Thursday, February 29, 2024


Avalon History Center Announces 2018 Exhibits, 3-Part Lecture Series on the History of Avalon

By Press Release

AVALON – The Avalon History Center recently announced exhibits and programs planned for 2018, and seeks the public’s assistance with gathering materials to complete these projects.

Opening this spring, an exhibit on children in Avalon will feature charming photos of kids’ sports teams and grade school classes from past decades. “We’ve displayed these items at community locations, and viewers typically are thrilled to find themselves or friends amongst the faces in the photos,” mentioned Bonita Risley, the Center’s Collections Coordinator and curator of the exhibit. To complete the display, the Center is seeking photos and uniforms related to Avalon children’s school groups, sports teams and similar.

Next, an update is planned to the History Center’s already existing display on the history of the Avalon Beach Patrol. Center Director Nina Ranalli asks for female members of the Beach Patrol, past and present, to contact her. “We don’t have much gathered on the experiences of female Avalon lifeguards, and we want to recognize their contributions.” A section featuring female Beach Patrol members is planned.

Finally, an exhibit will document the history of the Avalon Players, a local children’s theatre group which is celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2018. The display would benefit from additional costumes, set pieces, photographs of performances and related materials. The exhibit is set to open in July to coincide with an Avalon Players Reunion, scheduled to take place on Saturday, July 28 at Avalon Community Hall.

As a summer lecture series, the entire staff of the History Center is working toward presenting a three-part history of Avalon. A first chapter will cover roughly 1888-1939, Avalon’s “railroad age.” The second installment will cover wartime years through to 1962, when a powerful March Northeaster changed the course of the island’s history. The final part of the lecture series will cover Avalon’s history in more recent years, characterized by new businesses, rapid development and shifting demographics.

While all object donations are gratefully considered, History Center staff particularly seeks the following to round out the lectures: recordings of music from the Marine Ballroom, photos and stories from nights at the Bongo Room or Catacombs bar, video clips of Ed McMahon speaking about Avalon on the Johnny Carson show and photographs of Avalon hotels in the 1960s-1970s.

Any member of the public wishing to offer information or donations as requested above is invited to call (609) 967-0090 or visit the History Center at 215 39th Street. A slate of additional programs and annual events, including a Trivia Night and an historic Clamshell Pitch competition, also are planned for summer 2018. Information will be listed at as available.

Avalon History Center is a local history museum that displays a collection of objects from Avalon’s past. Visitors can learn more about their favorite beach town by viewing fun and fascinating displays, including a 1925 Avalon Life Boat that they can climb into. The History Center’s collection includes thousands of photographs, objects and ephemera that tell the story of Avalon’s residents, places and events.

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