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‘Summer at the Jersey Shore’ now open at historical association

The months of June through August mean a time of sun, fun and outdoor activities at the Jersey Shore.

The Monmouth County Historical Association, Freehold Borough, now features an exhibition that captures some of the pastimes that were offered to visitors years ago during the summer season.

“Summer at the Jersey Shore” opened to the public on June 15 and will remain on view through September. Museum hours at 70 Court St., Freehold Borough, are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Paintings, prints and drawings dating from 1850 to 1940 illustrate such things as horse racing, sun and sea bathing, sport fishing, casino gambling, preaching on the beach, steamboats that served the shore, and shore landscapes.

Artists represented include Alfred T. Bricher, George C. Lambdin, Winslow Homer, August Kollner, John W. Alexander, Theodore R. Davis of Asbury Park, and Michel Jacobs of Rumson.

Scenes depict activities at Sea Bright, Long Branch, Monmouth Park, Asbury Park, Ocean Grove, Manasquan, and Cape May.

Souvenirs from Asbury Park, Ocean Grove and Red Bank display the types of mementos shore visitors could purchase as a token of their summertime experience, either as a day-tripper or as an extended stay guest at one of the many hotels and boarding houses available in New Jersey’s coastal communities, according to a press release.

In many respects, shore visitors of the 21st century can take advantage of the same range of activities as those who enjoyed the area’s attractions in the 19th century, with a large gap in between, according to the press release.

In 1894, New Jersey outlawed horse racing and gambling. In the intervening years, they have been restored. Horse racing returned to a new Monmouth Park in Oceanport in 1946, casino gambling to Atlantic City in 1976, and Gov. Phil Murphy placed the first bet under the new sports betting law at Monmouth Park on June 13.

The Monmouth County Historical Association is a private nonprofit organization that has been working to preserve history and provide educational opportunities since its founding in 1898, according to the press release.

The association’s archives, museum and library are at 70 Court St., Freehold Borough. Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The library and archives are open Wednesday through Saturday.

The association maintains five historic house museums throughout Monmouth County which are open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 1 through Sept. 30. For further information, call 732-462-1466 or visit www.monmouthhistory.org

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