Volume 4, Issue 1
A “Sign” of Things to Come
New exterior signs to be unveiled this spring!
In early January, the Somers Point Zoning Board approved
an application by the Atlantic Heritage Center to install new
exterior signs in the front and rear of our building. The signs
were professionally designed by Parker & Partners Marketing
Resources, LLC in Absecon, NJ, and are being constructed
and installed by Artcraft Sign Studio Inc. of Pine Hill, NJ.
The signs feature our new name, logo, and tagline and were
designed and proportioned to significantly enhance our
visibility within the community. The 7’x8’, double-sided
dimensional front sign (drawing at right) includes a letter
board that provides us flexibility to advertise our hours,
exhibits, special events, and parking information. The
smaller rear entrance sign (drawing below) is being funded
through donations by Trustees Dawn and Marge Risley.
The signs will be installed this spring and the Governing
Board of the Atlantic Heritage Center is planning a special
media event in conjunction with the official unveiling. They
are also considering a fund-raising campaign focused on the
front sign to defray the costs associated with this project.
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
2 Upcoming Events
3 Welcome New Members!
4 Individual and Corporate Giving
5 What’s New?
7 Library and Museum Spotlight
Atlantic Heritage 1
Events and Happenings
Mark your calendar now for the following special events presented by the Atlantic Heritage Center.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Program Logistics Program Description
Wednesday, March 15 Music of the Irish People
7:00 pm Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Michael Garvin, Atlantic County Clerk, who will offer
Atlantic Heritage Center an evening of entertainment featuring Irish music, instruments, singing, and dancing.
907 Shore Road, Somers Point, NJ
2nd Floor Auditorium Refreshments including Irish tea, cookies, and cakes will be served.
Fee: $8.00 donation per person
Saturday, May 20 A Day with Dick “Quiet Thunder” Gilbert
11:00 am – 4:00pm Back by popular demand! Dick “Quiet Thunder” Gilbert, a Lenni Lenape Indian, offers
Atlantic Heritage Center a fascinating view into the customs and culture of the tribe through a series of interactive
907 Shore Road, Somers Point, NJ
presentations (scheduled for 11:30am, 1:00pm and 3:00pm) and an extensive display of
Fee: $5.00 donation per person Indian artifacts. This is an all-day event perfect for the entire family featuring games and
or $10.00 donation per family activities for children. Indian-themed refreshments will be served (for an additional fee).
(Held rain or shine. Outdoor event – weather permitting.)
Saturday, July 8 Victorian Tea on the Lawn of the Risley Homestead
12:00 noon Dress in your finest Victorian garb (optional) and bring your favorite teacup to this
Risley Homestead special event held under a festive tent in the quaint gardens of the Risley Homestead.
8 Virginia Avenue, Northfield, NJ
Reservations are necessary and will be accepted up to 5 days in advance of the event.
Reservations required. Additional details regarding reservations will be featured in the Summer issue of Atlantic
Limited to 50 paid reservations. Heritage (published in May).
Fee: $25.00 per person
Newsletter Editor, Layout & Graphics:
Dawn M. Risley
Contributors to this issue:
Freda Bird, Sheryl Collins, Ruth Gold,
Dale Lonkart, Diane Miller, Boo Pergament,
Marge Risley, June Sheridan
Need to Contact Us? Phone (609) 927-5218 Atlantic Heritage Center Hours:
Wednesday – Saturday: 10:00am to 3:30pm
Find Us on the Web! NEW address: 1st Thursday of each month: 6:00pm to 9:00pm
Newsletter available online! Parking and entrance at the rear of our building
Atlantic Heritage 2
Gifts and Bequests
The Atlantic Heritage Center receives donations in many
“shapes and sizes”. When casual visitors drop by to see what
we have and take a free museum tour, they often leave
money in the donation box at the end of their visit. The Atlantic Heritage Center is pleased to
welcome and thank our newest members:
Researchers who use the library and copier often give a little
extra when settling their account. Members (both new and
renewing) sometimes add a donation to their membership
Joan Best, Port Hadlock, WA
dues payment each year. Polly Bridgette, Freedom, CA
Some visitors are so pleasantly surprised by what they find in Rebecca Broadbent, Austin, TX
our library or museum that they dig deep into their pockets Faith Chabalowski, Cherry Hill, NJ
to show their appreciation. This happens especially in cases
Janice M. Dunn, Galloway, NJ
Denise Higbee Faust, Lancaster, PA
where patrons have been corresponding and sharing family
Karen Mercer, Egg Harbor Township, NJ
information with us and when they finally visit in person, Roberta Moncrief, Ocean City, NJ
they reward us for our efforts to preserve and share this John Myers, Cincinnati, OH
important information with the public. Josephine Printy, Egg Harbor Township, NJ
Some donations (of money, securities, property, real estate,
Julie B. Seltzer, Atlantic City, NJ
Jeri M. Siegelman, Egg Harbor City, NJ
etc.) are given via living trusts or bequests in wills. Others
Robert Steelman, Watsonville, CA
come to us through specific giving requests that people
include in their obituary. All of us, as members, make a
Husband and Wife Members:
donation to the Center through a portion of our dues. David Betterton and Christine Ladewig,
Some of our best donations are artifacts, memorabilia, family Tolura Lake, CA
histories, etc. (Please think of us before you throw “old Ray and Marie Huber, Absecon, NJ
things” out!) Of course, we always need funds for on-going
expenses and adequate facilities to house artifacts, but where
Non-Profit Organization Members:
Richard Stockton College of NJ, Pomona, NJ
would we be without the wonderful treasures that people
have entrusted us with?
Gifts and bequests of funds, which are tax deductible under
federal law, will be properly acknowledged and put to good Thought for Today
use in furthering the mission of our organization. Won’t you
please consider the Atlantic Heritage Center as you "The greatness of a community is most accurately measured
determine your options for charitable giving and plan your by the compassionate actions of its members."
-- Coretta Scott King
Don’t wait any longer…
Volunteers are in Become a Volunteer today! For more information,
short supply! please contact:
• We match tasks and projects to your
We ask for your services skills and preferences Diane Miller,
one day each month • Training is provided Coordinator of Services
from 10am – 3:30pm • Learn about the area & meet new people (609) 927-5218
• The “work” is interesting and fun!
Atlantic Heritage 3
INDIVIDUAL AND CORPORATE GIVING
Recently, the following individuals have made monetary The Atlantic Heritage Center lucked out in more ways than
donations to the Atlantic Heritage Center. We greatly one a few years ago when Jerry Bell joined the Governing
appreciate their generosity and thoughtfulness! Board as a Trustee and also took over as Chairperson for our
Building Maintenance Committee. With his background as
an Electrical Engineer and his love for tinkering (he dabbles
General Giving: in plumbing, electrical, HVAC, computers, networking and
Mrs. Faith Chabalowski, Cherry Hill, NJ telecommunications, auto repair, plastering, painting, and
even lawn care), he single-handedly provides a wide range of
Mr. Kenneth S. Corson, Chatham, NJ
services to keep our building infrastructure operating
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Dupras, Mays Landing, NJ
comfortably and efficiently for our volunteers and patrons.
Mr. and Mrs. Larry Frankel, Margate, NJ All services are provided after-hours, as Jerry is employed
Mr. Richard C. French, Frederick, MD full-time by PJM Interconnection in Norristown, PA.
Dr. Thomas A. Giegerich, Margate, NJ In 2005, Jerry teamed up with his employer to make a
Mr. George Guiliano, Rocky Hill, CT significant financial contribution to the Atlantic Heritage
Center. He personally donated $1500 to cover the cost of
Mrs. Bernice M. Millman, Baltimore, MD
numerous building projects and PJM Interconnection
Mrs. Betty Steelman
matched his contribution with an additional $1500. PJM also
(John G. and Elizabeth D. Steelman Foundation),
Egg Harbor Township, NJ offers a paid day of service each year to allow their
employees to donate volunteer time to qualified
organizations. Each year, Jerry donates 8 hours of service to
In memory of Jean Moxley Gant: the Center and PJM covers his salary for the day.
Mr. Howard W. Gant, Warminster, PA The Atlantic Heritage Center would like to thank Jerry
for his contribution of time, money, and expertise, as
well as the management team at PJM Interconnection
In memory of Myrtle Garrett: for offering such progressive programs that encourage
volunteerism and community partnership.
Mr. and Mrs. Frank Callio, Somers Point, NJ
Mr. and Mrs. William Csaszar, Jr., Do you work for an organization that provides similar
Egg Harbor Township, NJ matching and/or community partner opportunities? If so,
please consider the Atlantic Heritage Center as you plan your
Mr. and Mrs. Frank Diefenbeck,
Egg Harbor Township, NJ annual giving and/or volunteer activities and get your
employer involved to fully maximize these benefits.
Ms. Kathleen Diefenbeck, Egg Harbor Township, NJ
Mrs. Emma Meyers, Winter Springs, FL
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Previti, Linwood, NJ
Mr. and Mrs. Albert Sbrolla, Egg Harbor Township, NJ
Mr. and Mrs. Mark Stevens, Egg Harbor Township, NJ
The Atlantic County Historical Society honors the passing of
the following members:
In memory of Isabelle Bell
Jean Moxley Gant, Warminster, PA
(Mother of Trustee Jerry Bell): Life Member
Mrs. Helen Walsh, Margate, NJ
Myrtle Lee Garrett, Egg Harbor City, NJ
Atlantic Heritage 4
Salute to Volunteers! Lake Family DNA
Volunteers are the lifeblood of our organization. They staff Attention males with the Lake surname! A Lake family
the Center’s library and museum, work on special projects, DNA project is underway. To register or obtain additional
organize and catalog library materials, research genealogy and information, please visit www.familytreedna.com or contact
history for patrons on a fee basis, assist in maintaining and Lake family Group Administrator Marshall Lake by e-mail at
researching our museum collections, and serve on firstname.lastname@example.org.
committees. To recognize those special people, a Volunteer
Reception will be held on Sunday, April 30, at 1pm.
Invitations will be mailed to all Atlantic Heritage Center The American
Seeking Info… Imagine reading a Sunday school book from 1845 or an
immigrants’ travel guide published in the 1820s. It can be
One of our members, Walter McClister, is researching the done from the comfort of your own home using the
Cordery family and would like to hear from others who have American Memory Collection at the Library of Congress
information about Cordery family members from the (memory.loc.gov/).
Absecon, NJ area. He is also interested in purchasing a copy
Sometimes when we read history, it seems like the comments
of the book Along Absecon Creek by Sarah W. R. Ewing and
are being made about the present time instead of an era long
since past. It is sometimes true that the more things change,
He may be contacted at (609) 748-2147 or by e-mail at the more they stay the same. In 1867 James Shaw wrote:
email@example.com. “Too many have been the petitions for divorce during the
last few years; too trivial have been the reasons given, and
Website Update too frequent have the requests been granted.”
It sounds like a comment from 1967 instead of 1867. It is
In December 2005, we took the first step toward redesigning
important to remember that in some camps, the world has
our website. We activated our new website address
always been ending, morals are always decaying, and things
(www.AtlanticHeritageCenterNJ.org) and built an “Under
were always better in the “old days.” Still, reading materials
Construction” home page that gives you a cursory look at
from one hundred years ago can provide us with a new
our new website format. During this transition period, the
perspective on our ancestors. Shaw’s book and hundreds of
new home page provides a link to our old website contents.
others are available to the public at no charge through the
In time, we will build out the various pages of our new Library of Congress’ American Memory Collection. One can
website and then permanently retire our old site. For now, spend hours if not days browsing the material on this site.
we advise you to save our new website address as an Internet
This collection contains digital reproductions of a wide
favorite and begin using this new address exclusively. We’ll
variety of print and audio media, ranging from pre-American
keep you posted on our progress with the new site in future
Revolutionary works to reactions to the 9-11 attacks.
issues of Atlantic Heritage.
Lessons on etiquette and farming can be found in addition to
suggestions for the potential immigrant. When you have a
Yearbook Price minute, take a brief look at just a sampling of what is
available on this site. You might not find your ancestors, but
Increase you are certain to find something to broaden your
understanding of their life.
As of January 1, 2006, the price of a single issue of our
yearbook has increased from $4.00 to $5.00 to account for Author: Michael John Neill. This is an abridged version of
an article reprinted with permission from the 2/11/06
increased printing and postage costs. Refer to the
"Ancestry Daily News" (www.ancestry.com/dailynews).
information posted on our website for a complete list of Copyright 2006, MyFamily.com Inc. and its subsidiaries.
yearbook contents, availability (some issues are now out-of- All rights reserved.
print), and associated costs.
Atlantic Heritage 5
June Sheridan, Librarian
Freda Bird, Assistant Librarian
Gift of: Leroy H. Raisner, Somers Point, NJ. Collection of materials relating to Mayor Fred W. Chapman and Somers Point.
Time period for most materials: 1940s-1950s. #1992.204.001-.089.
Gift of: Elizabeth Smith-McAnney. Booklet: Henderson, Stout & Allied Families Genealogy. #2003.161.
Gift of: James Mason, Ventnor, NJ. Information on the Shreve and Frambes families with sourced cited. #2004.208.
Gift of: Constance Culp, West Atlantic City, NJ. Book: Finding Your Roots. Book: Netting Your Ancestors. #2005.167.
Gift of: Merilyn Carter, Pleasantville, NJ. Book: The Girl Graduate, Her Own Book. Memory book of Juanita Alfarata Ryker,
Pleasantville High School class of 1919. #2005.170.
Gift of: New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, New York, NY. Book: The New York Genealogical and Biographical
Gift of: Unknown donor. Postcards and brochure related to the Adelphia Lodge of Somers Point, NJ circa 1878. #2005.184.
Gift of: Mark Demitroff, Vineland, NJ. Reprint - Evidence for Late-Pleistocene Perafrost in the New Jersey Pine Barrens ...
Eastern USA. #2005.185.
Gift of: Dale Lonkart, Northfield, NJ. 1939 Atlantic City High School Yearbook. 1941 Atlantic City High School Yearbook.
1943 Atlantic City High School Yearbook. #2005.187.
Gift of: Ruth Gold, Margate, NJ. Book: Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson. #2005.188.
Gift of: Joan Berkey, Linwood, NJ. 3 CD' s generated by Joan Berkey. One containing information and photos of Weymouth
and two copies of Atlantic County Society Yearbooks covering the years 2001 - 2003. #2005.195.
Gift of: Richard Squires, Egg Harbor Township, NJ. Booklet: County of Atlantic 2005 Manual. 3 Books: Map Atlas - Atlantic
County Volumes 1, 2 and 3. #2005.204.
Gift of: Edward Merrigan. Booklet: Greenwich. #2005.208.
Gift of: Florence Scull. Booklet: Dear Ethel. #2005.209, Booklet: Where Divided Waters Flow. #2005.210.
Gift of: Marie Ann Somers, Northfield, NJ. Large collection of materials on the Somers Family and United States Navy.
Gift of: Mildred A. Hodson, Somers Point, NJ. Letter, photos, postcards, and obituary relating to the Hodson family.
Anonymous Gift: Booklet: Dr. Randolph Marshall - Record of Births. Folder: labeled Road Returns, containing documents.
Genealogical chart: Kings & Queens of Great Britain. 20 Books: Genealogical references related to British and Early
American families. #2005.213.001-.019.
Gift of: George S. Chase, Barnegat, NJ. 4 videos made for and about Island Beach State Park by George S. Chase. #2005.216.
Gift of: Harry P. Folger 3rd, Woodbine, NJ. Book: Mayflower Families Through Five Generations, Volume 20, Part 2.
#2005.214, 20 Books: Mayflower Families. #2005.226.
Donated by: Atlantic County Office of Cultural Affairs. Collection of receipts, checks, correspondence, and other documents
related to the Leipe Brothers of Cologne, NJ and the Department of Labor. #2005.225.001-008.
Gift of: Rita Shumsky Schweitzer, Port Washington, NY. The Herald- Atlantic City High School Yearbook 1922. #2005.227.
Gift of: Kim Baker, Ocean City, NJ. 3 items: Letter; List of surfmen and lighthouse keepers; newspaper article from Ocean City
Sentinel March 3, 2005, " For Those in Peril" A History of the Ocean City Lifesaving Station. #2005.231.
Gift of: Sophie Miller, Somers Point, NJ. Postcard of Traymore Hotel, Atlantic City, NJ. #2005.232.
Gift of: Deborah D. Avens, Laurel, DE. Three photos of the Atlantic City Boardwalk taken on Easter Sunday by Photographer
H. B. Smith. Time period 1900-1930. #2005.233.
Gift of: Roland Gannon, Ocean City, NJ. 7"x 5" sepia photo of Aunt Evelyn Cook Anderson House, Bethel and Shore Road,
Somers Point, NJ. #2005.236.
Part of: Edward LaDrew Collection. 15 8"x10" photos of various sites throughout Atlantic County, NJ. Estimated timeframes
range from late 1800s through 1960. #2005.237.001-.015.
Gift of: Anonymous Donor. Book - The Spectator. London, England in the 1700s. #2005.242.
Gift of: James Sutton, Maitland, Hanks Co., Nova Scotia, Canada. CD - Suttons of South Jersey. #2005.243.
Gift of: David Hann, Hammonton, NJ. Photos of Civil War Encampment at Atlantic City, NJ September 22, 1910. #2005.244.
Gift of: Zella Cramer, Glendora, CA. 6 separate folders, in bindings, containing information on the Clark, Wilson, Steelman,
Barrett families and their involvement in shipbuilding. #2005.245.001-.006.
Gift of: Cape May County Historical Society, Cape May Court House, NJ. Ship Log of L. S. Smith in a leather bound register
titled "Register and Prescription Book - U.S. Army Medical Department". Dates from 1880 to 1906. #2005.248.
Gift of: Lee Hagerthey, Egg Harbor Twp, NJ. Pages from Congress Book 2005 of American Philatelic Congress, Inc. #2005.249.
Gift of: Cecile Slinkman, Carol Stream, IL. 10 photos of Stella Paoletti and 1931 graduating class of Atlantic City Hospital; 3
certificates of nursing; graduation announcement; letter. #2005.251.001-.015.
Atlantic Heritage 6
Library Spotlight Museum Spotlight
Dale Lonkart Ruth Gold and Boo Pergament, Curators
Civil War Correspondence A Great Treasure in a Small Museum
One of the joys of working in our library is the privilege of In 1995, our museum received a tall-case clock dating back
getting to know people who lived in Atlantic County many to 1765 from a donor named David Jones Somers. It was
years ago. This has happened to me recently as I have been made for David Jones of Philadelphia, an ancestor of our
transcribing the many Civil War-era letters in the possession donor (after whom he was named). The clock was passed
of the Atlantic Heritage Center. Because of the age and from David Jones to his daughter, Rebecca Jones who
condition of the paper, along with challenges interpreting married John Ferguson; then to their daughter Rebecca
handwriting and spelling, it is a difficult and time-consuming Ferguson who married John Githens; then to their daughter,
project – but a fascinating one. The letters offer a look into Rachel L. Githens who married Samuel Somers (who was
the lives and feelings of men and women during an born in Linwood, NJ to Constant and Sarah Somers); then to
important period in our country’s history. their son, Hubert, who fathered David Jones, our donor. Six
Samuel Somers’ letters to and from his wife, Rachel Githens
Somers, begin before their marriage in 1864 and continue to The maker of this rare clock was Edward Duffield, one of
1879. We learn a little of Rachel’s life while living in the greatest of the Philadelphia clockmakers. His clocks can
Philadelphia and of Samuel’s life at sea while using his sailing be seen in such places as Winterthor, Colonial Williamsburg,
vessel to supply the Union troops. the American Philosophical Society, the Library Company of
Philadelphia, and now at the Atlantic Heritage Center in
Letters to Cordelia Wilson of Mays Landing (dating between
Somers Point. Duffield was a close, lifelong friend of
1863 to 1881) from her brother, Harrison, and others give us
Benjamin Franklin and was one of the executors of
an idea of her life locally, and of a seaman’s and soldier’s life
Franklin’s estate. Duffield's shop was located on the
away from home.
northwest corner of Second and Arch Streets in Philadelphia.
One of the most prolific writers was Samuel H. Cavileer. His work was constantly being interrupted by passers-by
Extremely patriotic and supportive of the Union, he has asking for the correct time. As a result, he constructed the
some interesting things to say about “trators” and first double-faced outdoor clock in the 1740s - the first
“Coperheads” (his spelling is very hard to decipher)! His public clock in Philadelphia.
letters begin in 1862 and continue to 1865. By the end of the
A two-page feature article with pictures of this clock recently
war, he had achieved the rank of Lieutenant and later went
appeared in "Antiques And The Arts Weekly", a national
on to serve as Atlantic County Sheriff (1867-1870) and a
publication. Take a free museum tour and witness this
member of the Assembly (1872-1873). After serving in the
treasure for yourself!
Legislature, he opened a store in Port Republic where he
remained until the sea called him back. He was lost at sea in
September 1876 during one of the most severe storms that
Atlantic County experienced during that time period.
When the project is completed later this year, we plan to
offer the transcriptions in a notebook format for easier
public access to these engaging personal accounts.
Photo: Dr. David Sperling (left of clock), a renowned
authority on tall-case clocks, discusses the many unique
aspects of an Edward Duffield clock located in the
museum of the Atlantic Heritage Center. Dr. Sperling
was a guest speaker at the Center in November 2005.
Photo courtesy of Marge Risley
Atlantic Heritage 7
PERMIT NO. 5
SOMERS POINT, NJ 08244
907 Shore Road
Post Office Box 301 ADDRESS CORRECTION REQUESTED
Somers Point, New Jersey 08244-0301
We’ve changed our name! The Atlantic County Historical Society is now known as:
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