Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Work is underway to transform the historic Daniel Estell Manor House on Route 50 in Estell Manor into the home of the Atlantic County Veterans Museum by year's end.
After receiving the approval of the State Historic Preservation Office, contractors have been working for several months to rehabilitate the structure where Rebecca Estell Bourgeois Winston, the state's first female mayor, once lived and bring it up to current code standards and in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Among the added features will be an elevator and rest rooms. The building will also be equipped with improved lighting, phone and Internet service, computers, exhibit cases and more.
In preparation of the museum's anticipated opening, the Veterans Museum Committee that was appointed by County Executive Dennis Levinson in 2013 is continuing to collect donations of military artifacts and memorabilia for future display.
The committee will accept donations at the Atlantic County Library System's Mays Landing branch, 40 Farragut Avenue, 10 AM to 1 PM, on the third Tuesday of each month, April 21 through September 22.
"The response from the public with regards to this museum and our request for donations has been wonderful," remarked County Executive Dennis Levinson. "We have several donations of uniforms, photo albums, scrapbooks, service log books, medals, ration books and more from local vets and their families. They each reveal a part of our past. Collectively, they bring history to life and serve to honor our veterans."
Donations/loans of military items attributed to the military service of Atlantic County citizens through all conflicts and from all branches of service will be accepted. Artifacts with a direct connection to an area veteran including photographs, supporting service documentation, and/or personal accounts are of particular interest. A categorized list of articles of interest is available on the county web site at www.aclink.org/vetsmuseum. The site also includes preservation tips for specific types of artifacts.
The Daniel Estell Manor House was provided by the county to house the museum and is located adjacent to the county park in Estell Manor. Included within the park is the county veterans cemetery, the final resting place for county veterans and their spouses.
"Our intention is for the Veterans Museum to not only be a lasting tribute to our veterans and their families, but to also provide an educational resource for our youth," noted Levinson. "We envision it as an attraction for class trips and visitors of all ages who are interested in the contributions of Atlantic County residents to our nation's history."
For more information, visit www.aclink.org/vetsmuseum or call Cindy Mason-Purdie, Administrator of the Atlantic County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs, at (609) 646-8699 ext. 6314.