Atlantic County Historical Society
If you are in Somers Point, one of the places you must visit is the Atlantic County Historical Society. It is an independent non – profit organization which was originally founded in 1913 and was incorporated in 1915. This place was briefly renamed as the Atlantic Heritage Center in 2006 but was restored to Atlantic County Historical Society in 2011. The Atlantic Heritage Center and Risley Homestead are its registered business trade names.
Their mission is to collect and preserve the history of the Atlantic County and to encourage historical studies and genealogy among the common masses. The center has a museum which has over 20000 collections (household, useful, decorative and fine art), all gifted from society members and friends. While shipbuilding tools, models and maritime artifacts can be fancied by maritime enthusiasts, the textile collection can be acknowledged by the admirers of the Victorian era.
Their extensive library is enriched with a plethora of documents, manuscripts, books, records, notices, diaries, wills, and ships’ logs. They also have an excellent map collection, including 1872 Beers maps. Their postcards and greeting collections, brochures, clippings, city directories as well as the books on antiques are nothing less than a reader’s paradise. On top of that, the free guided tour encourages you to take advantage of the knowledge, artifacts and thrilling stories of the ancestors that lived two hundred years ago.
With an aim to promote local history among the local public, this place publishes annual journals and quarterly newsletters, useful to the public and researchers in general. They have a host of publications, and make every possible way to disseminate knowledge through lectures, field trips, partnerships with the local libraries and schools, library and museum interpretive exhibits, and guided tours of the Risley Homestead located in Northfield, New Jersey.
Atlantic County Historical Society is governed by an executive board and trustees, who are volunteers. There is no paid staff. The volunteers with their skill sets and expertise manage to execute the day to day operations in an effective way. The centre gets funded by membership dues, gifts and grants. A set of bylaws govern this place, and get periodically updated and presented for a vote in the annual general meetings, usually held in the fall.
Check out our next post about the John F Kennedy Park in Somers Point, NJ.