Historical Society of Ocean Grove


The Historical Society Museum

Our Museum is located at 50 Pitman Avenue, located next door to historic Day’s Ice Cream. The Historical Society Museum features new exhibitions each season, as well as maintaining permanent exhibits highlighting the fascinating history of Ocean Grove. The History of Ocean Grove, the permanent and primary exhibit in the museum has recently been refurbished and includes a section highlighting Architectural Styles: The Period of Significance, 1869-1910. 1890 in Ocean Grove is explored in an interactive exhibit and looks at what it would have been like to visit Ocean Grove in the summer of 1890.

This self-guided tour guide from summer season 2019 shares more. Click here.

Past exhibits have included:

Ladies, Land, Liquor, and the Lord, an exhibit that highlighted the unique accomplishments of women in America at a time when they were largely marginalized in society.

The Severs’ Women of 35 Atlantic Avenue looked at the lives of the Severs in Ocean Grove. In 1906, Rosella and Alonzo Severs came to Ocean Grove with their two daughters, Viola & Olive. They bought a home on 35 Atlantic Ave and opened a small hotel, The Alonzo, as well as a real estate and insurance business.  The exhibit featured 19th and 20th century artifacts from the family including numerous holiday cards, correspondence between the sisters, portraits, local advertisements, sheet music, household items and clothing.

Sun, Sand and Modesty, an exhibition of bathing costumes included period costuming, vintage photos, and other antique artifacts from the museum’s collection, as well as several items on loan from the Morris County Historical Society based in Morristown, New Jersey.

Our Gift Shop and Bookstore offers many interesting historical items, books, postcards, artwork, maps, notecards, and more.

Centennial Cottage, Living History Museum

Now a house museum, Centennial Cottage, built in 1884, is a premier example of the Swiss Chalet style. The cottage was built by the Fell family of Philadelphia as their summer home and was owned by Mrs. Fell. It was originally located on Cookman Avenue.

The cottage was donated to the Camp Meeting Association by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Skold in 1969, the Centennial of Ocean Grove, hence the name of the cottage. They were very concerned that Ocean Grove was losing much of its beautiful Victorian architecture. The cottage is furnished with antiques that reflect the culture of the Victorians.  It is maintained by the Historical Society of Ocean Grove.

A picturesque garden adjoins the cottage and is planted with trees, shrubs, and flowers typical of the late nineteenth century. 

The garden is available through the Historical Society for small gatherings and events, including weddings. 

The cottage, at 43 McClintock Street (corner of Central Avenue) is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from mid-June to Labor Day. 

Centennial Cottage Garden Bricks

Commemorate a special someone with a brick that borders our butterfly garden at Centennial Cottage. 

The Anna DeYoung Skold Memorial Garden that encompasses the Centennial Cottage grounds gets much acclaim in Ocean Grove for its beauty and serenity.

Use our online form to order a brick.

Download, Print & Mail DPF

Interactive Historical Map Project:

This project is a history of Ocean Grove residents. Its initial launch, by summer 2020, will focus on those living here from 1870-1900. Visitors to the Historical Society will use a touch screen computer to access lots throughout the town. Once a lot is selected, a drop-down screen will provide a biographical sketch with pictures and original data of those who leased the lot(s) in this time frame. While current owners will have access to the history of their property, out of town visitors will have the option of clicking on a link which will guide them to the commercial properties on Main Street and stories of fascinating early residents.

Research for the project is being completed through newspapers, census reports, military records, city directories, birth/marriage/death records and general searches on Google and Ancestry.com.  This research is extensive, with the end project a comprehensive narrative with available photographs and documentation. The research and development of this project will document ownership of over one thousand lots in Ocean Grove from 1870 – 1900. A narrative will highlight those who lived in Ocean Grove during its formative years.  The long-term goal is to continue in thirty-year increments to complete the remainder of the project up to the present day. 

Founders Fountain:

Recently, the Society spearheaded a drive to restore the 1907 J.W. Fiske Fountain in Founders Park. The Fountain restoration dedication took place on July 27, 2019. Visit the Fountain in Founders Park at Central and Surf Avenues.  Ongoing maintenance is needed for this important project.  Your continued support is appreciated.