By PETE WALTON
Don Lewis, longtime curator of the Bradley Beach Historical Museum, has resigned.
“Don Lewis has informed me that he is stepping down as our museum curator,” Mayor Gary Engelstad said at this week’s Borough Council meeting. “Many people, not just in Bradley Beach but all across the area, have enjoyed his work. He has truly made a difference for our community.”
“Things didn’t work out between myself and the borough,” Lewis said when reached for a comment.
After Bradley Beach ended its agreement with Neptune City for municipal court services, reconfiguration of space in Borough Hall forced the relocation of some municipal offices to the nearby building which housed the museum and the Bradley Beach Senior Center.
The move caused the loss of much of the space which had been used by the museum.
Lewis, who has written for The Coaster on historical subjects in the past, would not comment further on his departure at this time. He says he wants to “let things calm down” before writing to thank those who have supported him and worked with him on the museum.
“I have always found Don Lewis to be an inspiration,” said Don Stine, president of the Asbury Park Historical Society. “For this not to be working out I find a little bit disconcerting and disheartening.”
“Don has a passion for history and nothing was too trivial for him,” Engelstad said. “We wish we had more space for the neverending collection that he put together. We will forever be in his debt for what he accomplished.”
The mayor said he would like the borough to consider establishing a historical society. He said Bradley Beach is looking at Belmar’s historical society as a possible model by reviewing its bylaws and membership criteria.
“It’s not fair that one person bear the brunt of the work involved with maintaining our history,” Engelstad said.
“Don always did an excellent job of documenting and preserving the history of Bradley Beach,” Stine said.