers’ Series offering four public talks (on Submarines off NJ, the birth of the Jersey shore, military families, and Molly Pitcher).
Advanced the restoration of the Tower •
Raised the funds and oversaw the installation of a new roof. Trimmed trees and installed lighting and signage to improve the visibility and appreciation of the Tower.
Distributed our award-winning newsletter to nearly 1,100 households each quarter.
Produced and cable/web-cast ten episodes of our oral history program “Hometown Histories.”
As impressive as this list is, it’s not complete. Thank you to our members, volunteers, and supporters for these achievements and all we accomplished in 2017.
Expanded our reach •
Included and paid for a two-page spread in the Township newsletter, mailed to 11,000 households, introducing the Museum.
Hosted meetings of organizations ranging from the League of Women Voters to the Chamber of Commerce.
Participated in the Memorial Day Parade, Weekend in Old Monmouth, and Archives Day.
The Museum in 2017
2,102 25 328 22,650
Ocean’s Heritage is published quarterly by the Township of Ocean Historical Museum Museum President, Paul Edelson Newsletter Editor, Peggy Dellinger
By the Numbers
Visitors to the Museum (a 13% increase over 2016) Class trips Household memberships (representing 623 people) Website visits (oceanmuseum.org)
Exhibit openings (including a wine-and-cheese premiere and a gallery talk for members only)
Speaker events, free to the public
New episodes of “Hometown Histories” Total grant money received, thanks to the efforts of our grantwriting team
Ocean’s Heritage, Winter 2018
Sisters Linda Brand Shea of Wall (left) and Joan Brand of Wanamassa remember their mother, Marion Wells Brand, who as a child as young as eight delivered political speeches and campaigned for New Jersey Governor A. Harry Moore.
We Remember . . .
Stories of our mother’s remarkable childhood
ur mother, Marion Wells Brand, was born in Lambertville, NJ, in 1922 and lived a childhood that was extraordinary by any measure. She was raised by her paternal grandparents and grew up influenced by her grandfather’s passion for politics. She spent her childhood as a protege of the governor of New Jersey and “professional” orator, campaigning at rallies and on radio on behalf of her favorite candidates, including Franklin Roosevelt.
nearly a decade, she was a well-known and sought-after speaker on the radio and at rallies and events across the region. She appeared regularly with A. Harry Moore during his campaigns for governor and for U.S. Senate.* Her image (painted by her grandfather) is featured alongside his on campaign banners. The young Marion shared the stage with political notables of the day, including Jersey City Mayor Frank Hague.
The grandfather and the governor
In 1942, our parents married and our father went off to war. In 1948, they moved Austin Wells, the grandfather who into a home on Birch Ave. in Wanamassa raised our mother, was an interesting characand lived there the rest of their lives. ter in his own right. He was a paper-hanger, Our father worked full-time for GM a woodworker, a farmer, and an artist. He in Linden and part-time at Garrity’s gas moved his family frequently--mostly within station on Sunset Ave. He served on the Monmouth County. Our mother went to 11 Ocean Township Police Reserves. different grammar schools! Our mother worked, managing In 1927, the Wells family lived on a Larry’s Luncheonette (today, Danny’s) farm in Wall Township. A. Harry Moore Twelve-year-old Marion Wells delivering a on Sunset Ave., and remained active in was governor of New Jersey and visspeech before hundreds at Roosevelt Day fespolitics. She was a Democratic Commitited nearby. He regularly rode horseback tivities in Holmdel, 1934. teeperson for more than a decade. She across the Wells property and came to remained vocal and effective, lending her meet both Austin and five-year-old Marion. It was the start of voice to the causes that moved her. Marion Avene, off Logan a unique friendship. The Moores, who had no children, adored Road, was named for her. little Marion and made her part of their lives. She vacationed with them at the Governor’s Mansion in Sea Girt. The Press called Austin Wells, our great-grandfather lived to 92. He enterher the first family’s “little girl.” tained us with stories of our mom’s remarkable adventures. He
Child orator According to the press clippings, Marion delivered her first political speech at age eight. For Jennie Moore, wife of the governor, presents six-year-old Marion with the Governor’s Silver Cup at the 1928 Asbury Park Baby Parade. Over the years, Marion, riding floats made by her grandfather, took several prizes at the parade.
kept a scrapbook filled with letters to her from Governor and Jennie Moore and Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt. He saved copies of her speeches and scores of her press clippings. We knew, first hand, that our mother, who died in 2010, was an extraordinary woman. His stories were icing on the cake. We treasure them and it’s now our joy to share them with a new generation. * Arthur Harry Moore was New Jersey’s only three-term governor. He served non-consecutive terms: 1925-1929, 1932-1935, and 19381941. He was U.S. Senator from NJ (1935-1938) and left that office after just three years to run for his third term as governor.
Ocean’s Heritage, Winter 2018
Volunteers at a training session for the thirdgrade program, August 2017. Seated, left to right Mildred Sussman, Brenda Wityk, Sergie Conklin, Diane Gentile, Barbara Hudson, Susan Rosenberg; Standing, left to right: George Murphy, Phyllis Fyfe, Ellen Gulick, Lois Landis, Janis Skolnick, Bill Prihel, Gary Edelson, Marge Edelson, Eleanor Millar, and Earl Brunner. (Not in photo: Gale Soler.)
The third-grade program: a 34-year tradition
he eight-year-olds who first came with their classes to the Museum are today old enough to have eight-year-olds of their own. Hosting the Township’s third-graders is a tradition that dates back to the Museum’s beginning. To date, we estimate we’ve introduced local history to well over 7,000 budding historians. Study of community is a part of the third-grade curriculum, so a visit to the Ocean Township Museum is a perfect fit. First stop is the Richmond Gallery, where students hear the story of the old farmhouse (written and illustrated by Museum Trustee Marge Edelson) and learn how it was rescued from the wrecking ball to become the Museum. They visit the Our Town Gallery where they are introduced to the history of the Township, with special emphasis on their own section (Oakhurst, Wanamassa, or Wayside). They spend time in the Hearth and Home Gallery, the oldest part of the house, and imagine the unimaginable--what life was like before electricity and indoor plumbing! Third-grade Program Director Ellen Gulick, herself a retired teacher and school librarian, welcomes volunteers. “Many of the docents in the program are retired teachers, but we have volunteers
from all backgrounds. Before we put you in front of the class, you are trained and mentored,” she explained. “It’s a wonderful way to stay connected with children and serve the community at the same time.” Call the Museum (732-531-2136) to learn more.
Ellen Gulick and Marge Edelson read “The Story of the Old Farmhouse.”
Gallery Talk reveals the back-story of the WWI exhibit
t a members-only gallery talk February 9, Exhibit Director Peggy Dellinger shared the process behind putting together “NJ and the Great War.” The event, designed to thank members for their support, included afternoon tea.
More ways to discover New Jersey History
Ocean’s Heritage, Winter 2018
Mark your calendar
Coming Events Weekend in Old Monmouth Sat. and Sun., May 5 and 6
nce again more than 40 of Monmouth County’s most note-worthy historical sites are opening their doors to the public, free of charge, the first weekend in May. The annual two-day event is a self-guided tour sponsored by the Board of Freeholders and the county Historical Commission. And once again, it features the Woolley House. Tour guide books, available at each site, including our Museum, describe the stops, suggest routes, and provide an easy-to-use map. Google “Weekend in Old Monmouth” for details.
Battle of Monmouth anniversary celebration Sat. and Sun., June 16 and 17
n a miserably hot day, June 28, 1778, George Washington and the Continental Army fought the British to a standstill on a hilltop near what is today Freehold. The British withdrew under darkness, but the battle demonstrated the improved skills of Washington’s troops after their winter encampment at Valley Forge. Celebrations are planned for the Monmouth Battlefield from 7 p.m., Saturday, June 16, to 4 p.m., Sunday, June 17 to commemorate the battle’s 240th anniversary.
Museum receives gift from St. George Church
ate New d
General Meeting and Speaker Event
“The Well-Equipped Doughboy” Wednesday, March 14, 7:15—Oakhurst School Auditorium. Military scholar and living history interpreter Arthur Green shares his expertise and artifacts.
World War I Film Series Sergeant York (1941) 2 & 6:15, Tues., March 20—Ocean Library
Paths of Glory (1941) 2 & 6:15, Tues., April 17—Ocean Library
Gallipoli (1981) 2 & 6:15, Tues., May 15—Ocean Library
Spring Tea Saturday, April 28, 1:30 seating— West Park Recreation Center. Tickets on sale March 1.
Weekend at Old Monmouth Saturday and Sunday, May 5 and 6— A self-guided tour of Monmouth County historical sites, including the Museum.
Battle of Monmouth: 240th anniversary celebration 7 p.m. Saturday to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 16 and 17—Monmouth Battlefield, Manalapan. Exhibit opening Museum members Peggy Dellinger and Marge and Paul Edelson (just right of Father Eugenis) joined representatives of other community organizations, December 10, to receive a donation from the St. George Greek Orthodox Church. Each year, the congregation gives back a percentage of the money raised at its Greek Festival in appreciation of the community’s support.
In memory Dorothy Hughes, 93, of Wanamassa, died October 21. She was a graduate of Asbury Park High School and a long-time Museum member.
Helen Litts, 84, resident of Ocean Township for 55 years, died December 28. Helen was a former recording secretary on the Museum board and a Welcome Desk volunteer Thursday evenings.
Mary Schultz, 70, Museum member and leader in the Monmouth County Genealogy Society, who died tragically New Year’s Eve.
Wet as the Atlantic Ocean: Prohibition in New Jersey Sunday, June 24—The Richmond Gallery of the Eden Woolley House. Our state’s colorful and complicated relationship with the 18th amendment.
Membership Reminder If you haven’t yet renewed your 2018 Museum membership, please use the form on the back of this newsletter to do so now. Your support keeps us going!
Oceanâ€™s Heritage, Winter 2018
7:15 p.m., Wednesday March 14, 2018 Speaker, Arthur Green The Well Equipped Doughboy
Oakhurst Schoolhouse, 163 Monmouth Rd.
The Eden Woolley House
Home of the Township of Ocean Historical Museum
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/-365(-365Äť/,-395g5.)5j Thursday evening: 7 to 9 (April to November) g-.5(5h(5/(3-5) 5."5')(."95g5.)5j5 Funding has been made possible in part by an operating support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a Division of the Department of State, through grant funds administered by the Monmouth County Historical Commission.
The Township of Ocean Historical Museum
2018 Household Membership Application New____ Renewal____
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