Old Wallpaper Discovered at Barnegat Historic Site

Jul 05, 2017
Courtesy of: Gary Brower

People wanting to look at what life was like in Barnegat Township in the 19th century can drop by the Barnegat Township Historical Society’s Heritage Village on East Bay Avenue.

Consisting of several historic buildings, the complex is open on the first Sunday of the month from 1 to 4 p.m. Special tours on other dates can be arranged. Admission is free; donations are accepted 

Fronting the East Bay Avenue village is the Lippincott-Falkinburg House, which dates to the mid-19th century, and the Edwards House, which dates to the late 18th century. The complex also features a butcher shop, barbershop, corn shed and cabin. All were moved to the village from their original sites, beginning with Lippincott in 1967.

And when you have numerous old buildings, a big challenge is maintaining them. Gary Brower, the building chairman for the society, said he has been working at fixing the ceiling at the butcher shop.

But Brower came across something unexpected. There were several layers of wallpaper underneath the plaster surface.

“There were star, floral and geometric patterns,” he said.

Brower contacted a consultant specializing in historic artifacts, who told him the wallpaper dated back to late 19th century or early 20th century.

“The challenge now will be to try to preserve them,” he said. “There have been leaks and other issues with the building, so some of the wallpaper isn’t in the best condition.”

Eventually, Brower said he would like to see the wallpaper included in an exhibit.

“There’s always some work to do with these buildings,” he said. “I’ve had experience installing Sheetrock, so I don’t mind doing this project.”

He said that as a nonprofit organization, the society relies on donations and various fundraising events to pay for maintenance and restoration of the Heritage Village.

Donations can be sent to the society at P.O. Box 381, Barnegat, N.J. 08005. For further information, call society Vice President Cindy Janowiak at 609-698-3788.  —E.E.



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