SOUTH BRUNSWICK – The Township of South Brunswick marked a historic moment with the retirement of its longtime historian.
Mary Cecile “Ceil” Leedom has stepped down after almost 20 years of service to the South Brunswick Historic Preservation Commission. A resolution was read in her honor during the council meeting on Nov. 28, and then the history room at the South Brunswick Library was named in her honor on Dec. 2.
In addition to being the township historian, Leedom was a founding member of the Mayoral Historic Preservation Ordinance Advisory Task Force, a group tasked to investigate the feasibility and desirability of historic preservation in the community, and served through its entire tenure of almost five years, according to the resolution.
Additionally, Leedom has served on the Historic Preservation Commission since its inception as an ex-officio member. She provided critical research and input into numerous local historic projects, including the Crossroads of the Revolution National Heritage Area, the King’s Highway, Longbridge Farm, the Slack-Carrol House, 8 Stevens Road and the Wetherill House; and provided oversight to South Brunswick’s Cultural Resource Survey, according to the resolution.
Leedom is also active with the Kingston Historical Society and the Dayton Village Citizens Coalition.
Leedom’s contributions extended to the South Brunswick Public Library as well, where she served as a reference librarian from 1987 through 2000. From 2000 to the present she has logged thousands of volunteer hours at the library, was twice awarded the New Jersey Library Association Service Award and has received the South Brunswick Public Library Volunteer of the Year Award several times, according to the resolution.
She has collected, organized and maintained the library’s local history archives, including hundreds of photos, artifacts, documents and files on notable people, places and events, according to the resolution.
“There is still much to learn about institutions such as our government, churches, fire departments, first aid organizations, police organizations, school groups, scouting groups and many other organizations that make up our community. They all contribute to our life here and elsewhere,” she said.
She credited William Baker, township engineer; Doris Curran, Dayton school teacher, Clifford Nevins, Kathryn Clayton, Kiki Pierdinock, the Genealogical Society of New Jersey and coverage by local newspapers including the Sentinel in helping to tell their stories.
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