Lakewood history to go on display at museum

Lakewood history to go
on display at museum

LAKEWOOD — Hundreds of artifacts from Lakewood’s rich, colorful history, dating to its days as a leading resort, will be displayed at the official grand opening of the town’s first museum Sept. 12.

The Lakewood Heritage Commission created and sponsors the museum in the Lakewood School District Administration Building at 655 Princeton Ave.

Numerous photos, artifacts, newspaper and magazine articles and postcards, including Georgian Court College (now Georgian Court University), the John D. Rockefeller estate (now known as Ocean County Park), the railroad depot and the hotel industry are in the exhibits shown in display cases, on easel display stands and on the walls of the auditorium in the former Lakewood High School on Princeton Avenue.

"The public is invited and encouraged to visit the museum for an afternoon of nostalgia and fellowship," Heritage Com-mission member Sheldon Wolpin said.

Commission members have been at work for more than a year in acquiring the museum space from the Board of Education and stocking and cataloging numerous memorabilia.

The grand opening of the museum is set for Sept. 12 from 2-5 p.m. After the grand opening, the museum will be open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sun-day from 2-5 p.m.

"The commission is seeking additional cases to display more Lakewood artifacts and memorabilia as the commission will periodically change the contents of the display cases," Wolpin said.

Anyone interested in contributing or lending should telephone Wolpin at (732) 920-4550.

According to a press release, museum pieces pre-date 1892 when Lakewood was Bricksburg, then part of Brick Township. Three striking portraits of Carolyn, Sally and Josephine Brick, Brick’s daughters, are shown. Lake Carasaljo was named after the girls.

Pictures of the six U.S. presidents who visited Lakewood — U.S. Grant, Woodrow Wilson, Teddy Roosevelt, William H. Taft and Grover Cleveland — greet visitors.

Lakewood hotels and boarding houses from 1892 to 1993 are shown with complete captions detailing the resort homes. Interior and exterior photos of Georgian Court University and its predecessors, the Gould Estate and Georgian Court College, are shown. George J. Gould is shown on a polo pony, circa 1900-1910.

The Gould Estate stables, boating at the lake, the Lakewood Hotel, water control gates along Route 9 near the railroad, and the Laurel-in-the-Pines Hotel are framed in another display.

Some of the other displays include the former YMCA; the Laurel House; the Kissing Bridge; early Madison Avenue and Clifton Avenue; a map of Lakewood when it was part of Brick; a sample of eminent domain property taken in Lakewood for construction of the Garden State Parkway; a 1917 directory of Lakewood; and vintage milk and soda bottles.

In addition, a newspaper ad heralding that new cement roads had been completed to Point Pleasant and Toms River, bringing the bathing beaches to within a short ride from Lakewood by auto; and a real estate agent offering a limited number of plots at $286 each in the booming and fast-growing resort of Lakewood; newspaper coverage of Lakewood’s 75th anniversary of incorporation in 1967 and the 100th anniversary in 1992 with notations by the museum staff that no celebrations were held for the 25th and 50th birthdays because of World War I and World War II, are displayed.

The original piano used at Lakewood’s first high school and four Lakewood High School diplomas dating from the early 1900s are displayed, along with a model of the Blue Comet passenger train, lanterns, locks and kerosene cans from the Central Railroad of New Jersey; a 1913 photo of Kimball Hospital; the Lakewood Hotel when it was acquired by the federal government and used as U.S. Army General Hospital No. 9 during World War I; and many photos of Lakewood athletic history, including the undefeated 1936 Lakewood High School football team, the 1975 Little League national champions, the Lake-wood BlueClaws, the San Francisco Giants including Dick Estelle of Lake-wood, and the 1905 fox hunts, which started at the Laurel-in-the-Pines Hotel.

Visitors can park at the lot behind the Princeton Avenue building. They are asked to enter the building via the Sixth Street entrance. Light refreshments will be offered during the grand opening; Dorothy and George Hughes will entertain on piano and guitar, respectively; Cathy Lee, a Lakewood school teacher, is the part-time museum coordinator; After the Sept. 12 program, the Heritage Commission plans to host group tours by appointment.