|Who we are
The West Jersey History Project is the latest in a long line of activity that stretches back to the early nineteenth century. Back then, Isaac Mickle and Asa Matlack collected, researched and in Mickle's case, published local history. As the century wore on, the torch was passed to men like John Clement and George R.Prowell. During the first half of the twentieth century, there was a banner crop of local historians. Men like A.M. Stackhouse, George Decou, Frank Stewart, T. Chalkley Matlack , Nat Ewan, Henry Beck, Afred M. Heston, Joseph Sickler and Charles Boyer broke new ground and published works that are still in demand almost a century after they first appeared. Another notable joint effort during this period was the Gloucester County History Project. At mid century a new group of local historians exemplified by Henry Bisbee, Samuel Wyatt, John D. F. Morgan, Maurice Horner, Harry Marvin and Major Lawrence Stratton, moved the tradition forward.
The West Jersey History Round Table
During the Bicentennial in 1976, a group researching local history was able to convince Edith Hoelle, then librarian at the Gloucester County Historical Society, to open the library for them one evening a week. This group, which included William Leap, David Munn, William Mihm, William Farr, Gene Schidt, Susan Schmidt and Joan Brown Michael became known as the West Jersey History Study Group. After the bicentennial, most of the group dispersed. However, some of the Camden County members continued to meet on an irregular basis to discuss their research and to go on outings. Over time, things became a bit less informal and meetings occurred more regularly. At some point, the name West Jersey History Round Table came into use and has continued to the present day. Current regular attendees include Bill Farr, Bill Leap, Dave Munn, Paul Schopp, Dennis Raible, Edward Fox, Mark Demitroff, Richard Hineline, Bob Thompson and Peter Hamilton. There is also a rotating cast of interesting guest attendees.
The West Jersey History Project
The project is an outgrowth of the Roundtable and of one of the member's frustration with another organization. Almost all of the Roundtable members have contributed to the web site. There have also been contributions from outside the Roundtable. People like Sarah Homer, Denise Fox, Pete Stemmer, David Wilcox, Karen Merrifield, Linda Buras and Kathy Tassini have either published material on the site or are working on site related projects. The goal of the West Jersey History project is to develop a regional history web site that is second none, useful to all and that continues a proud tradition into a new century.
A West Jersey History Round Table outing in the late 80's or so.
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