mc_2013_hstory_essayFifth-grade essay winners, others recognized

Freeholder Lillian G. Burry presented certificates to the three student essay award winners with Glenn Cashion of the Monmouth County Historical Commission. Pictured left to right: Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, Madeleine Hicks, St. Leo the Great School; Ryan Guss, Oak Hill Academy; David Burrell, Oak Hill Academy and Commissioner Glenn Cashion.

FREEHOLD, NJ – The Monmouth County Historical Commission has announced the winners of the annual fifth-grade essay contest and the County’s 2013 Preservation Awards.

“It is a pleasure to salute our young residents who have developed a keen awareness of history and the importance it plays in their lives,” said Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the Monmouth County Historical Commission. “Monmouth County is rich in history and I am glad to know that our youth are growing up with the desire to visit and to know more about local history.”

The 2013 first-place essay winner was Madeleine Hicks, of St. Leo the Great School in Lincroft, who wrote about Longstreet Farm in Holmdel and received a $100 book store gift card.

Second-place winner David Burrell, of Oak Hill Academy in Lincroft, wrote about the Allen House in Shrewsbury and received a $75 book store gift card.

Third-place winner Ryan Gruss, of Oak Hill Academy in Lincroft, wrote about Woodrow Wilson Hall at Monmouth University in West Long Branch and received a $50 book store gift card.

In addition to the essays, preservation awards were given to the individuals and groups who have engaged in successful preservation and restoration projects on their own. The winning projects reflect the preservation movement and restoration of historic sites in Monmouth County.

Henry Wikoff saved and restored the Peter Bruere House in downtown Allentown, which was threatened by flood waters.

In Farmingdale, another small, borough impacted by development, some people thought the historic Wainright House was beyond saving. John and Virginia Woolley thought otherwise. They completed this amazing preservation project and opened the house to the public with a series of events.

Robert Swabsin was lauded for his exterior restoration of the Truex Blacksmith Shop in Middletown.

Red Bank is one of Monmouth County’s liveliest and most historic towns and so it was honored for a second year in a row. The Red Bank Woman’s Club was honored for the exterior restoration of its headquarters, which was formerly the home of Anthony Reckless. The projects architect, Margaret Westfield, R.A., was recognized for her contribution to the project.

 “We speak regularly of Monmouth County as a historic county,” Freeholder Burry said. “Monmouth County is historic not only for what happened here, but for the efforts of those who preserve its buildings to ensure that they will be here for future generations. Preserving these sentinels of the past takes more than interest in history; it takes personal dedication, hard work and financial commitment by these current guardians of our shared heritage.”

Preservation awards are given out annually to recognize people who have preserved a piece of Monmouth County history.

“Monmouth County has an amazing collection of historic buildings,” said Randall Gabrielan, executive director of the Historical Commission. “These include places to live, places to worship and places of public accommodation. Keeping these structures that give our county special character is more than ownership; it is a distinctive calling and mission.

“The owners engage in the exercise of maintaining historic property not for the awards, but because they know that caring for our heritage for the next generation is the right thing to do,” he added.