Summer 2012 has now drawn to a close and the beaches and boardwalks around the area slowing down, but at the Ocean County Historical Museum summer memories of the beach and boardwalk can last throughout October with the Stroll The Boardwalk exhibit.
Through donations, loans and their own archived collection, the museum has gathered items from and related to the Boardwalks of Ocean County spanning the late 1800s to the present.
“The bathing suit collection is probably the most talked about section of the exhibit,” said Mary Lou Unger from the acquisition team at the Toms River-based museum. “The women’s bathing suits at the turn of the century were made of heavy wool and were worn into the water along with stockings and shoes,” said Unger
“Of course bathing suits weren’t worn to walk the boardwalk though,” she said. “Women were dressed head to toe to ‘stroll’ complete with full dress, hat and parasol – no one walked the boardwalk in a bathing suit."
Times have certainly changed when compared to the bathing attire of the last 50 decades.
Aside from the swimwear exhibit that extends to present day, personal photos, signs from original businesses (such as the sign donated by Lucky Leo’s) and other mementos from specific periods and specific sections of the different Boardwalks are on display.
“People love to see things they are familiar with," Unger said. "We have pictures and artifacts from one of the first Baby Parades held at the Island Heights Boardwalk in and hand crafted cedar items created from the original Ocean Gate Boardwalk.”
One of the most popular sections of the exhibit seems to be the collection of boardwalk games and prizes won from the games throughout the years. “Celluloid dolls were quite popular and we have a small working camera that was a prize from a claw machine back in the 1960s," Unger said.
The Stroll The Boardwalk exhibit runs through Oct. 26 and is open to the public weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The museum address is 26 Hadley Avenue , Toms River. For further information call 732-341-1880.