Historical Society planning for strong 2022
Greg and Deborah White are hoping and planning for a strong 2022 for the Historical Society of Hammonton (HSH) after a challenging few years in the pandemic. While Greg White, President of HSH, and Deborah White have a list of goals they want to accomplish, preservation is their main focus.
“Right now, our primary mission is just maintaining this building and the artifacts...and in order to do that we want to get things cataloged. We want to get it all on the internet, to make it available for people if they can’t come in physically, to see things on the internet. We need people to take pictures, write descriptions, enter things into all that type of things,” Deborah White said.
Since COVID-19 shut most things down almost two years ago, Greg and Deborah White have made a concentrated effort to dig up as much information as possible and make it accessible to the public and that’s something they plan on continuing to do.
“We kept projects going. We have files now that we never had before. So, when somebody actually wants information, we’ve got a darn good chance of finding something and knowing where it is. We have done a lot of work behind the scenes to make this a true historical society that you can ask questions of and ‘did my uncle Johnny live on First [Road] once upon a time?’ and we’ve got maps now and maybe there’s a little schematic of his house from 1886 and we didn’t have our hands on that kind of stuff before,” Greg White said.
The HSH is also changing the way they display exhibits. Whereas before, a display would be up for three to four months before being taken down almost completely, many sections that are important to the core of Hammonton history will remain at all times, but will now have rotating items on display as well as being expanded during certain times of the year.
Greg White also wants to make people understand that HSH is not exclusive or “hoity toity.” It’s a place where everyone can enjoy themselves.
“When we’re here working and doing stuff, going through articles and things, it’s a lot of fun…I’d like to break down that ultra formal ‘let’s get dressed up and go to the historical society.’ We want to open it up to the public,” Greg White said.
Greg White also said that HSH will continue on with their monthly meetings and presentations. The meetings are held at the Hammonton Canoe Club and have guest speakers covering a wide range of topics, including established Hammonton families such as the Mento family. These events are free, open to the public, and fall on the first Thursday of every month.
In hopes to attract more people to HSH, Greg and Deborah White are also hopeful that they can open the doors more often this year. As of right now, HSH is only open on Tuesdays and the first Saturday of every month, but Greg and Deborah White are always willing to make accommodations for people wanting to see the museum, located at 333 Vine Street.
Hammonton is a diverse town with rich history, and Greg and Deborah White want the museum to be a place that represents that.
“We’re trying to make it all inclusive,” Greg White said. “There’s so much history coming from all directions.”