My Dear Sarah~ Volume 14,Issue 4 WINTER Newsletter of the Atlantic County Historical Society

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1 Volume 14,Issue 4 Newsletter of the Atlantic County Historical Society My Dear Sarah~ WINTER 2016 By Sheryl Collins The Annual Installation Luncheon of the Atlantic County Historical Society was held at Greate Bay Country Club on Saturday, October 15 th. Listed below are the members who were administered the oath of office by past president, Dick Squires. We are proud to welcome three new Trustees, Turiya Abdul Raheem, Mary Rydezewski and Lynn Wood. The ACHS looks forward to a long and fruitful relationship. Following a scrumptious meal Skip Bellino and Dale Lonkart transported us back in time to the Civil War era from which they read poignant letters written by service men and their families. The original letters housed at the Atlantic County Historical Society were transcribed by Dale and her late husband, George. The scene was set, the players well prepared and the audience was drawn into a time long past. Tears were shed as the audience was harkened back to a hard-fought war in the history of the United States. One lengthy letter, eloquently written by a senior officer, clearly explained the events and reasons this war was being fought and clearly outlined the strategy of the military. The most heart wrenching letter, read by Skip Bellino, was written to the soldier s beloved wife, Sarah. In this epistle he professed his deep love for her and the cause for which he was fighting. The tear jerking clincher was that he had died on the field of battle two weeks later. Despite our tears shed during this year s program, the Atlantic County Historical Society continues to bring us tidbits of history at our Annual Installation Luncheon. Possibly next year we ll bring to you the hilarious events that have taken place in our past! Nominations: October 2016 to October 2018 Cindy Mason-Purdie Vice President Charlene Canale, Treasurer Ellen Hyatt Financial Secretary Diane Miller Assistant Librarian Joan Frankel Curator Diane Bassetti Historian Skip Bellino and Dale Lonkart reading letters written by servicemen from the Civil War. Below, some Civil War artifacts. TRUSTEES Ben Brenner Ruth Taylor Mary Rydzewski William Rozell Turiya Abdur-Kareem Lynn Wood The Atlantic County Historical Society will be closed during construction. Please visit our website or Facebook for updates. Atlantic Heritage 1

2 Events and Happenings Program Logistics RISLEY HOMESTEAD 8 Virginia Avenue (near 400 block of Shore Rd) Northfield, NJ Program Description The Risley Homestead is one of two 18th century houses in Atlantic County individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was home to many generations of Risley oystermen. The ACHS received the Homestead and its furnishings by bequest from Virginia Risley Stout in The Homestead is open for individual and small group guided tours. Contact ACHS for details. LOVE TO SHOP ONLINE? Well, now you can donate to the Atlantic County Historical Society while you shop. Just sign on to and shop online with over 1400 of your favorite stores. Select Atlantic County Historical Society as the organization that you wish your donation to be sent. A percentage of your order through is calculated and mailed to the Historical Society monthly. Each store donates a different percentage. We have also added Amazon Smile for shopping and donations. On your first visit to, you will need to select the Atlantic County Historical Society as the organization to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. What more could you ask for? Shop and donate to our organization at the same time. ATLANTIC COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY 907 Shore Road, Somers Point, NJ Monday, February 13, :30pm ATLANTIC COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY 907 Shore Road, Somers Point, NJ Monday, March 13, :30pm ATLANTIC COUNTY UTILITIES AUTHORITY (ACUA) Delilah Rd., Egg Harbor Twp. Inside the Tent Sunday, April 23, :00am 4:00pm WASH S INN Despite changes in location, Wash s Inn was always maintained by the same family, and was one of the oldest black-owned businesses in the Greater Atlantic City area. Turiya S.A. Raheem will provide the back story on this family owned business which was featured in her book Growing Up In The Other Atlantic City: Wash s & The Northside. AMERICAN PIRATES Author, Lee A. Ireland will be speaking on his book, America s Pirates & Their Hidden Treasures. This book is the first in a series that will cover the entire United States. It covers New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland during the Golden Age of Pirates, ~ r the entire United States. It covers New EARTH ACUA The Atlantic County Historical Society will have a booth at the Earth Day EcoFair at the Atlantic County Utilities Authority s annual event, which draws thousands of adults and children. Come out and get acquainted with all that the ACHS has to offer. Fuzzy the Clown will be back! Atlantic Heritage 2

3 AS ALWAYS, THANK YOU! In the spirit of Thanksgiving Day, we would like to offer thanks to our generous members listed below: FRIEND $1 - $49 Paul W. Schopp, Robert and Lynne Warner, William and MaryLou Crimbring, Frieda L. Korte, Lorraine Merryman, Frances Brewin, James and Kathleen Biggs, Anthony and Nanette Musarra, Walter and Lois Gregory, Ed and Charlene Canale~ In Memory of: Grayce Anne McConville PATRON $50 - $249 Lewis and Deborah Barrett, III, Charles Birnstiel, Howard W. Gant, Jim and Lu Leeds, Longport Historical Society, William & Rosemary Wallace, Edward T. Stephenson, Babs Perry-Silva ~ In Memory of: Carolyn D. Perry Don Perry ~ In Memory of: Carolyn D. Perry Charles E. Conover, Jr. ~ In Memory of: Lila and Edgar Conover Lynne Lochel ~ In Memory of: Mary Reed and Betty Steelman Dorothy Lodovico ~ In Honor of: Mary Beth Ortzman SPONSOR: $250 - $1000 H. Paxson Keates Daniel Morello, Judith A. Broome, Susanne Morello and Michael Morello Susan Karibjanian, Nancy Karibjanian, George Karibjanian and Patricia K. DiBari Robert and Joanne Stiefbold The Atlantic County Historical Society is pleased to welcome our new members: Mathew S. Rydzewski, 3 rd, Lafayette Hill, PA Dawn Wighton, Tuckerton, NJ Turiya S. Abdur-Raheem, Atlantic City, NJ Amy L. Rozell, Somers Point, NJ Susan Slaninka, Somers Point, NJ New Life Member: David Speer, Clinton, Wa Ye Olde Flea Market The weather was miserable and the ACHS volunteers used extraordinary means to stay warm and dry, but at the end of the day the effort was worth it. ACHS raised $560. at the Greate Egg Harbor Township Historical Society annual Flea Market held on September 26 th, proving once again that one man s trash is another man s treasure! President: Sid Parker, Jr. Vice-President: Cindy Mason-Purdie Recording Secy: Barbara Perry-Silva Treasurer: Charlene Canale Asst. Treasurer: Pat Parker Financial Secretary: Ellen Hyatt Atlantic County Historical Society Governing Board Librarian: Rev. Norman Goos Assistant Librarian: Diane Miller Curator: Joan Frankel Asst. Curator: Kevin Little Historian: Diane Bassetti Chaplain: Rev. Norman Goos Trustees: Turiya Abdur-Raheem, Diane Bassetti, Skip Bellino, Ben Brenner, Sheryl Collins, Frank Ferry, Freda Heintz, James Mason,V, Mary Beth Ortzman, Donald Perry, Mary Rydzewski, Ruth Taylor, Will Rozell & Lynn Wood. Atlantic Heritage 3

4 VHP ANNUAL MEET AND GREET By Susan C. Slaninka The Veterans History Project held their annual Meet and Greet event at the Zion Methodist Church on November 5, This annual event is held to honor the veterans interviewed throughout the year. This year the committee members interviewed 27 veterans and all were invited to attend the event with any family and friends that they wished to include. The event began with a warm welcome from Susan C. Slaninka, a salute to the flag led by Steve Jasiecki, and then highlighted the Star Spangled Singers who led the audience in the Star Spangled Banner. Reverend David Schumacher of the Zion Methodist Church provided the invocation. Helen Walsh gave a wonderful summary of the history of the Veterans History Project and shared that over 300 veterans have been interviewed by our group since its inception in During the presentation phase of the program, each veteran received a CD of his/her interview and was encouraged to share a part of their story with the audience. Needless to say, this part of the program is an emotional experience for all attending. One veteran shared about his experience in a concentration camp in Poland and his ultimate service in the military during the Korean War. Another Vietnam veteran shared how grateful he was to be thanked for his service. As we all know, this wasn t always the case for those veterans returning from the Vietnam War. A particularly positive aspect of this year s event was the contribution of the South Jersey Quilts of Valor group who wrapped each veteran in a Quilt of Valor as a special gift of gratitude for their service. The Quilts of Valor Foundation was started by Catherine Roberts, RN while her son was serving in Iraq. She felt a need to do something with her hands rather than worry about her son while he was overseas. Her mission then became to give quilts to every person who has served. This national group has distributed close to 148,000 Quilts of Valor to date. A special Quilt of Valor was presented to Reverend Schumacher for his dedication to our project. His church has provided the space for our four interview dates each year and for the Meet and Greet Event. We are very grateful to him for this commitment to our veterans and to our project. Special thanks need to go to the following people who made this event a huge success. Steve Jasiecki was our official photographer for the Meet and Greet and some of his pictures are included in this article. DePaul Health Systems, was kind enough to contribute the refreshments for the group following the SAME OLD, SAME OLD We d like to show you pictures of a pristine parking lot and grounds, freshly-painted interior walls, functioning elevator, full library shelves and new bathrooms. Alas, not yet. For now, we offer more pictures of gradual progress. But, as they say, good things come to those who wait. Members and staff will all be happy when we are clean and neat and we can finally say we re open for business. Top: The Museum Floor looks like a ghost town as it is completely covered while walls are demolished to link the new space to the old. Bottom: Norm Goos, Librarian and a Renaissance man of many talents, tries to put the Library back together after the new carpet was installed in mid- November. This is part of the Progress referred to in Norm s article on pg 7. presentations. Thank you to Dawn Wighton for making this contact. Thanks to Sheryl Collins, Chairperson of the Veterans History Committee, for her hard work and commitment to this project. Thanks to all the members of the Veterans History Committee for their work all year. It is an honor to serve with them in honoring our veterans. L-R: Susan Slaninka presents a quilt to Pastor David Schumacher. A Quilt of Valor is presented to 91-year-old WWII veteran Harold Kline. Atlantic Heritage 4

5 Library & Museum Accessions Norman Goos, Librarian Diane Miller, Assistant Librarian Accession# Donor - Description Gift of Jerry French - Postcard - Garden Pier. 4 Booklets: The Churches of Northfield. Miss Lizzie Price on Early Northfield. Historic Houses of Northfield. More Historic Houses of Northfield Gift of Jerry Greenberg - Bank Book with key. Atlantic City Elks pin #276. Atlantic City Special Detective badge. Atlantic County Special Sheriff badge Gift of Anthony Kutschera - Postcard - Boardwalk. Book - American Biography, pub Book - New Jersey, A Historical Commercial and Industrial Review, pub Photo - Atlantic City High School Class of Book - Who's Who in New Jersey, Atlantic County Edition, copyright Gift of Mabel Montford - 34 Photos- Atlantic City Post Office construction Gift of Richard Squires - Book - Greater Atlantic City Chamber Annual Awards Dinner, 2016 Letter - The Kiwanis Club of Atlantic City Gift of Jane Roesch - 7 Photos - Atlantic County and Absecon Politicians and Republican Club. Ticket - Republican Ticket, City of Absecon. Magazine - New Jersey County Government Gift of Jerry French - Greeting Card - Sketch of 1 W. Rosedale Ave, Northfield Postcard - French's Neptune Inn, Atlantic City Gift of Stockton University - Book - SoJourn, Spring Gift of Donald Nyce - Resorts International long sleeve T-shirt Gift of Jennifer Bowen - 2 Pamphlets- Pleasantville Republican Club. 2 Pamphlets- Northeast Pleasantville Improvement Association. Program - Variety Night 1963, Egg Harbor Chapter of Deborah. Program - The Young Republican Clubs of Cape May and Atlantic Counties Gift of Jan Eckman - Postcard - Atlantic City. Postcard booklet - Atlantic City Gift of Jerry French - 2 souvenir ashtrays. Commemorative plate Trinity Baptist Church Pleasantville NJ Gift of Janet Larocca - 6 one dollar Atlantic County scrip notes from the early 1930s Gift of Phil Frecon - 12 Maps - Absecon Island Waterways and Vicinity Gift of Jackie Mabesa - Photo album - Atlantic City and Vicinity Gift of B. Giovanelli - 67 photos Hurricane, Atlantic City Gift of Cape May County Historical Society - Deed - Conveyances to John T Ryon Gift of John Dilks - CD - Mary Ella Somers Movie Gift of Napa County Historical Society - Postcard - The Grand Promenade, Atlantic City Gift of Phyllis Morris - Framed Photo - Atlantic City Boardwalk. Photo - Atlantic City Boardwalk, Rendevous Amusement Park Photo - Atlantic City Bones 1931, autographed Gift of Joan Wilson - Advertising - Englishtown Auction. Ballot - Somers Point Newspapers: The Current Sept. 10, The Press - Jan. 17, The Press - July 16, The Press - Sept. 12, The Press - Sept. 19, The Press - Atlantic County Sesquicentennial May 8, South Jersey Living Feb. 4, Map - Cape May County Map - Map of Ocean City and Somers Point Map- Atlantic City and Atlantic County Map - Street Guide to Northfield, Linwood, Somers Point and Atlantic County Map - Hammonton, Egg Harbor City, Buena Nautical Chart- Little Egg Harbor to Cape May Gift of Alvin Schaut - Postcard - Hotel Dennis Gift of Lance Steelman - Book - Hanaskede Ryttare, in Swedish language. Manuscript - Hanaskede Riders, English translation of Hanaskede Ryttare Gift of Phyllis Morris - Brick from Atlantic City High School Gift of Benjamin Brenner - Postcard Album - approximately 300 cards Gift of Unknown Donor - 14 photos - Smithville. Photo - Inlet Hotel and Restaurant. Atlantic Heritage 5

6 A NEW BOOK ABOUT THE JEWISH COMMUNITY To Dale, who started me on this project as to the need for this book. Can t thank you enough. Jerry Author Jerry Gordon with his book about the development of the Jewish community in the Atlantic City area. These are the words penned by the author inside the cover of his first published book as he proudly gifted it to the woman who had inspired it. Here in lies proof that the simplest words spoken by one can have a profound effect on the life of another. The book is called From Its Beginnings, the Jewish Community of the Atlantic City Area. Jerry Gordon, of Egg Harbor Townshop, is the author and an Atlantic County Historical Society volunteer. He explained, It came about when Dale (Lonkart, ACHS volunteer and former librarian) mentioned the need to my wife, Barbara they were classmates that we (the ACHS library) didn t have much about the Jewish community. When Barbara shared this exchange with Jerry, he started thinking about this as an idea for a book, mentioned it to his adult children and thus began his sixyear research journey. His guiding force was Allen Boo Pergament, a former ACHS curator, who was renowned for his knowledge of Atlantic City history and his Booseum, a museum of Atlantic City memorabilia housed in his home. Jerry remembers that, Boo said to me, Don t wait to interview people because they may not be here on this earth [if you wait]. This turned out to be prophetic, said Jerry, for Boo passed away before this book was finished. On the Acknowledgments page, Jerry writes that Boo helped me capture the magnitude and dynamics of a community that thrived as it formed the lives of many of its Jewish inhabitants. Jerry s research led him to the libraries of ACHS, Atlantic City, Temple University and the Alexander Library of Rutgers University. When synagogues close, their archives go to Temple or Rutgers, he added. The latter two facilities also provided a valuable resource, The Jewish Record. According to the Library of Congress website, this was a newspaper published in Atlantic City from 1939 to In preparation, Jerry also visited all the synagogues in the area. One, in particular, is closely tied to his family. On page 27 of his book, Jerry writes of the birth of the fourth Conservative synagogue on Absecon Island. The new congregation began in Margate with services at the home of Rose and Dan Gordon, assisted by their children, Jerry, Evelyn and Ginny on North Essex Avenue. This was the beginning of Temple Beth El in the late 1950s. But there is so much more to the Jewish community than synagogues, said Jerry. I wanted to capture the culture of the area. His book touches on many categories which are reflected in its Table of Contents. These range from chapters on the Jewish Community Center, which became a cornerstone for Jewish life, to Hotels and Rooming Houses, which describes the evolution of Jewish Kosher vacation establishments. It appropriately ends with a segment on Holocaust Survivors. On the book s dedication page, Jerry aptly writes, To those Jewish settlers who ventured into South Jersey so many years ago with nothing but a hope for a future and a commitment to their heritage, I wish to dedicate this book.. This self-published book was printed in an easy-to-read font by SmartPress of Chanhassen, MN. It s 69 glossy pages are well illustrated with black and white photos. It will soon be available for sale at ACHS for $10.. On the book s cover (see picture above) is the stained glass window which was a part of Beth Kehillah/Community Synagogue recovered through the efforts of David Gordon and Rabbi Mendy Bogomilsky. Atlantic Heritage 6

7 Library Corner Norman Goos, Librarian ~ Asst. Librarian, Diane Miller PROGRESS or REGRESS? THAT IS THE DAILY QUESTION! Delays, dirt and unexpected deviltry. That s how it feels right now here at ACHS. Bah humbug!! If that sounds like complaining or a pity-party, you re right - it is! You know, building programs stink while they are in progress. As with any building program, one takes a few excited steps forward and then a couple of groaning steps backward, but eventually the project is finished and happiness returns. We look forward to the arrival of February and our expected re-opening. We re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. The retired pastor in me looks forward to shouting Hallelujah soon. As I m sitting here in the ACHS office this morning (11/8 Election Day), the only place not covered in plaster and concrete dust is Freda s office. This pace is dirtier than the present election cycle. So much for my feeble attempt at humor. All of our volunteers have been asked to stay away for a couple of weeks until the dirty work is finished. We should be fine to restart staff work after Thanksgiving or perhaps later. We ll keep you abreast of what occurs on the ACHS Face Book page. The new addition is now sealed in from the weather and the interior work has started at a fast pace. The new carpet has been laid in the library and the auditorium. The doorway arches have been cut through on all 3 floors and sections of the ceilings are now being cut out to accommodate the extensions of the HVAC ducts. The new addition has been studded out, the plumbing roughed in and the electrical work should start soon. This afternoon I signed a contract with the security company for the new alarm system which will soon be installed, including a buzz-in security system on the main door, like you see in public schools. We are awaiting the installation of the interior fire stairway and the elevator in a few weeks. Once all of that is done, the dropped ceilings will be installed, as will the lobby carpeting on the 3 floors. Outside railings will also be installed. We are expecting (hoping may be more accurate) to have our CO by the end February. If you are in the building, please do not go into the new addition. We don t want anyone to fall into the empty stairway chasm or the gaping elevator hole. They say that the fall will not hurt but the sudden stop at the bottom will not be fun. The outside landscaping will have to wait for the spring when the city completes the bike path behind the building. As soon as the dirty work is done, we must start cleaning the building, moving the 400+ cases of books back to the library and getting ready to reopen. Please remember that we will need as much help as possible for this task: vacuum operators, light cleaners, book dusters, people to place the books back on the shelves, inventory checkers, etc. There will be work for everyone to do. We ll contact you when the time is near. Oh yes, we re paying a moving company to bring the 400+ cases of books back downstairs to the library area so you won t have to carry boxes. And once we get the library finished, I hope we can all pitch in with Joan and make some progress in the museum too, probably starting with the auditorium first. Best wishes for a healthy, happy and safe 2017! Need to Contact Us? Phone: (609) or Visit our Facebook page or website Norm Goos, Librarian Newsletter Editor, Layout & Graphics : Ellen Hyatt Contributors to this Issue: Sid & Pat Parker, Norman Goos, Sheryl Collins, Dale Lonkart, Freda Heintz, Diane Miller, Susan Slaninka & Charlene Canale The Atlantic County Historical Society received an operating grant from the Atlantic County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs. Atlantic Heritage 7

8 NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION U.S. POSTAGE PAID PERMIT NO. 164 Pleasantville, NJ Shore Road Post Office Box 301 Somers Point, New Jersey ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED PLEASE RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP IF YOU RE LATE! Our Mission: To collect and preserve historical materials exemplifying the events, places, and lifestyles of the people of Atlantic County and southern New Jersey. To encourage the study of history and genealogy. To provide historical and genealogical information to our membership and the general public. Atlantic Heritage 8