FREEHOLD, NJ – The Monmouth County Historical Commission has announced the winners of the annual fifth-grade essay contest and the County’s 2015 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 2015 first-place essay winner was Jeffrey Vitale, of St. Catharine School in Spring Lake, who wrote about the Belmar Fishing Club and received a $100 book store gift card.
Second-place winner Amelia Rizzi, of St. Catharine School in Spring Lake, wrote about the 1890’s farmhouse she lives in and received a $75 book store gift card.
Third-place winner Vivianna Wilson, of Midtown Community Elementary School in Neptune, wrote about her great-great grandmother’s slavery story and received a $50 book store gift card.
Carl N. Steinberg, James W. Donechie, Jr., the Borough of Freehold, the Marine Corps League Corporal Philip A. Reynolds Detachment and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Freehold Post No.4374 were recognized for the restoration of the Freehold World War II Honor Roll and Court of Honor.
Nelson Kuperberg and David Giffler were applauded for the restoration of the Taylor Farm Homestead, a private residence in Freehold Borough.
The Garden Club R.F.D. was praised for the preservation of the Little Red School House in Middletown.
Dave and Lisa Griffiths were applauded for the restoration of the Clarksburg Home in Millstone Township that they have been working on for 12 years.
Also in Millstone, Scott and Bonnie McFie restored the Johnson/Agres House and Barn over a period of 16 years.
Old Tennent Church received recognition for the restoration of the 18th Century Weathervane, which stands 10-feet tall on top of the church in Manalapan.
“We speak regularly of Monmouth County as a historic county,” 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 John Fabiano, executive director of the Historical Commission. “These include places to live, places to worship and places of public accommodation. The owners of these properties, and community organizations, work tirelessly to maintain these properties not for the awards, but because they care about preserving our heritage for the next generation.”