Wednesday, December 07, 2016

New Atlantic County Veteran's Museum

Local veterans and their families packed the new Atlantic County Veterans Museum Wednesday morning to get a first look at the progress the county has made on transforming the old Estell House into a tribute to all those who served in the nation’s military.
The museum, which will officially be open to the public in the spring, features artifacts and replicas from every American war and is organized chronologically throughout the building. It also gives a history of a Revolutionary War battle fought in the county and highlights veterans from the area.
Veterans in attendance were impressed by the work that has been done and are looking forward to the project’s completion next year.

“It’s absolutely fantastic, you can see it took a lot of work,” said Charlie DeSantis, a Korean War veteran from Northfield. “It’s a nice memorial for the veterans.”
The work on the museum began in 2013 and cost $2.4 million in capital investment money and state grants, according to county executive Dennis Levinson.

Levinson said that he envisions resident and tourist appeal and students from county schools taking field trips there to appreciate the history that the museum captures.
The Estell House was built in 1832 by Daniel Estell, a former landowner and businessman whose grandfather fought for the Continental Army in the Revolutionary War. The building is listed on the state and national register of historic places and was remodeled in the 1920s by Rebecca Estell Bourgeois Winston.

Bourgeois Winston lobbied the state to make Estell Manor its own municipality in 1924.
Now, the building will serve as a historical reminder of the sacrifices made to keep the United States free.
“This has turned out to be a miracle.. as far as I’m concerned,” said Dick Squires, chairman of the museum’s committee. It’s my feeling that every school should send their class for at least one hour to see the history of veterans in Atlantic County.”
But there is still work to be done. Officials are still sorting through donated artifacts and deciding where to display them. They are also in contact with Stockton University about possibly hiring student interns to help with research.
“We’ve taken out all the things we’ve been storing and tried to sort them and figure out the best way to tell put it into historical context, said Cindy Mason-Purdie, administrator of the Atlantic County Office o Cultural and Heritage Affairs. “Many of the items need more research and just a little bit more background. We don’t want to just take an item and put it on display without truly understanding what it was.”

No comments: