Restoring the more-than 100-year-old Civil War monument in downtown Asbury Park and a preview of an upcoming book about the city’s West Side musical history are among topics being discussed at this year’s annual Asbury Park Historical Society reorganization meeting.
The meeting will be held Thurs., Jan. 18 at the Asbury Park Public Library at the intersection of First and Grand avenues. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. and there are refreshments.
Professional monument conservationist Douglas Distefano will give a power-point presentation about his findings about the statue from an up-close inspection done at the end of last year.
History buff Russ McIver will also give a history about the two cannons on the same site, at the intersection of Cookman and Grand Avenues.
In addition, musical historians Charlie and Pam Horner will discuss their up-coming book about the rich and vibrant music scene on Asbury Park’s West Side.
“Springwood Avenue Harmony: Unique Musical Heritage Of Asbury Park’s West Side 1880-1980” (the proposed title) is an in-depth look into the West Side’s musical past. The book is an outgrowth of a number of lectures and exhibits put on jointly by the historical society and the Horner’s.
The meeting will also see the election of trustees and the launch of the society’s annual membership drive. People can also join at www.APHistoricalSociety.org
The Civil War statue- officially called “The War Of The Rebellion” statue- was installed in 1893 for Memorial Day and may have previously been on the boardwalk. But McIver noted that there are still facts about the monument that are being researched. The monument is the property of the city, not the historical society.
Granite pillars surrounding the site are now connected with a plastic chain and new metal chain will be installed. The grounds will also be landscaped.
Other monument scheduled to be inspected are the James A. Bradley Statue in Bradley Park at the beachfront and the bust of John F. Kennedy in Kennedy Park in the downtown area.