Letter: Jersey Coast Heritage Museum Completes Mission

November 16, 2018
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This is a letter of profound gratitude to all the founding members and supporters of the Jersey Coast Heritage Museum at Sandlass House.

We started our journey two years ago to save and restore the 1893 Sandlass Pavilion House at the site of the Golden Era Highland Beach resort located on Sandy Hook, N.J.  Our team has made an exhaustive search for locations, ideas and partnerships to keep the Sandlass House in the historical context required by the National Park Service. Even though our goals to achieve a restoration or establish permanent gallery space are as yet unrealized, our vision to share this magical Jersey Shore heritage has evolved. We have the privilege of participating in the nearby Twin Lights Museum local history exhibit, inclusion in an upcoming Sea Bright photographic exhibit in the new Bathing Pavilion and a Highland Beach book in progress. Our mission to celebrate this history has been realized.

Our goals have been reached and taken as far as we can go in lieu of saving the last standing relic of the Highland Beach resort, the Sandlass House, presently located on the Sandy Hook Peninsula as part of the property owned by the National Park Service. Therefore, in keeping with our by-laws, we believe it is time to put JCHM into a hiatus and dissolve our 501c3 status.  We wish to thank each one of you for the heartfelt interest shown over the last two years of our quest to mark this history as a vital legacy of our Jersey Shore history.  The memories shared by so many (of days at this once grand resort) have touched our hearts.  Even though we close this Jersey Coast Heritage Museum chapter, we will be supporting our cultural heritage whenever and wherever the opportunity arises.

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We have put a passion for saving history and historical preservation into all our efforts to bring to life the magic and beauty of the Highland Beach history and the Jersey Shore’s past. This wonderful journey to explore this history has been a catalyst for sharing different aspects of the roles they have played in American and local history.  The partnerships forged have created a venue to share our knowledge and interest with the general public.  Our goal, to deliver impactful results, has been achieved through the current Twin Lights Museum Exhibit that showcases the once grand history of our Gateway to the Jersey Shore.  Having achieved our goal of inclusion in this unique exhibit, we celebrate a place in this history as a marker for future interest in our heritage.

With appreciation,

Frank J. Smith, JCHM President
Susan Sandlass Gardiner, JCHM Secretary


This article was first published in the Nov. 15-21, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.

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