BELMAR, NJ — Belmar Historical Society's “Spotlight on Belmar,” a video educational series on the borough’s interesting and illustrious past, continues with a look at how the railroad paved the way in making it a popular tourist destination. 

Presented weekly on its Facebook page, each five-minute video features a BHS member who explores a specific historical topic, such as “What Was This Land Before It Became Belmar?”  and “Who Created This Town?”

The virtual learning series was developed after the coronavirus crisis caused the cancellation of BHS’s free spring classes on the borough’s history at the Belmar History Museum.  

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“The BHS officers and trustees decided to offer everyone the opportunity to stay connected to the history of Belmar by offering this series of spotlights to enjoy,” said BHS vice president Pat O'Keefe, who takes center stage in the first video with a look at the very beginnings of Belmar — when Lenni Lenapes came from New York and Pennsylvania to the Jersey Shore every summer to fish and hunt.  

She also takes viewers through the society’s “treasure trove” of maps — many of which have been reproduced and available for purchase.

In the series’ second video, BHS president Spencer Heulitt continues the journey into the late 1800s when a group of tristate businessmen vacationing in Ocean Grove purchased a tract of farmland in Wall for $172.50 that they called Ocean Beach — only five years later to become Belmar.

The third video on the early hotels of Ocean Beach is narrated by BHS trustee and archivist Naomi Reissner, while Rickey Stein, moderator of its Facebook page, takes a dive into the history of beach badges.  

The videos can be viewed on the BHS’s Facebook page by clicking here.

Meanwhile, BHS is looking forward to the time when the Belmar History Museum, located in the rear of the historic Union Firehouse at 900 E Street, will once again be allowed to welcome visitors. “The BHS officers and trustees are working to prepare for reopening in a way that ensures the safety of both the BHS volunteers and our visitors, and remain in compliance with regulations,” O’Keefe said.

Its members continue to reply to email inquiries at or 732-309-3380, or for more information, visit its website by clicking here.

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