BELMAR, NJ — Belmar buzzes each summer with countless visitors to its beachfront and other attractions. But when winter rolls in and the town quiets down, local organizations over the years have found a creative outlet to be social and raise money for important causes — playing board games with a unique Belmar twist.
Belmar Historical Society (BHS) has opened up the boxes to several of these games, which are now on display at the Belmar Municipal Building. All three were produced by local nonprofit organizations as fundraising efforts — and all feature Belmar businesses, past and present.
The oldest is a card game, circa the 1940s, featuring Dave’s restaurant, Moyer’s Pharmacy and the Yacht Club, among a host of other establishments whose names are emblazoned on the burgundy leather board.
Then there are two Monopoly-inspired games — the Game of Belmar, produced by the Belmar First Aid Squad in 1987, and the Belmar Historical Society’s 2015 edition of Belmar-opoly.
The display came to fruition after the BHS archives committee tried to answer the question about how people entertained their friends and family during the cold and snowy winters long ago.
“People had very different ways to entertain before TV, computer games and movies were common,” said Patricia O’Keefe, the society’s vice president. “The BHS has evidence they stayed inside by the warm fireplace and played board games.”
The exhibit can be seen during regular business hours in the lobby of the Sixth Avenue entrance to the Belmar Municipal Building, 601 Main Street.
The Belmar Historical Society is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to the restoration, preservation and acquisition of Belmar sites and materials. New volunteers are invited to attend free workshop classes beginning on Monday, January 29 at 1 p.m. at the Belmar Museum, 900 E Street.
BHS welcomes donations of Belmar memorabilia to add to its historical archives at its museum, located at 900 E Street in the annex of the Union Firehouse. The museum 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.
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