Vineland Historical Society to Host Open House, Presentation on N.J. Diners

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VHAS Vineland Historical Society 2017

VINELAND, N.J. — Although the weather has been a little temperamental lately, the Vineland Historical and Antiquarian Society (VHAS) is still moving ahead with plans for its annual Open House, a free event being held this year on Saturday, August 5th, starting at 10 a.m., on the grounds of the VHAS museum at 108 S. Seventh Street in Vineland.

“We’re including a number of new crafters and vendors, as well as welcoming back familiar faces like ‘The Hotdog Man’ from Hammonton," said Sandra Hearing, the VHAS trustee who organized the event.

Sculptor Mary Rowson will be on hand to help children make their own clay sculptures, while veteran archaeologist R. Alan Mounier will demonstrate flint knapping, the Native American method of making arrowheads.

Children’s games will include an egg race, ring toss and lawn bowling, as well as the chance to try their skill at twirling a Hula Hoop. There will be a small archaeological “dig” on the grounds that will be open to older children, who will be able to keep what they find.

While staff from the Vineland Public Library will be on hand to read stories, local musician Chris Lax will appear to perform for part of the day. The reigning Miss Vineland, Jada Morgan, is also expected to be on hand for the event.

In addition, there will be homemade Greek pastries available from the women’s club affiliated with St. Anthony’s Greek Orthodox Church in Vineland, as well as the opportunity to buy a book of authentic Greek recipes. Visitors will have the opportunity that day to tour the VHAS museum free of charge and take a chance on winning a gas grill from LaTorre’s Hardware — which has a storied history of its own in Vineland — and a certificate for steaks from Main Meats.

The program officially ends at 2 p.m., with a presentation to volunteers Laurie Milana, Maria Arroyo and Louis Tassi, who devoted more than 100 hours of service to the Society this past year.

Following the ceremony, those in attendance will be able to stay on to enjoy a presentation on New Jersey diners by author Michael C. Gabriele, who literally wrote the book on the subject.

Gabriele has written three books on New Jersey history, all published by The History Press (including The History of Diners in New Jersey, and last year's New Jersey Folk Revival Music: History & Tradition). A lifelong New Jersey resident, Gabriele has been a journalist for more than 40 years. He is a 1975 graduate of Montclair State University, a member of the executive board of the Nutley Historical Society, and serves on the advisory board of the Clifton Arts Center.

For further information, call 856-691-1111 or e-mail

The Vineland Historical and Antiquarian Society is the oldest local historical society in New Jersey, headquartered in the oldest purpose-built museum in the state.

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