After all those months of planning and organizing, it seems hard to believe that Cumberland County’s first annual “A Race Through Time” will be crossing the finish line in twelve (count ’em!) days. On the whole, we think it’s been an adventurous time for everyone involved. We’ve lost count of the number of passports that have been passed out at the different sites but the response from the public has been very positive. So much so, that we’re giving serious consideration to making this an annual event and adding more sites next year. Don’t forget that the drawing for prizes will be held on Sunday, August 28, at 2 p.m. at the Vineland Historical and Antiquarian Society museum. You don’t have to be present to win but wouldn’t it be fun to see who the lucky Runners are? There’s still time to get a ticket for the drawing, if you haven’t already done so. In the meantime, we hope that you’re staying the course in spite of the ferocious weather. Remember, the finish line is closer than you think!
Although it seems a little hard to believe, we’re actually about half-way through Cumberland County’s first (of what will hopefully become an annual) A Race Through Time. If you haven’t yet registered for the free event, there’s still plenty of time to stop by any of the participating sites to get your passport and guidebook. The response so far has been very gratifying–about 100 people have signed up for the Race and even Cumberland County residents have been delightfully surprised to discover what lies right in their own backyard. Starting with the earliest years, when the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape called this region home, on up to the days of industry, when area businesses supplied the nation with everything from shoes to glassware, Cumberland County has a lot to be proud of. But don’t wait too long–August 28 will be here before you know it (and you don’t want to miss out on the chance to win a wonderful prize)!
We are so grateful for the outpouring of support that we’ve seen regarding A Race Through Time. In less than two weeks, we’ve already signed about fifty people of all ages and inquiries are still coming in. If you’re curious about who’s making the rounds of our county historic sites, just take a look at our Facebook page. Someone who is more technologically-advanced could probably figure out a way to share some of the faces here but some of us are still a little behind when it comes to that(!). Vineland Historical and Antiquarian Society has registered Racers, along with the Millville Army Airfield Museum and the Cumberland County Historical Society. If you’ve signed up at one of them or at any of the other sites, please let us know. To show our gratitude, we’ve been busily collecting a nice variety of prizes so make sure you enter your name before the event draws to a close. Even if you can’t be present for the actual drawings, you are still eligible to win. So, good luck, everyone! We’re waiting to stamp you through on to your next part of the Race.
We’re pleased to report that area residents have already turned out for their passports and guidebooks to begin their Race Through Time. The Vineland Historical and Antiquarian Society even sent an application via e-mail to an interested person in Edison, New Jersey. The enthusiasm has been wonderful to behold as the visitors are planning to take advantage of a chance to see the treasures right in our own backyard! We’re very grateful to our friends in the local media for getting the word out and hope that, as momentum builds, interest in the event will spread. Don’t forget, once you have visited a minimum of six sites, you can be entered into our drawing for prizes on August 28. Just take your stamped passport to any participating site and you will be given a ticket for the drawing. We hope, however, that you will be having so much fun that you’ll visit more than the minimum to learn more about our region’s rich history. Remember, if you have any questions, you can always contact us by telephone, e-mail or on our Facebook page. There’s a lot to discover so get ready, get set…GO!!
Just think–we’re only two days away from the official start of “A Race Through Time.” Word has gone out all over South Jersey and we’re already seeing some positive response, so get ready to register for your passport on July 1! Don’t forget to call your local participating site or contact us through Facebook if you need further information. And don’t stop once you’ve visited six sites! Every location will offer a fresh perspective on what early life was like in Cumberland County. Make time to check out the entire list and take a lot of photos. We’ll look forward to hearing/seeing more about your adventures. Travel safe and have a wonderful time!
Linda Hruza-Jones, president of the Cumberland County Historical Society Board of Trustees, and I (Patricia Martinelli, curator of the Vineland Historical and Antiquarian Society) recently had the pleasure of making the rounds of the historical sites that will be participating in “A Race Through Time.” Although the weather had been iffy for a while, we lucked into a beautiful day and cruised down to the Bay area, back up through Millville and all points in between. I’ve always counted myself fortunate because I grew up in Vineland at a time when a ride in the family car on Sunday afternoon was a special outing (that often ended with a hot dog and root beer at the local Stewart’s Drive-In). And still today, traveling through the back roads of Cumberland County is a revelation. The quaint little general stores, the quiet dignity of the white clapboard-sided churches with their tall spires and beautiful stained glass windows, the murmur of the waterways–these are all part of our heritage that fortunately has not been erased by developers. We hope that you’ll help us celebrate Cumberland County by joining us in July and August for “A Race Through Time.” We think you’ll be glad you did!
Glassblowing has been a major South Jersey industry for close to 200 years and one site that has been dedicated to preserving the rich artistry of glass is Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center in Millville. The Museum of American Glass, which hosts a stunning collection of contemporary glass, also looks back on the history of American glassmaking to the days of Wistarburgh in Alloway, Salem County. Wistarburgh was the first successful glassworks in America, operating for about forty years prior to the Revolutionary War. Once the company closed its doors, the workers disbanded throughout South Jersey, bringing their skills to Bridgeton, Millville, Glassboro, Hammonton, Vineland and other small towns in between. This is one part of “A Race Through Time” that you’ll want to spend time with to savor the skills of generations of glass artists.