AVALON – The Avalon History Center announced exhibits and activities planned for 2019, and seeks the public’s assistance with gathering materials to complete these projects. Featured exhibits will focus on “old” Avalon, particularly late-nineteenth century history, including displays on the railroad, historic homes, and Avalon’s hotels.
“Avalon’s early history is a story of the town being shaped into a vacation community,” stated Nina Ranalli, Director of the Avalon History Center. “These exhibits will showcase that early history, giving visitors a sense of how their beloved shore resort developed.”
To complete the display, the Center is seeking photos and items related to all three topics, and especially wishes to hear from owners or former owners of historic homes.
“So many people are passionate about Avalon’s Victorian houses, and they are so beautiful; we want to dig into those stories and tell them to the wider public,” mentioned Bonita Risley, Collections Coordinator for the Center. Risley, who is coordinating the 2019 exhibits, seeks to connect with those who have information and artifacts about pre-1900s homes in Avalon.
In addition to photos and stories from the old homes, new exhibits will feature artifacts, such as stationary and signage, from Avalon’s hotels, a centennial quilt depicting scenes from old Avalon, and photographs of the railroad that at one time stretched over Townsend’s Inlet and ran down Dune Drive.
“The railroad coming onto the island is what really unlocked the town’s potential,” said Bill Mengel, History Center Interpreter. “We can’t wait to share the many old photos we have of the railroad, and explain how it worked to our visitors.”
An opening reception is slated for Saturday, June 15, in conjunction with the Avalon Historical Society’s annual Olde House Tour.
For summer programming, the staff plans to host several lectures and, as a new addition this year, to offer walking tours of the north end of the island, where Avalon’s early history is still evident.
Any member of the public wishing to offer information or artifact donations as requested above is invited to call (609) 967-0090 or visit the History Center at 215 39th Street. A slate of additional programs and annual events, including a Trivia Night and an historic Clamshell Pitch competition, also are planned for summer 2019. Information will be listed at www.AvalonHistoryCenter.org as available.
Avalon History Center is a local history museum that displays a collection of objects from Avalon’s past. Visitors can learn more about their favorite beach town by viewing fun and fascinating displays, including a 1925 Avalon Life Boat that they can climb into. The History Center’s collection includes thousands of photographs, objects, and ephemera that tell the story of Avalon’s residents, places, and events.