Atlantic County Historical Society to celebrate centennial Saturday

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Atlantic County Historical Society assistant librarian, Diane Miller welcomes visitors to their building at 907 Shore Road in Somers Point to catch up with all the rich history of the region; books, clothes, weapons, tools and so much more. Atlantic County Historical Society assistant librarian, Diane Miller welcomes visitors to their building at 907 Shore Road in Somers Point to catch up with all the rich history of the region; books, clothes, weapons, tools and so much more.

 

SOMERS POINT – Saturday at 11 a.m. Dick Squires, the president of the Atlantic County Historical Society, along with Somers Point Mayor Jack Glasser, will cut a ribbon and shortly thereafter, a birthday cake celebrating a century of connecting people with the history around them. It’s the 100th anniversary of the county historical society and its mission today continues to be the same as when the group began; encourage the study of local history and genealogy and to disseminate this information to its members and the general public.

The ACHS was founded in 1913 by eight women, all members of the Daughters of the American Revolution, a storied organization whose members must be able to trace their lineage to the Colonial era. Referred to as the “Founding Mothers,” the original members are described as “doers” and encouraged others to join them in their effort to bring people together with their past.

The founding members who held their first meeting on July 23, 1913 in the home of Mrs. Mary Fish in Pleasantville are Mrs. Samuel Johnson, Mrs. L. Dow Balliet, Mrs. M.V.B. Scull, Miss Sarah Risley, Mrs. M.F. Ketchum, Miss Lizzie Price, Mr. and Mrs. J. Byron Rogers and Mrs. Fish. 

Today’s volunteers who work in the Atlantic County Historical Society building include Dianne Miller of Galloway, who admits that history and genealogy is her passion; she has been helping visitors connect with their past since 1998.

Dale Lonkart of Northfield has been helping at the ACHS Museum since 1990. “When I discovered my family history, it was like a door opened,” said Lonkart. “I really like that I can possibly do that for someone else.”

The museum, located at 907 Shore Road, just a few hundred yards from the Somers Mansion, is home to great collections of memorabilia of the region as well as records, ledgers, books, clothes and so much more. Shipbuilding and making a life on the water were very important to the region and is well represented in the museum. In the Atlantic Heritage, the newsletter for the ACHS, the authors shared a few things to think about.

What else happened aside from the historical society being founded in 1913? The population of the United States was 97,335,000 and a postage stamp was 2 cents. The 16th Amendment was ratified establishing the income tax. Cracker Jacks started to put toys in the boxes. Gideon Sundback of Hoboken patented the all-purpose zipper and Mary Phelps Jacobs patented the elastic brassiere. The Brooklyn Dodgers played their first game at Ebbets Field and Tiny Broadwick was the first woman in parachute from an airplane in 1913. There were some very famous people who were born the same year the ACHS was born: Vivian Leigh, Burt Lancaster, Danny Kaye, Red Skelton, Richard Nixon, Albert Camus, Jesse Owens, Jimmy Hoffa and Vince Lombardi.

In honor of their centennial, members of the ACHS have put together a wonderful cookbook; “Recipes through the Years.” It is loaded with recipes that have graced dinner tables over the years; family favorites that are tried and true like Grandmother Giberson’s chocolate cake or Florence Tummon’s bread and butter pickle recipe. The cookbooks are available for $20 and are proving to be a very popular gift.

The ACHS will have cake and lemonade on Saturday after the ribbon cutting along with museum and library tours.

The hours for this special centennial event are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. There is no charge and parking is available in the rear of the building, 907 Shore Road in Somers Point. To keep up to date on the ACHS visit their website, www.atlanticcountyhistoricalsocietynj.org.

Atlantic County Historical Society Cookbook is available at the musem Atlantic County Historical Society Cookbook is available at the musem


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