The Ocean County Historical Museum is conveniently situated at 26 Hadley Avenue in downtown Toms River, only a short walk from the beach. On-site and off-site parking is provided at the museum/research center and the County Parking Garage, which is located across the street from the Elizabeth Sculthorp Force House.
The Ocean County Historical Museum was founded in 1950 by Dr. Joshua Hilliard and other committed Ocean County citizens who shared a solid dedication to gathering and preserving the county’s history during the county’s centennial celebration. The organization met at different members’ houses for many years until they bought a historic vernacular Gothic Revival style Victorian property in downtown Toms River.
The house has been moved and relocated to a nearby vacant lot, renovated, and added a finished basement and a large two-story connected building for a Research Center consisting of a library, exhibit room, and much-needed storage capacity for artifacts and archival materials since its acquisition in 1971. The home was named after Elizabeth Sculthorp Force. It was added to the National and New Jersey Registers of Historic Places in 2019. The New Jersey Women’s Heritage Trail also mentions it. It has 19th century furnished rooms and a historical timeline exhibit in the Birdsall Room with visual and acoustic presentations of Ocean County from its first residents, the Lenapes, to the current day. All visitors, including those who come online, have access to the library and research center, which provides resources and expert aid with historical and genealogical questions.
The Ocean County Historical Museum is devoted to Telling the Stories of Ocean County and upholding its founders’ objective of preserving all parts of Ocean County’s history and teaching its inhabitants about their history via publications, events, courses, and field excursions. The Society will maintain a museum to show and keep papers and artifacts and a library for historical and genealogical research to fulfill this goal. Discover more here
When the business office is open, but the museum and research center are closed, the visitor’s information kiosk in the foyer gives a user-friendly virtual tour of the Society’s exhibitions and collections. The National Center for Access to Media has created a closed caption version of the virtual tour for those with hearing problems or deafness (NCAM). The kiosk’s height may be modified to suit wheelchair users. The entry-level lobby and a bathroom are handicap accessible.
Every Tuesday and Thursday, as well as the first and third Saturdays of each month, from 1:00 PM through 3:00 PM, the Elizabeth Sculthorp Force House museum is available for docent-led guided tours. At this time, tours may only be scheduled by appointment. Do not hesitate to get in touch with them at 732-341-1880. Tours are provided at no cost. However, contributions are always appreciated. A great article