BELMAR, NJ — Eleven local historical societies will gather for the inaugural Shore History Fair today, April 27 at Taylor Pavilion.

Belmar Historical Society will host the free event to be held from 1 to 4 p.m. at the pavilion, located at Fifth and Ocean Avenues. In addition to Belmar, the participating nonprofit groups include Asbury Park, Avon-by-the-Sea, Bradley Beach, Ocean Grove, Ocean Township, Sea Girt Lighthouse Citizens' Committee, Spring Lake, Squan Village of Manasquan, Union Landing of Brielle and Old Wall.

“We are very happy that so many of our neighboring towns are participating in the history fair,” said Belmar town historian Brian Magovern.

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Calling each town’s historical society “a little shore jewel,” BHS salutes all of their members who volunteer “their time to ensure the community founders are not forgotten and that the legacy of the development of each respective community is preserved for future generations.

“The work is endless as every vintage photo, document, map, artifact, etc. must be carefully preserved,” said BHS in a release. “Every day history is made, and these organizations preserve it through their efforts.”

With all having unique stories that are “jammed pack in history,” each will showcase a small portion of its historical collection, BHS said.

The fair’s goal is to illustrate that history is not just found in large city museums — particularly at the Jersey Shore, which abounds with local color of bygone days. Attendees will be able to explore the origin of town names, founders, family ancestors and ground-breaking events that shaped history — in a fun and interactive way.

“This will be an opportunity to learn about the town we live in and the nearby towns we visit …  and will appeal to everyone who ever wondered about their town’s name, street names or about the very beginnings of their town,” said BHS trustee Naomi Reissner, adding that the group hopes to make it an annual event.

“All the local volunteers will be delighted to speak to guests who collect memorabilia of the shore towns,” she said.

The family-friendly event will feature a trivia game that will ask attendees to visit each society’s exhibit to find the answer to a historical feature of that particular town.  In addition, BHS will offer attendees the chance to play “Belmar Jeopardy,” which asks participants to match the business that used to be situated at a particular location.

There also will be an activities table for children, where they can choose from a variety of coloring pages with patriotic themes or local scenes.

As for the BHS exhibit, there will be items on display from the Belmar museum, as well as items for sale that include the “Images of America: Belmar” (Vol. I and II), photos and oversized postcards. There also will be a small giveaway and freshly made popcorn.

For more information, contact the Belmar Historical Society 908-309-3380 or

The BHS museum is located at 900 E Street in the annex of the Union Firehouse. It is open to the public every Monday from 2 to 4 p.m., every Thursday from 10 a.m. to noon, and the second Saturday of each month from 1 to 3 p.m., or by appointment.

In addition to offering museum tours and conducting research to further its mission to save and preserve Belmar’s history of Belmar, all-volunteer, nonprofit organization  welcomes the public to joins its ranks, attend free Belmar history classes and learn to serve as a docent to give tours.

Additional information can also be found on its website by clicking here and Facebook page for the latest updates.

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