Historical Society of Ocean Grove


Architectural History Tours

This walking tour, aptly titled “From Tents to Turrets,” focuses on the unique architectural history of Ocean Grove. Led by architectural historian Jenny Shaffer, the tour considers the exteriors of select homes in Ocean Grove, a state and national historic district, as well as a camp meeting tent, Victorian cottages and twentieth century houses. Tours are held in July and August.

Christmas in Ocean Grove

December is a special month in Ocean Grove. Join us for the Victorian Holiday Festival, a Holiday House Tour, Lights of Ocean Grove, and more. Our Museum is not only decorated for the holiday, but has a special exhibit in December. Visit oceangrovenj.com

General Meetings/Presentations

The Historical Society holds its general meetings in April, June, and August. Each meeting also includes an interesting lecture or presentation. In 2019, these included lectures on The Camp Meeting Movement, Ocean Grove at the end of the 19th Century, as well as a presentation on Victorian Food Traditions.

Girlfriends Weekend

Each February, Ocean Grove hosts a weekend celebrating friendship. The Museum is open that weekend and the Historical Society also hosts an Afternoon British Tea, with chamber music, a beautifully set table, and an environment to enhance charming conversation. Featured are Assorted Teas and Delightful Finger Sandwiches, Homemade Scones, Devonshire Cream and Jams, Fruit Tartlets and Other Sweets.

Group Tours

Special Group Tours are available for the Walking Tour, Women’s History Tour, and Architectural Tour. Groups of 10 or more are required. A group tour can also include lunch at the Starving Artist Restaurant (closed on Wednesdays). Call the Historical Society at 732-774-1869 for complete details.

Ocean Grove History Day

Each July, History Day in Ocean Grove looks back at the fascinating men and women of early Ocean Grove, as well as the architecture that is renowned as an example of Victorian splendor.

In 2019, Lyndell O’Hara, historian of the Society took a special look at the land on New York Avenue between Clark and Cookman Avenues. It has a storied history. Dr. O’Hara shared her research about this noteworthy property, which housed some of the most interesting people and venues in early Ocean Grove.

Annual House Tour

The Annual House Tour is held in August and is one of the most popular events of the season, when over 700 people visit Ocean Grove. The all-day day self-guided tour in one of New Jersey’s most historic towns includes six to eight historic homes, as well as two tent homes, and other historic buildings. A recent House Tour booklet is included here.

Teddy Bear Picnic

This annual children’s program is a fun filled day, with various activities. Those include arts and crafts, a Teddy Bear Scavenger Hunt, games, lunch and, of course, ice cream. Children are encouraged to bring their favorite teddy bear.

March Toward Suffrage Presentation

As the nation approaches the 100th anniversary of nationwide women’s suffrage in 2020, the Historical Society of Ocean Grove has celebrated the lives and contributions of five women who played a vital part in the movement. Local interpreters have brought to life the passionate words and determination of Susan B. Anthony, Victoria Woodhall, Sojouner Truth, Sarah Downs and Alice Paul.  Each of these women followed a pathway unique to their own lives, yet in the end, their common goal of civic equality was achieved through the 19th Amendment to the Constitution on August 18, 1920. Future programming will be scheduled.

Historic Walking Tours

Our Historic Walking Tours are offered several days during the week and on Saturday. This tour provides visitors with an overview of Ocean Grove from its inception in 1869 until the present. The tour begins in Auditorium Park, where you will learn about the historic buildings that surround the park. The Great Auditorium is a highlight of the tour. You’ll also visit one of the tents in the historic tent colony, as well as Centennial Cottage, which dates to 1884 and has been restored as a living history museum from the late 1800s. Group tours are available.

Women’s History Tours

A walking tour, focused on women’s history in early Ocean Grove, is offered several times during the summer. The tour, coordinated by historian Lyndell O’Hara, highlights the contributions of women from the founding of the town in 1869 to 1900 when women comprised two-thirds of Ocean Grove’s population. The lives, ministries and careers of female evangelists, temperance leaders, hotel owners and managers, physicians, entrepreneurs and holiness preachers are discussed as we view their homes and places of business.