WILDWOOD - Many years ago, a Wildwood firefighter named George Boyer found a mysterious piece of twisted wood in a closet at Wildwood City Hall. Through a chain of research, Boyer discovered it was the “W” tree that gave the Wildwoods their name. The rest was history.
It was 1963, sixty years ago this year, when Boyer’s interest in local history inspired him to establish the Wildwood Historical Society in a small room at the then-new city hall on New Jersey Avenue. During the next decade and a half, Boyer wrote down the stories of the island’s original and founding residents, many of whom were elderly.
After Boyer passed in 1976, the Wildwood Historical Society went inactive for a few years until a new group, headed by resident Al Brannen, revived it. With new interest, the collection grew so large that the society needed a larger building.
The historical society opened the George F. Boyer Wildwood Historical Museum at its current location, 3907 Pacific Avenue, in 1990. The building was originally Ingersoll Funeral Parlor and has been confirmed as paranormally active by spiritual investigators.
“In addition to being caretakers for the vast collection of documents, photos and artifacts that tell the story of the Wildwoods, we are also proud stewards for a historic Victorian building,” said the society’s current president Taylor Henry.
For the 60th anniversary of the society, the society is designing a commemorative t-shirt that will be available in the gift shop this summer.
The museum is free admission, has free on-site parking, and is wheelchair accessible. Their summer hours are Mondays through Saturdays from 10 to 3. For more information, visit wildwoodhistoricalmuseum.com.