Saturday and Sunday, December 2 and 3
Holiday Weekend and mini-exhibit premiere
For two days every December, the Eden Woolley House becomes more than a museum. Its galleries fill with holiday decorations, model trains, enchanting collections, hand-crafted gifts, and homemade baked goods. On the porch, the Ocean Township Garden Club sells freshly made wreaths.
The occasion is the annual Holiday Weekend, and this year it falls on Saturday and Sunday, December 2 and 3 (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.).
The two days are flled with activities, entertainment, and special events well worth the visit:
•Holiday Hunt: Children search the house for hidden angels and redeem their game cards at the Welcome Desk. •Living history: Characters from Ocean’s past “come alive” to entertain visitors with stories and song. •Rafe drawing: Sunday afternoon at 3 o’clock, we draw the winning ticket for the 2017 handmade quilt. •Tree lighting: At 4:30 Sunday, the Township holds its annual Christmas tree lighting on the Museum grounds—complete with hot chocolate and a visit from Santa. •Exhibit opening: The exhibit, “Farms Galore: Ocean Township’s Rural Past” premieres in the Our Town Gallery.
“Farms Galore” mini-exhibit
From its earliest settlements, Ocean Township—like most of Monmouth County—was farmland. Our founding families—the Potters, Drummonds, Whites, Tuckers, land that today is covered with homes, apartments, offices, and shopping centers.
The mini-exhibit opening Holiday Weekend tells the story of our rural beginnings and traces the forces that transformed the Township from a farming community to a modern, high-density (2,497 people per square mile) suburb.
Wayside stayed rural
The population of the 11+ square miles that make up today’s Ocean Township increased at a slow, steady pace though the first half of the 20th century. Oakhurst grew to accommodate the engineers working at Deal Test Site (Joe Palaia Park) in the 1920s and 30s. Wanamassa grew, post WWII, as returning GIs moved into developments along Sunset Ave. All this time, Wayside remained farmland.
Through the 1950s, Middlebrook Farm spread west from Rte. 35 to Poplar Road. Prize-winning Jersey cows grazed where Middlebrook stores stand today. The Dangler family raised dairy cows on the Long Lane Farm (now site of the Intermediate School) and delivered milk to area homes. Families, including the Bownes, Osborns, Whites, and dozens more, owned and worked farms in Wayside.
A combination of forces eventually brought change to Wayside, too. A new generation unwilling to stay on the farm. Rising property taxes. And offers too-good-to-refuse from eager developers. Middlebrook, Continental, Twinbrook, and West Park apartments went up. Neighborhoods of upscale homes took over farmland. In the 30 years between 1950 and 1980, the population of the township nearly tripled (6,735 to 18,643).
Join us Dec. 2 and 3 to learn more. Bring the children and your holiday shopping list. Admission is free. Donations are always welcome.
New Exhibit - “Farms Galore: Ocean Township’s Rural Past”
Saturday December 2, 2017 from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm
Sunday December 3, 2017 from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm
Eden Woolley House, 703 Deal Road, Ocean, NJ 07712