A crisis is brewing behind the front doors of the Vineland Historical and Antiquarian Society museum, which has stood at the intersection of Seventh and Elmer Streets for 109 years. We need the help of area residents because, after generations of benign neglect, the repository of Vineland’s past needs serious attention. The three-story red brick building was designed by noted Philadelphia architect George E. Savage and constructed by James D. Pasquale, a Vineland contractor who built many local public buildings and private homes.
Since 2015, the Society’s board has completed a number of repairs at the museum and added a handicapped ramp. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of work to be done, including repairing and painting the window and door frames, fixing cracked walls in the basement that let in water, and restoring some of the ceilings and walls have suffered water damage. The basement windows need attention, as do the floors in the public exhibit area. The museum is considered to be the most important artifact in the Society’s collections, since it houses artwork, glassware, personal effects, furniture and other 19th century artifacts, including those related to Native American culture and the Civil War. However, as a private non-profit, the Society is not affiliated with the municipal government or any other historical organization and, as a result, has no annual funding from those sources. In addition to repairs to the museum, funding is needing to conserve artifacts such as the elegant oil painting of Dr. Mary J. Dunlap, the first woman to serve as director of the State School for Women located on Main Road. Competition for grants has grown fierce in recent years and the sponsoring agencies usually want the money spent on public programming, rather than preservation. Although the Society has maintained a small corps of dedicated members over the years, their contributions are simply not enough to support the work that is needed to properly maintain the museum and the collections. The trustees themselves have generously donated both time and money to maintain the museum but public support is now seen as vital. According to Sandra K. Hearing, president of the board of trustees: “We once sat down and figured that if every person living in Vineland gave just $2 a year, we’d be able to handle virtually all of our operating costs. That would allow us to proceed with the repairs and maintenance of the collections that are long overdue.” Donations to the Society are tax-deductible since it is a 501(C)3 non-profit. For further information, please contact the Society by calling 856-691-1111 or e-mailing email@example.com.
We are so delighted that the Kirchner family and their dedicated volunteers have brought the Palace Depression back to life, we thought we would offer this book, written by our curator, for sale. All proceeds benefit the Vineland Historical and Antiquarian Society.
Charles K. Landis was a lawyer, real estate developer and author, whose story was filled with hope and heartbreak.
The Civil War exhibits and the Native American artifacts have been moved into new quarters. Although they are still works in progress, visitors can enjoy a fresh new perspective on these important collections!
We have a lot of tales to tell you but are always happy to learn about Vineland families and businesses. We are currently adding an exhibit on the contributions of local Latinos and would appreciate hearing from anyone with information to share!
The Vineland Historical and Antiquarian Society is the oldest local historical society in New Jersey, headquartered in the oldest purpose-built museum in the state. It was founded in 1864, just three years after Vineland was established by Philadelphia attorney Charles K. Landis, who was a life member of the organization.
Our collections include 19th century glassware, art, musical instruments and photographs, as well as Native American artifacts and Civil War memorabilia. The First House ever built in Vineland (in 1862) is located on the grounds of the museum and is available for tours. The Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit that welcomes donations and financial support from the community.
(Photos by John W. Carr)
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Your support and contributions will enable us to meet our goals and improve conditions at the museum. Your generous donation will fund our mission.
The Vineland Historical and Antiquarian Society is dedicated to collecting and preserving artifacts and records related to Vineland and the South Jersey region, and to sharing that material with visitors through exhibits, programs and other appropriate venues. Vineland has a rich, culturally-diverse past that is reflected through our collections. To learn more, please contact us or make an appointment to visit. Researchers are welcome but appointments are required at least ONE WEEK IN ADVANCE OF YOUR VISIT to ensure that needed resources are available. There is a $10 charge for non-members to use the research library. (Pictured at left: Vineland's first museum, c. 1890s)
PLEASE NOTE: The Vineland Historical and Antiquarian Society is not affiliated with any other historical organization or government agency.
Also: Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without the express and/or written permission of the Vineland Historical and Antiquarian Society is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the Vineland Historical and Antiquarian Society with appropriate and specific directions to the original content.