About the Keansburg Historical Society

About The Society

On January 18, 1995, Doug Foulks, town historian, and a small, determined group of local citizens banded together to preserve the towns history. With the generous gift of a building by the Lehotay family, in five years they achieved the impossible. With the support of the Mayor, Council and borough employees, on June 19, 1999, county, state and federal officials joined as the ribbon was cut and the museum opened.

Our museum is home to two of the finest ship models, to be seen anywhere. Both models were built by Jack Campbell. They are of the side-wheeler Keansburg and the later, twin-screw City of Keansburg, both ships of the "Gehlhaus Navy".

What we do Now

The Museum

Our Museum, displaying a large collection of local memorabilia, is open to the public with Society Members as guides from 1:30 - 3:30 PM Sundays and Wednesdays. We also open by appointment for visitors with time or distance limitations. To request a reservation call us at (732) 471-0408 during the hours listed above, or leave us a message on our answering machine (which we only normally only check at the aforementioned times). There is never a charge for admission.

The Society and the Schools

  • We award a scholarship annually, to a Keansburg High School graduate who will continue their study of history at an institution of higher learning.
  • One day every year, we host each sixth grade class from our Bolger School for a museum ‘scavenger hunt’. As part of their study of local history, the teachers provide questions and set tasks the answers to which are contained in our exhibits.
  • On occasion, we have set up informative displays at the various schools. Some years, we have provided speakers with assorted background knowledge of our town to various classes as part of their local history units. In turn, the Museum has also had several visits from the fourth graders of the Caruso School and classes from St. Ann’s.
  • High School students have on several occasions assisted in sorting, searching and with miscellaneous tasks requisite to our operations. They have done so as part of community service projects, honor activities and just out of the goodness of their hearts.
  • Each year we participate in the High School's Citizenship Day activities (the day students take over as Municipal Officials).

The Society and our Seniors

Keansburg is home to several senior citizen complexes ranging from apartment housing to nursing homes. Occasionally groups from the homes visit the Museum. It is also our pleasure to take to their complexes a restored black and white locally filmed movie video and newer videos composed from our displays and verbal histories. Our Historian, or a delegate narrates the movie (It’s from the early ‘30s, pre ‘talkies’). Often however, our seniors know as much or more than we do about the people and places in this early film treasure.

Memorial Day

We always participate in the Keansburg Memorial Day Parade. At least one decorated vehicle, a float of sorts, has been sent each year since the museum opened.

Monmouth County Archives Day

Every year since the Museum opened, we have prepared a special ‘table top” display for the annual county Archives Day in November. We are proud that it is always different and usually one of the most interesting displays, often surpassing commercial offerings.

At this event several years ago, Keansburg’s own Historian Doug Foulks received The "Jane Clayton Award" for dedication to the preservation of history. As far as we know he is the only local Historian to be so honored.