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. Water leaking from the roof threatens the collections that are housed inside the museum. We are currently working with a contractor to make long-overdue repairs but the cost will have a serious impact on our already limited funds. And we haven't even started on the rest of the work, which includes repairing and painting the window and door frames, fixing cracked walls in the basement that let in water, and restoring the ceilings and walls that have suffered water damage (and that doesn't include what's going on behind the scenes). 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. 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.
Charles K. Landis was a lawyer, real estate developer and author, whose story was filled with hope and heartbreak.
In 2020, our new exhibit on postcards, titled "Every Picture Tells a Story," will feature a wide variety of cards showing life in Vineland (like the one at right), as well as social concerns, travel and more. The exhibit will open in February and run through December.
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 nor receives any ongoing financial support from 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.