Our sesquicentennial celebrations of my hometown’s 150th birthday weekend was kicked off with a carnival on the high school grounds August 4 and 5. On Saturday, August 6,the carnival continued with added musical entertainment, a bar-b-que, and more in the hot 90 plus degree sunshine!
But, about a mile or so west of the carnival grounds, at the Vineland Public Library, I was hosting as reception for the Friends of Historic Vineland’s “Landscapes of Vineland History” exhibit in the gallery – a collection of vintage archive family photos from Vineland’s past and original mixed media artistic renditions of our hometown.
The centerpiece of the exhibit is the commemorative quilt by the Garden Patch Quilters, which was formally presented to the Friends of Historic Vineland at the reception.
The quilt will be on semi-permanent display at the library until it is placed in its new home at the new museum being built as part of the Palace of Depression restoration project. Click HERE to see my first post in this series highlighting that project.
On either side of the quilt are the two maypole pictures. The original from the August 6, 1911 Children’s Day activities at Vineland’s Old Home Week festivities celebrating the first 50 years of Vineland. At Founder’s Day this past May, we re-enacted that maypole event with the baby carriage parade. The two photos flank the quilt – from 1911 . . .
And, here young Kayla points to herself in the history making 2011 re-enactment photo.
Vineland citizens were encouraged to comb through their family archive for photos of “unique and historic value” to submit in the show. Some elder Vineland residents did just that.
Here is Caroline nee Giampietro – the sister of a beloved mayor of our town who served during the month log cnetennial celebrations 50 years ago in 1961.
She is pointing to a picture of herself as a child, standing with her younger brother, the late Mayor Giampietro, their other siblings, and mother outside of their home in 1922. She grew up to be a nurse, and started the nursing program at our county college – a thriving program to this day.
She was thrilled to see a former patient of hers, Eva Berwin Neisser, the daughter of a prominent egg industry leader in Vineland – Vineland being the largest egg and poultry producer in the world throughout the early to mid 20th century. Eva is pointing to the photo of herself at age 19, cleaning eggs to be sold.
Caroline was Eva’s nurse in childbirth. Both ladies are in their nineties and enjoyed conversation of the old days with other vintage Vinelanders.
Earl Arthur and some of his family pose before an ancestor of his who was an early Vinelander, Isiah Arthur, who worked for the founder, Charles K. Landis.
And here is my Aunt Jo pointing to a photo of her running the campaign headquarters switchboard of Senator Wene’s gubernatorial run in 1949.
According to her, she was 19 years old at the time, and it was evening and she needed to go home. Mr. Wene had a comfortable lead and she was sure he would win. Wasn’t everyone surprised to learn that his opponent took the ticket by morning. But, no one was surprised to learn, some months later, that the democratic power bosses in the northern part of the state rigged the end results. Life in Jersey, as they say – even in the old days.
Aunt Jo and my Dad, Michael Jordan, discuss all the old familiar faces in one of the band photos here . . .
My family was very musical and both dad and his father, Matt, played and marched in a number of local bands during the 1930’s through the 1960’s. It was good to have them there to share the event.
Founder and president of the Friends of Historic Vineland, Dr. Frank DeMaio, scooted over from the carnival grounds to be part of the reception, along with my husband, Ed – also a member of our group.
Doc helped me to cut the cake and serve our full house of guests.
The Welch’s Grape Juice company even sent a complimentary case of sparking grape juice to make the occasion more festive. Dr. Thomas Welch invented grape juice in Vineland, founding the world famous company right here – just a few blocks down the road from where we were standing.
Art photography by Gail Lorenzini and Violet Brown Photography (the same gal who took my header photograph) was featured . . .
. . . plus the works of children and senior adults – students of artistic director, Sandy Smith of Magnolia Hill Studio. Click on their highlighted names to visit them online.
Oh! And here are a couple of shadow boxes I put together with some relics of the 1961 Centennial . . .
. . . and the key to the city with vintage postcard art from the 1911 celebrations . . .
Great conversation and new facets of old stories ruled the reception and, to be sure, a great time was had by all!
I have more to come on my Vineland’s 150 Birthday series, so stay tuned! I’ll be posting an up close and personal look at the commemorative quilt for all my artistic friends, too!