Archive for April, 2014

Ocean County Library digitalizes local newspaper

The original Tuckerton Beacon office is seen circa 1890 on North Green Street, Tuckerton. The newspaper was a weekly fixture for Tuckerton readers until 2013. Photo provided by Linda Reddington of the Asbury Park Press.

The original Tuckerton Beacon office is seen circa 1890 on North Green Street, Tuckerton. The newspaper was a weekly fixture for Tuckerton readers until 2013. Photo provided by Linda Reddington of the Asbury Park Press.

If you read the front page of the Sept. 6, 1917 edition of The Tuckerton Beacon you’d learn several interesting things.

You could buy a Trumbull Cycle Car with four new tires for $140. The cost for canners to purchase tomatoes went up from 20 cents a basket to 60 cents and Republican James H. Bogart of Island Heights was running for the position of sheriff of Ocean County.

Now, historic gems like that and many others can be read online thanks to a special program headed by the Ocean County Library’s new digitization committee.

Through a partnership with The Great John Mathis Foundation/Bass River Historical Society and the Asbury Park Press – Gannett Company Inc. the Ocean County Library recently completed digitizing The Tuckerton Beacon.  The publication is one of the oldest newspapers in Ocean County and is now available at

An event to celebrate the digitization has been scheduled for 3 p.m. on June 20, at the Tuckerton Branch located at 380 Bay Ave. Tuckerton. Call 609-296-1470 for details.

“This marks Ocean County Library’s first project in digitizing Ocean County newspapers and as far as I know is the first online digital archive of an Ocean County historic newspaper,’’ Supervising Librarian Elizabeth J. Cronin said.

The weekly newspaper was originally named Coast Pilot when it reached its readers in 1889. It was published by Walter Sawn. A year later the newspaper changed its name to The Tuckerton Beacon to better identify itself with its coverage area of southern Ocean County. In 1910 it was purchased by E. Moss Mathis of Tuckerton who sold the publication in 1930 to George Willits Parker of Barnegat.

The Tuckerton Beacon’s proudest accolade was a 1939 letter by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, during the paper’s 50th anniversary. Roosevelt wrote to Parker saying, “I trust that all the fine things accomplished in your community during the past 50 years may be but the prelude to finer things to be achieved in the years that lie ahead.’’

The newspaper was later acquired by Mary Ann Cox and sold in the late 1970s to Mark Goodson according to Linda Reddington, who was hired by Cox and stayed on as an editor after it was purchased by Gannett in the early 1990s.

Due to copyright restrictions, only the years 1917 to 1922 may be accessed remotely. Users have to be in a library branch either using a library computer or the library’s Wi-Fi to access the complete archive of 1917 through 1987.  

Pete Stemmer, the secretary and treasurer of The Great John Mathis Foundation/Bass River Historical Society said his organization provided $10,000 for the project and the Ocean County Library provided approximately $7,000 in additional funds.  Innovative Document Imagining, East Brunswick converted the library’s microfilm to a digital searchable archive.

“We wanted to see the money in our treasury was used toward historical research in the area and the Tuckerton Beacon has been a local newspaper since the 1880s,’’ Stemmer said.

Permission to digitize material still under copyright for access within the library was granted by Gannett. The Ocean County Library’s technology, collections, information services and administration departments were involved with the project.

Cronin said OCL’s Digitization Committee is charged to identify other local newspapers and collections for digitization, to look for grants and other funding and to work on partnerships with other local historical organizations to bring more Ocean County history into the digital world.

OCL & Jackson Premium Outlets partner, you can save $$

Ocean County Library members can receive a FREE VIP Coupon Book valued at $5 and worth hundreds of dollars in additional savings at participating stores.

This special promotion runs from May 1 thru June 30. You MUST bring your library card to the information desk located in the food court at the Jackson Premium Outlets to receive your free coupon book.

Women pioneers: the early doctors

MANCHESTER –  Dr. Margaret Brisco will speak at the Manchester branch about her book, “The Way It Was: Memories of a Woman Doctor,” 2 p.m. Thursday May 15.  

Dr. Brisco was one of the first women to intern and complete a residency at Martland Medical Center in Newark. She will discuss the challenges faced by female physicians during the late 1950s and 1960s and their fight for equality within the medical profession. Copies of her book will be available for purchase and signing by the author.

This program is free and open to adults, but registration is required. Register by telephoning 732-657-7600 or online at


The Manchester Branch of the Ocean County Library is located at 21 Colonial Drive in Manchester Township.

Manchester to host PAAD info session

MANCHESTER  –  Kelly Kentos of United Healthcare will give a presentation at the Manchester branch about the P.A.A.D. (Pharmaceutical Assistance for the Aged and Disabled) program 2 p.m. Tuesday May 13. She will discuss the qualifications necessary to receive this government assistance and how to go about applying for it. Light refreshments will be provided by the sponsor.

This program is part of the library’s “Chapters of Health” series and is open to the adult public, free of charge. Please register online at or telephone 732-657-7600.

The Manchester branch is located at 21 Colonial Drive in Manchester Township.

Manchester to teach “Intro to Facebook”

MANCHESTER –  The Manchester branch will offer a two-hour interactive class showing beginners how to use the popular social networking website Facebook 11 a.m. Monday May 12. Participants will be shown how to set up a new account, login, add friends, and adjust their privacy settings. The instructor will also demonstrate how to share posts, photographs, and more. She will be available to answer questions.

Register for this free adult workshop. Telephone 732-657-7600 or go online to

The Manchester branch is located at 21 Colonial Drive in Manchester Township.

Buddy Holly tribute concert held @ Stafford


We set out every chair we had in the building for the approximately 145 people in attendance, and we still had standing room only. People were swaying in their seats, tapping their feet, and mouthing the words. The band did a great job.

The Stafford branch hosted the Buddy Holly tribute concert Saturday April 26. It was co-sponsored by the Friends of the Stafford Library.

Buddy Holly is credited with elevating rock music to an art form and has influenced and inspired many music greats such as the Beatles and the Beach Boys. Some of Holly’s most popular hits include “Peggy Sue,” “Words of Love,” “That’ll Be the Day,” and “Rave On.”

He was one of the first performers to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

It’s been 55 years since a plane crash took the life of 22 year-old Buddy Holly, along with Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper, and every February 3rd, fans still gather in Clear Lake, Iowa to pay their respects.

Rave On plays Buddy Holly to a SRO crowd in Stafford.

Rave On plays Buddy Holly to a SRO crowd in Stafford.

Happy 18th anniversary Little Egg Harbor

Friends and the band

Friends and the band

The Friends of the Little Egg Harbor Library celebrated the branch’s 18th Anniversary Saturday April 26.  After a lively discussion with Deputy Mayor Eugene Kobryn, audience members were treated to a concert by Ed Goldberg and the Odessa Klezmer Band, which featured traditional music of Eastern Europe, from Romania to Poland to Israel.  The concert concluded with a standing ovation!  After enjoying refreshments provided by Friends Volunteer Ms. Dara Roth and chatting with members of the band, program attendees left the library demanding a return performance of Ed Goldberg and the Odessa Klezmer Band. 

sm-first song 1

Deputy Mayor Eugene Kobryn

Deputy Mayor Eugene Kobryn

Edwina & Joyce

Edwina & Joyce

Ed & Walt

Ed & Walt

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