Beach Haven Library Museum Opening on June 6

May 29, 2018
Supplied Photo

The Beach Haven Public Library has much more than books and other materials to borrow. The facility also has a one-room museum on the second floor containing photos, hotel ledgers, diaries, deeds, newspaper clippings, whale bones and other artifacts from Beach Haven’s earliest years.

Beginning June 6, the museum will be open Wednesdays from noon to 4 p.m. for the summer.

“The main purpose of this museum is a place for people who want to research history about Beach Haven,” said borough historian Jeanette Lloyd. “The LBI Historical Museum in Beach Haven covers the history of the whole Island, but at the library, we can concentrate on the rich history of Beach Haven.”

Anna Serbek, library technician and museum curator, said that in recent years, the museum has compiled histories of homes in the borough’s historic district.

“There are records kept by the historic preservation committee,” she said. “We have also compiled a lot of information about Beach Haven’s first families.”

A special exhibit up for this summer focuses on Beck’s Farm, built by Philadelphia architect Thomas P. Sherborne and known as “Liberty Hall” or “The White House of New Jersey.”

In 1911, Charles Beck, a Philadelphia engraver, purchased the Sherborne Farm and began to promote Beach Haven. According to John Bailey Lloyd’s book Two Centuries of History on Long Beach Island (Down The Shore Publishing, 2005), one of Beck’s hobbies was horticulture, and “he soon cultivated and enriched several acres of his property … making it an Island showplace for thirty years.”

He also enlarged the house to nearly 8,000 square feet, with more than 14 bedrooms.

Another display commemorates the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. It includes pictures of four sons of Capt. Jerry Sprague, who all fought in the war. It also has artifacts from the R.C. Mohawk, which sank in October 1917 after it collided with the British Tanker S.S. Vennacher off Sandy Hook.

For more information, call the library at 609-492-7081. —E.E.

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