Barnegat Light Museum Holds Surprises for New Visitors

Visible AIDS: Background is enthralling when the topics are shipwrecks, sharks and a 3-ton lens. Recent initial-time guests ended up Sandra Diodonet, superintendent of Passaic General public Schools, and her spouse, Santos. (Photo by Maria Scandale)
It is sited in a basic schoolhouse, but the Barnegat Mild Museum lets visitors to use a “Cheat Sheet” all through the museum’s extended hours this summertime.
The two-website page “Cheat Sheet” primer on treasures details out that the prismatic to start with-get Fresnel lens formerly topping the Barnegat Lighthouse weighs 3 tons and took 6 months to reassemble in its existing residence, at 501 Central Avenue.
Readers find favored subjects in all types of artifacts, though. What Puerto Rican indigenous Santos Diodonet was fascinated with was the fishing history that meshed with his possess memories of his grandfather on that island territory 1,500 miles away.
He was hunting at a product of pound fishing nets that depicts an offshore fishing approach made use of on Prolonged Seaside Island from the 1880s to 1955. The vertical poles of the actual corral were 80 ft extensive. Fishermen would row out to retrieve the trapped fish, a demanding approach.
“This is loaded, wonderful background,” Diodonet said, “beautiful heritage that you can convey your children, your grandkids over to and say, ‘Listen, this is what they did back again in the aged times.’ These are handmade, major nets that they employed to go out and fish and bring food items household to the relatives this is awesome.”
Diodonet and his wife, Sandra, superintendent of Passaic Public Faculties, located the museum mainly because their buddies had purchased a residence specifically across the street.
Barnegat Mild Historic Society President Karen Larson had just concluded providing the to start with-time people from West Milford a tour. There are persons who have been in city much for a longer time than right away who have not observed the museum’s whole and diverse contents, and it has been her mission as president to do some thing about that.
“We’re pretty helpful we’ll say ‘Hi, welcome to Barnegat Mild Museum, have you at any time been listed here right before?’ And you know the most frequent remark that individuals give? It is often ‘No, we hardly ever knew you ended up right here.’ So lots of people today really don’t know it exists. I just required extra of the standard community to know we’re in this article.”
Sinking ships, early resorts that burned or dropped into the sea, folk artwork, shark tooth fossils, glassware, prepare memorabilia, the 1903 schoolroom itself made up of a chalkboard and huge wooden stove, even the letter boxes of the old submit office all keep tales.
An enchantment this spring for more volunteer docents has labored, to simplicity the reality that really a couple of docents moved absent or into assisted residing. Betty Frey, there on Saturday afternoons, also is a supervisor of the peaceful Edith Duff Gwinn Gardens out back again. The Surf City resident’s father, Harry Kates, crafted the original Brant Beach Yacht Club.
By the way, the museum displays lore about not just Barnegat Light-weight, but Lengthy Seashore Island as perfectly. On yet another take note, Frey inspired the historic modern society to continue to keep stocked with some lighthouse-associated presents, due to the fact collectors like to gather.
This summer season, company will enter to the aroma of new mahogany stairs and sections of alternative cedar clapboards. Portray the museum the exact same shade of eco-friendly is a undertaking for the close to upcoming.
But it’s the prolonged hrs that could possibly be the most significant information.
“Last 12 months we were being only open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., but this calendar year I was equipped to get new volunteers, so we are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., except that we are shut on Mondays,” Larson claimed. For now the days open up are Saturdays and Sundays only, “but beginning June 25, we’ll be open every day from 10 to 4 as a result of to Labor Working day, apart from Mondays.”
New customers of the nonprofit Barnegat Light Historic Culture are constantly welcome. Conferences are at 7 p.m. the second Thursday of each individual month. The June 9 presentation by Margaret Thomas Buchholz and Reilly P. Sharp will share details on the Kinsey family’s contribution to the settlement of the two Barnegat Light-weight and Harvey Cedars (see also this week’s Speakeasy in The SandPaper.)
The museum web page is To call the museum, telephone 609-494-8578 or email
— Maria Scandale

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