Page 1


The Eden Woolley House

The Township of Ocean Historical Museum

Ocean’s Heritage, Winter 2019


Vol. 35, No. 1, Winter 2019

The Cow Barn near the Eden Woolley House is added to the Museum complex

The Museum now oversees six buildings


y grandmother warned that the reward for work well done is more work . . . .

It all started with a house In 1999, the Township approached the Museum—then housed in two rooms of the School Board Offices—to ask if we would take on the rehabilitation of an 18th century (in its oldest part) farmhouse being moved to parkland. Despite a modest membership and an annual budget that barely reached $5,000, we said “yes” to the more than $750,000 project. The house was moved in 2005. We raised money, managed contractors, recruited volunteers, populated three galleries, and opened the doors to the Eden Woolley House, the Museum’s new home, four years later (record time as such projects go).

Added playhouse and pool house In 2008, we relocated the Victorian Ryan playhouse to the Woolley House grounds. (It had been rescued and moved to the school board property years before.) In 2014, we took responsibility for the Pool House behind the Woolley House, cleaned and secured it, and now use it for storage. We

Museum member Joe Carey by the Cow Barn he’s worked tirelessly to rescue.

recently added a shed to the House grounds for additional storage.

The Tower loomed large All the time we were working on the House and ancillary buildings, the handsome nearby Tower on adjacent parkland loomed large. It once housed water pumping equipment for the farm that occupied the surrounding acres. It sat, visible from the Woolley House, exposed to the elements and wildlife, slowly rotting away. Even in its sorry state, it stood as a compelling symbol of Ocean’s rural past. Though weary from the House restoration, in 2011 we took the first steps to rescue the Tower. We secured grants from the 1772 Foundation and the Township. We replaced roofs, restored windows, added electric and security systems, The Cow Barn and Tower, October 2018. rebuilt the porch, fumigated, painted, cleared brush, and more. need to know about the Museum. The Tower is stabilized. It sits, gleamMember Joe Carey “adopted” the Cow ing white and secure for all to see. There’s Barn. “I couldn’t get that lonely structure more work to be done: heating and AC, off my mind,” Joe explains. “It was being igstairs, and interior finishing. Our vision nored and destroyed by the elements. I startis to open the Tower as an adjunct to the ed stopping by, pulling off a few vines. Soon Museum with a permanent display on the I was there most days—scraping, repairing, region’s farming history. taking stop-gap measures to stem the decay.” And finally, the Cow Barn Joe’s commitment drew supporters. In Just a few feet from the Tower sits a 2018, we talked to the Township and addsmall barn. As we started work on the Tow- ed the Cow Barn to our roster of buildings. er, it was barely visible through the vines Volunteers from the Eatontown Lions Club and brush that enveloped it. It, too, was a scraped and are returning to paint the extecharming reminder of our farming past. rior. We found grants to repair the roof. So tempting. But no! Our plate was We estimate another two years before already more than full. the Cow Barn opens to the public. But stay What happened next tells you all you tuned. We’re on a roll.


Ocean’s Heritage, Winter 2019

Left: A new exhibit “Deal Test Site: 100 Years of History” opened in the Our Town Gallery on Holiday Weekend, December 1 and 2. Right: Cousins Thomas and Sarah Taylor (left) and Julianna Slick (right) played Woolley family members and entertained guests with stories and song.

New exhibit highlights the Township’s most signficant history


he Museum’s Holiday Open House, December 1 and 2, once again featured the premiere of a new mini-exhibit in the Our Town Gallery. “Deal Test Site: 100 Years of History” introduced more than 200 visitors to the wireless research and satellite tracking breakthroughs achieved on the land most know today as Joe Palaia Park. “I visit the park all the time,” said sevenyear-old Pippa Hlatky, “and I didn’t know all these important things happened there!” The Museum, fully decked out for the holidays, offered a model train layout com-

plete with a display of vintage radios. (Early experiments at Deal Test Site advanced the development of commercial broadcast radio.) The Hearth and Home Gallery was transformed into a hand-crafted gift bou-

tique and homemade goodies bakery. Talented young docents brought the Woolley family to life for visitors young and old. The Deal Test Site exhibit is up through November.

A full line-up of Hometown Histories interviews


he complete archive of Hometown Histories, the Museum’s oral/video history program, is available on our website, (The latest episodes are shown on Ocean TV: Cablevision Channel 77 and FiOS Channel 22). A new Hometown Histories series features the history of communities that once were part of Ocean Township. Shows on Ocean Grove and Interlaken are now available and there are more to come. Check the archives to see Hometown Histories host Dallas Grove interview Eva Wiener, whose story of escaping

Nazi Germany appears on page six of this issue.

Left to right: Ted Bell of Ocean Grove and Bob Waitt of Interlaken await their Hometown Histories interviews.

Call for recipes

Millie Susman’s winning raffle ticket was drawn the Sunday of the Holiday Open House. Here Millie, longtime Ocean resident and docent in the Museum’s third-grade program, picks up her hand-made quilt.

The Museum is publishing a cookbook and we need recipes! Please send us your favorites by May 15. Drop them off at the Museum during regular hours, email them to, or mail them to the Museum at PO Box 516, Oakhurst, NJ 07755. Looking forward to hearing from all you good cooks out there.

Ocean’s Heritage is published three times a year by the Township of Ocean Historical Museum Museum President, Paul Edelson Newsletter Editor, Peggy Dellinger


Ocean’s Heritage, Winter 2019

A new take on the Grant presidency, 7:15, Wednesday, April 17

Next up in the Speaker Series: Assessing Grant’s Presidency


t 7:15, Wednesday, April 17, in the auditorium of the School Board Offices, 163 Monmouth Road, Dr. Paul Kahan, a leading expert on 19th century American history, shares insights from his latest book, The Presidency of Ulysees S Grant: Preserving the Civil War’s Legacy. Historians have long portrayed Grant as a flawed, if not failed, President. His two terms were notorious for their corruption and scandal. Grant himself admitted in his final address to Congress, ”Mistakes have been made.... But they were failures of judgment, not of intent.” Kahan argues that Grant’s Presidency needs to be understood in the context of the challenges he faced. The Civil War unleashed unique political, economic, and cultural forces. Grant racked up a series of significant achievements in the face of some daunting circumstances— including a major economic depression and tumultuous politics of Reconstruction. He defeated efforts to annex Cuba. He avoided war with Spain and laid the foundation for the country’s special relationship with England. Dr. Kahan asks us to put the scandals in perspective, avoid the comparison to Grant’s brilliant military career, and consider that Grant’s Presidency was both more progressive and more accomplished than history has recognized.

Dr. Kahan earned his PhD in U.S. history from Temple University, an M.A. in Modern American History and Literature from Drew, and a B.A. in history and English from Alfred University. His other works include books on the American penal system, labor strikes and violence, and Andrew Jackson. Members of the Long Branch Historical Association are special invited guests at the April 17 talk. Their work has included identifying and marking various locations associated with Grant’s long-time connection to their city. Dr. Kahan’s talk is a perfect opportunity to celebrate our area’s ties to the 18th president. 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.)

“By the Sea” The 15th Annual

Spring Tea and Auction

“Heart of Gold” Fundraiser 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 27 Eden Woolley House

Saturday, April 6, 2019 Doors open at 1:30. Tea served, 2 to 4. (There is no waiting area for guests arriving before 1:30.)


n the privacy of the conference room of the Eden Wolley House, turn unwanted jewelry (and more) into cash—and benefit the Museum. Wednesday, March 27, from 6 to 8, fully licensed appraisers from local jeweler Earth Treasures will be on hand to buy your unwanted jewelry and donate 15% of its profit to the Museum. (The donation comes from Earth Treasures’ profits, not your payment. You receive the same price you would at its store.) Gold is currently over $1300 an ounce. It’s a good time to sell. Earth Treasures will buy a diverse selection of items, so even if you’ve participated in the “Heart of Gold” before, you may still have treasure to sell. Visit for a full list of saleable items. If you’re unable to get to the Museum March 27, Earth Treasures will keep the fundraiser open at its Eatontown store through April 3.

venue! nt new Elega

Women’s Club of Asbury Park Building 57 Wickapecko Dr., Ocean


OPEN TO THE PUBLIC Tickets must be purchased in advance Homemade tea sandwiches, breads, scones, and desserts. Gift-basket auction. Hand-crafted items for sale. Fancy BEACH hat contest. Quilt raffle. 50/50. Call 732-531-2136 or visit (PayPal available) for reservations.


Ocean’s Heritage, Winter 2019

Message from the Museum President

Notable Anniversaries


nniversaries are meaningful milestones that shape our sense of who we are. This year, the Township and Museum have three worth celebrating.

the structure and fill its three galleries. In the ten years since, we have organized 22+ exhibits on our regional history, hosted more than 150 school visits, and opened the door to history to thousands through tours, speakers, newsletters, and videos.

One hundred and seventy years ago, on February 21, 1849, the Township of Ocean was created by the New Jersey legislature. It encompassed a huge, sparsely settled, heavily wooded, flat plain along the coast from Sandy Hook south to Shark River. In the years that followed, sixteen communities broke off from Ocean Township to form their own governments—the most recent, Loch Arbour in 1957. What remained was an 11-square-mile farming community with no oceanfront that developed into

These anniversaries invite us to take advantage of the wisdom of hindsight. Behind each milestone were visionaries who could see beyond the challenges and inspire others to create something we cherish today. This year, with its meaningful anniversaries for the Township and the Museum, let’s take the opportunity to remember and appreciate what they accomplished.

The Township of Ocean and the communities it encompassed at its incorporation, 1849.

Ten years ago, in 2009, the Museum moved into a new home, the eighteenth century (in its oldest part) farmhouse that we named the Eden Woolley House. Our volunteers had worked for four years to restore


da e h t Hold

Anniversary Luncheon Saturday, October 26 Deal Country Club

A celebration of our ten years in the Eden Woolley House at the elegant Deal Country Club. We will be honoring Freeholder Lillian Burry for her tireless support of local historic preservation. See for details as they become available.

The Museum in 2018

the Ocean Township we known today, with its parks, recreational and cultural facilities, residential neighborhoods and commercial corridors. Thirty five years ago, in 1984, a group of volunteers organized the Township of Ocean Historical Museum in the former Oakhurst School (today’s School Board Offices) to preserve documents, artifacts and photographs that help to tell the story of the town. The Museum volunteers identified and marked century-old structures, collected oral histories from longtime residents, had programs on local history, held class visits for third-grade students, and published several books on local history.

Paul Edelson

1,819 17 328 17,475

By the Numbers

Visitors to the Museum—60% from outside Ocean Township Class trips—3rd, 6th, and 10th graders; college class Household memberships (representing 623 people) Website visits (


Exhibit openings—Wet as the Atlantic Ocean: Prohibition in NJ; Deal Test Site: 100 Years of History


Speaker events—WWI Doughboy; Lost Attractions of the Shore; Stories Behind the [Sports] Pictures; NJ Innovations


New episodes of “Hometown Histories”


Buildings under Museum care—Eden Woolley House, Tower, Cow Barn, Ryan Playhouse, Pool House, Shed


Hours Museum was open to the public


I Remember . . .

Ocean’s Heritage, Winter 2019

Eva Wiener lived with her family in Wanamassa from 1966, before moving to Neptune in 2002. She and her husband owned and operated Howard Lynn Shoes in Asbury Park and later Ocean Township. Here she shares the remarkable story of her family’s flight from Nazi Germany.

The Voyage of the Damned


was just ten months old in 1939 when my parents carried me aboard the MS St. Louis in Hamburg, Germany, and set out for what they thought would be a new life in Cuba. My memories are not of the journey (I was too young), but of family stories of the journey. It was not until I was 19 or so, and the authors of the book Voyage of the Damned put an ad in the papers looking for survivors of the St. Louis, that I first realized the significance of those stories.


picture from the salon. He headed the ship back as ordered, but he promised the passengers they would not be returned to Germany. He delayed while Jewish organizations negotiated with potential host countries. He threatened to shipwreck the St. Louis off the coast of England where passengers could be rescued and taken in. In the end, Belgium, Holland, France, and England agreed to accept the refugees. Passengers disembarked in Antwerp and from there travelled to the host country of their choice. The empty ship returned to Germany. Back home, Schroder was stripped of his commission. To Jews around the world, he was a hero. Survivors of the St. Louis collected enough money to support him the rest of his life. In 1993, his name was enshrined on Israel’s Yad Va’Shem Holocaust Museum “Wall of Righteousness.”

From the time Hitler took power in 1933, conditions for Jews in Germany deteriorated. November 10, 1938 was a turning point. Mobs destroyed Jewish homes, vandalized businesses, and burned synagogues. An estimated 100 Jews died in the unrestrained violence now known as Kristallnacht. By January, 1939, Polish Jews were ordered reESCAPE TO ENGLAND patriated to Poland—regardless of how long In 1939, on board the St. Louis, my parents they had lived in Germany. Their numbers faced a difficult choice. My father’s sister included my father, who was forced to leave in Belgium urged us to join her there. But behind his wife, baby, and family business. My parents had a plan. If they could book anticipating Hitler’s ambition, he instead passage and secure a visa to a country willing chose England. (My father’s intuition to accept them, they would be free to leave as a Ten-month-old Eva aboard the St. Louis. served us well. His sister was among the family. My mother’s brother lived in Cuba and more than five million Jews killed in the helped with the visa. They bought round-trip tickets on the St. Holocaust—as were 280 of the passengers of the St. Louis Louis with no intention of returning to Germany. who chose countries later invaded by the Nazis.) On May 13, 1939, our small family—along with more than We immigrated to England and were in London through 900 other Jews-- set sail. the Battle of Britain. After the war, we moved to the United States and settled in Queens. I spent summers with an aunt THE NAZIS ALSO HAD A PLAN in Belmar. And there I met my husband, a Jersey City native Those on board did not know it, but Nazis planned the voyage of who had moved to Belmar. the St. Louis as a propaganda coup. Headlines read “Jews Permitted to Immigrate” while German officials made secret arrangements with Cuba to refuse the ship dockage. The St. Louis sailed on to Miami, but President Roosevelt denied debarkation in the states. Hitler used the rejections to make his case: “See, no one in the world wants them. Let us eliminate the problem.” The Nazis ordered the St. Louis back to Germany.

THE HERO OF THE STORY Gustav Schroder, captain of the ship, was not a Nazi. In fact, he put the Nazi official on board in the brig and removed Hitler’s

TELLING THE STORY Twenty years ago, I gave myself an assignment: to tell the story of the St. Louis. It took time for me to appreciate its significance and I am determined to share its lesson. I speak wherever I can—to students, seniors, anyone willing to listen. My message is simple: Don’t be a bystander. Stand up against hate and bigotry, even when the world around you will not.

Eva Wiener

Ocean’s Heritage, Winter 2019


Selecting the elected board by e-ballot

The Proposed 2019-2021 Slate of Officers/Trustees


he Museum Board is made up of seven elected officers, six elected trustees, and a flexible number of appointed directors. The officers are elected to two-year terms. The trustees serve six-year overlapping terms. The officers and trustees are elected by the membership—this year by an e-ballot, emailed to members February 26, responses received by March 5. (Paper ballots were also available at the Museum.) Following the election, the officers and trustees meet to name the appointed directors and complete the Board, consistent with Museum’s strategic goals.



President: Paul Edelson Three-term Museum President. Charter member of the Museum (former Trustee, budget committee, property management team, and more). 35+ years of community service (Zoning and Planning Boards, Board of Education, Boy Scouts).

1st Vice President (Events): Brenda Wityk Former President and Museum Director, two-term 1st VP. The force behind Museum gift auctions, the Flea Market, and fund-raisers. A leader in school and church communities.

Paul Edelson

Brenda Wityk

Joan Brown

Jack McCormack

Sergie Conklin

Celeste Jones

Marianne Wilensky

Phyllis Fyfe

Joel Leone

Ginny Richmond

2nd Vice President (Membership): Joan Brown New to the Board. Museum docent (3rd grade program). 43-year resident of Ocean. 19-year tenure as Director of the Wesley Nursery School (Oakhurst), recently retired. Community and church leader.

Treasurer: Jack McCormack Two-term Treasurer. Retired Director of Information Systems Auditing for several Fortune 50 companies. Worked for McCormack, Baker and Neral, CPAs, and established their information technology department. Corresponding Secretary: Celeste Jones New to the Board. Long-time member. 50-year Ocean resident. Realtor for 30 years, currently with Century 21. Member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Recording Secretary: Sergie Conklin Current Recording Secretary and former Corresponding and Recording Secretary, Museum docent, quilter, and living history interpreter. Became active in the Museum following her career as a social worker for the state of New Jersey. Museum Director: Marianne Wilensky New to the Board. Museum docent. 30-year Oakhurst resident. Professional community planner. 30 years with the Township Department of Community Planning; retiring in 2017 as its Director. Former member of Board of Education.


rustees* Joal Leone (2019-2025) Continuing as a Trustee. The talent and energy behind the Museum’s hospitality at meeting and events.

Phyllis Fyfe (2019-2025) New to the Board. 25-year active member. 54-year Oakhurst resident. 40-year school librarian, retiring from Ocean Township Intermediate School. Driving force and 54-year member of the Friends of the Library. 2002 Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Year. 2009 Ocean Township Employee of the Year.

Ginny Richmond (filling unexpired 2017-2023 term) Museum President for ten years. Led the organization through the transition to the Woolley House. Former Museum Director. Retired teacher (20 years in the Long Branch School system). * Trustees serving unexpired terms--2015-2021: Eileen McCormack, Peggy Dellinger; 2017-2023: Marge Edelson, (John Huss stepped down from his Trusteeship).


Weekend in Old Monmouth Sat. and Sun., May 4 and 5


nce a year, Monmouth County’s most note-worthy historical sites open their doors to the public, free of charge, as part of the Weekend in Old Monmouth. The twoday 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 guidebooks, 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.

Ocean’s Heritage, Winter 2019

Mark your calendar

Coming Events Museum re-opens Thursday evenings March 14 and every Thursday, 7 to 9—

Eden Woolley House

Heart of Gold Fundraiser The Strauss Mansion Museum, Atlantic Highlands, is among the more than 45 historic sites open, free of charge, May 4 and 5.

Wednesday, March 27, 6 to 8 p.m.—

Eden Woolley House nue

ve Elegant new

Spring Tea

Two honorary trusteeships awarded

Saturday, April 6, 1:30 seating— Woman’s Club of Asbury Park building, Wickapecko Dr., Wanamasssa. Speaker Event

“The Grant Presidency” Wednesday, April 17, 7:15—Oakhurst School Auditorium. Historian and author Dr. Paul Kahan sheds new light on our 18th president.

Weekend at Old Monmouth Saturday and Sunday, May 4 and 5— A self-guided tour of 46 Monmouth County historical sites, including our Museum. Howard “Doc” Richmond (left) and Bob Landis


he Museum thrives on the selfless dedication of its volunteers. And there are among them, a few extraordinary individuals who stand out for the difference they have made over the years. These are the elite few Honorary Trustees, a distinction awarded for long-term, significant service.

This year, Doc Richmond and Bob Landis received this honor. Doc, for his leadership through the move and restoration of the Woolley House. Bob for more than three decades of gracious and skilled contributions—from his artwork to his tenure as treasurer and property manager.

In memory Judy Hazelrigg, 76, of Oakhurst, died January 22. Judy was a long-time and loyal member, who shared her American Girl doll collection with guests at our Doll Tea each year and most recently handled the Museum docent schedule.

Raymond DeFaria of Ocean Grove died January 19. He was an active volunteer in his community, including work with the Food Bank, Girl Scouts, and Habitat for Humanity.

Susan MacDonald died January 15. She was a long-time member and exhibiter at our Doll Tea.

Patricia Hammernick Bradley, 81, lived in Oakhurst before moving to Brick after her retirement. She worked for 30 years as secretary to Ocean Township’s superintendent of schools.

Exhibit opening

“Votes for Women: Suffrage in NJ” For members: Friday, June 21, 7 to 9 To the public: Sunday, June 23, 1 to 4 Richmond Gallery of the Woolley House.

American Doll Tea Sunday, July 14 (Rain Date July 21)— Eden Woolley House and grounds.

Anniversary Luncheon Saturday, October 26—Deal Country Club.

Membership Reminder If you haven’t yet renewed your 2019 Museum membership, please use the form on the back of this newsletter to do so now. Your support keeps us going!

Ocean’s Heritage, Winter 2019

7:15 p.m., Wednesday April 17 Speaker, Dr. Paul Kahan Rethinking the Grant Presidency

Oakhurst Schoolhouse, 163 Monmouth Rd.

The Eden Woolley House

Home of the Township of Ocean Historical Museum

703 Deal Road • Ocean, NJ 07712

(Mailing address: P.O. Box 516 • Oakhurst, NJ 07755) 732-531-2136 •

Museum Hours

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 1 to 4 Thursday evening: 7 to 9 (April to November) 1st and 2nd Sundays of the month: 1 to 4 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

2019 Household Membership Application New____ Renewal____


Name(s) you would like to appear on your membership card and correspondence.

_______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ Number of people in your household (your membership includes them all) ___________________ Street _______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Town_______________________________________ State________________________ Zip________________________________ Phone________________________ Email (used only to send notice of Museum events )______________________________________________ Please check your level of support. (The Museum is ___ Friend of the Museum $5000+ ___ Silver Member $250 ___ Supporter $25+

501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and donations are tax deductible, as allowed by law.) ___ Platinum Member $1000+ ___ Gold Member $500+ ___ Benefactor $100+ ___ Patron $50+ ___ Basic Member $15+

Please check the areas where you might be interested in sharing your time and talent ___Historical research ___ Grant preparation ___Collections/Acquisitions ___ 3rd Grade program ___Public relations ___ Exhibits ___Fund-raising ___ Oral histories ___ Restoration ___ Baking ___ Tour guide/Docent ___ Other ___________________

___ Membership ___ Quilting/Crafts ___Office work ___Gardening

Detach and mail to Township of Ocean Historical Museum, P.O. Box 516, Oakhurst, NJ 07755, or pay through PayPal (PayPal now handles single credit card transactions and no longer requires PayPal membership. Go to to pay electronically. )

For Office use only : Check #_______________ $___________________

Cash $____________________

Profile for Township of Ocean Historical Museum

2019-02 - Ocean's Heritage - Newsletter of the Township of Ocean Historical Museum