Tag: Historic Museums of New Jersey

Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum                     500 Forrestal Road                                                                Cape May Airport, Rio Grande, NJ 08242

Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum 500 Forrestal Road Cape May Airport, Rio Grande, NJ 08242

Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum

500 Forrestal Road

Cape May Airport

Rio Grande, NJ 08242

(609) 886-8787

Open: Sunday-Saturday 10:00am-4:00pm



My review on TripAdvisor:


The Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum is located at the back of the Cape May Airport. Just follow the road to the back of the airport at 500 Forrestal Road in Hangar #1.

This interesting museum is a treasure trove of artifacts from WWII to today from jeeps to cars and trucks to airplanes. Some of the vehicles you can step into and see what it was like to ride these pieces of aviation history.

The displays are very interactive

There are several airplanes that with the assistance of the staff you can enter and see what air travel was like for these pilots. All the planes have been carefully restored and displayed for viewing and use by tourists. There is even a air traffic control tower you can enter and see how thing the functioning of the tower was done. These displays were interactive from the perspective of the people who once worked there.

The Air Traffic Control Tower is really interesting to enter

In the front of the museum as you enter, along the ways there is a display of the history of the Naval Hangar and how it developed and became part of the community. There were pictures of members walking the boardwalk in Wildwood and having a good time. There were stories of many interactions between the sailors and the locals and what an exciting time it was for everyone.

Many local heroes stories were told all over the building of Navy personal from the area and the part that they played in the war years and when they returned. Each story board told of their early lives, how they got involved in the war, the roles that played and jobs that were accomplished and what their lives were like when they returned. The mindset of this generation is very different than from today.

What I really enjoyed was the documentary “Boatlift”, the story of the 9/11 rescue of thousands of people off Manhattan island on 9/11 (it was around the 20th Anniversary of the event when I toured the museum) and the bravery and involvement of boaters and sailors all over the New York maritime region. Hundreds of boats were involved in getting people to safety to New Jersey and other parts of the NYC. It was a lesson in selflessness and involvement in one of the darkest days of American history.

Outside the hangar, there are more planes to tour and equipment that is used. Each display is carefully explained of its role in the armed forces so take the time to read the plaques as well.

Outside Hangar #1

Inside the building towards the back, there is a display of commercial establishments and even the role of Coca Cola during the war and it being used in the ration boxes of the men and women fighting for our country. There were pictures of USO dances and get togethers and parties for the enlisted men.

There is even a space shuttle piece to explore and admire showing our progression into different types of transportation over time. The museum has carefully displayed items so that there is an order to follow around the room to admire each piece. Take the time to look them over and read about them.

This museum is an interesting step back in time to show the role New Jersey and Cape May County played during the war years and then going forward.

The Mission of the Museum:

Restoring Hangar #1, educating the public on Cape May Country’s history during WWII and memorializing the 42 naval aviators who were training at the Naval Air Station Wildwood.

The History of the Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum:

(Taken from the Museum website)


Following the outbreak of World War II, this all wood double wide aircraft hangar was assembled by the U.S. Navy in 1942 from a kit delivered via railroad. On April 1st, 1943, NAS Wildwood was commissioned as a training facility for dive bomber squadrons that would go on to fight in the Pacific. Between 1943 and 1945, activities included night flying and target practice over the Delaware Bay, reaching a peak of almost 17.000 takeoffs and landings in the month of October 1944. Before NAS Wildwood was decommissioned, 129 crashes occurred and 42 airmen died in training exercises.

Following World War II, United States Overseas Airlines was operated out of Hangar #1, offering both national and international charter flights. The airline was owned by Dr. Ralph Cox, a dentist and U.S. navy pilot during WWII. Cox also used the hanger to display his collection of early automobiles and other transportation memorabilia including a steam locomotive.


Southern Jersey Airways operated a commuter airline known as the Allegheny Commuter out of the Cape May Airport. The service was started by Captain Curt Young, ho was a bomber pilot during WWII. The Allegheny Commuter offered twenty-two daily flights between Atlantic City and Philadelphia as well as eight round trips out of Cape May.


After many years of neglect, Hangar #1 was rediscovered by Dr. Joseph Salvatore and his wife, Patricia Anne, who acquired the building from Cape May County for $1.00. Listed on both the state and national registers of historic places, Hangar #1 is an exhibit in and of itself. Since 1997, the Salvatore’s and the NASW Foundation have worked hard to restore the hangar to its original condition. Today, Hangar #1 is open to the public as part of the NAS Wildwood Aviation Museum.

The Wyckoff Historical Society                                              The Shop next to the Pond                                               Wyckoff, NJ 07481

The Wyckoff Historical Society The Shop next to the Pond Wyckoff, NJ 07481

The Wyckoff Historical Society

The Shop next to the Pond

Wyckoff, NJ  07481


Hours: Please check the website above

Fee: Please check their website

My review on TripAdvisor:

The Wyckoff Historical Society was established to research, preserve and educate about the rich history of Wyckoff, NJ. The organization was founded in 1974 and is incorporated. Recent programs included a walking tour of Wyckoff.

The Society recently restored the old Wyckoff barbershop that was donated to them and now sits on the town property by the Zabriskie Pond and the historic Zabriskie Home. Inside the building houses all sorts of local artifacts, farm tools and vintage furniture along with historic photos of the town of Wyckoff, NJ.

The little building sits right on the Zabriskie Pond.

The Zabriskie Pond in Wyckoff, NJ

History of the Museum:

This 1890’s structure was recorded as being a barbershop in 1905 when it was owned by John Lawrence, who worked for the railroad by day and cut hair at night. It was also a cobbler shop for several years and again a barbershop. The building was on Main Street and Everett Avenue relocating to its current home and donated to the Wyckoff Historical Society by resident and member, Sebastian Gaeta.

The building was neglected for several years and was restored several times, most recently in the summer of 2018 by the society including a full paint job of the interior and exterior and refinishing the bare floors.

On display are artifacts from Russell Farms, a barber chair from longtime Wyckoff barber, Frank Muscara, a 1905 child’s dress, Lenape artifacts, a Hoosier cabinet and photographs. Please check their website for opening dates.

The Zabriskie Pond in Wyckoff, NJ

Disclaimer: This information was taken directly from the Wyckoff Historical Society pamphlet and I give them full credit for the information. Please email them for more information.

The Mahwah Museum                                         201 Franklin Turnpike                                 Mahwah, NJ 07430

The Mahwah Museum 201 Franklin Turnpike Mahwah, NJ 07430

The Mahwah Museum

201 Franklin Turnpike

Mahwah, NJ  07430

(201) 512-0099



Open: Wednesday-1:00pm-4:00pm/Saturday & Sunday 1:00pm-4:00pm/Closed Monday-Tuesday Thursday-Friday

Fee: Non-Members $5.00/Members Free

TripAdvisor Review:



I visited the Mahwah Museum over the weekend and found a very engaging suburban museum that had interesting exhibitions on the subjects of Women’s Rights, Mahwah history, Les Paul memorabilia and train sets that would delight any child or the child within. There were a lot of small children that were getting a kick out the trains in the basement going around and around.

Mahwah Museum IV

The Mahwah Museum is open during the Northwest Bergen History Coalition Weekend

The staff is very nice and very engaging with the visitors. They will walk you through some of the exhibitions, explain the concepts and make up of the exhibits. You can see most of the museum in one day but there is a lot to read so try to make a few trips to this interesting little museum in the middle of Mahwah, New Jersey.

Mahwah Museum III

Les Paul Exhibition at the Mahwah Museum

The Mahwah Museum:

The mission of the Mahwah Museum Society is to preserve and present the history of the community and its connection to the region. Museum exhibits display information about the history of Mahwah and the surrounding community. The Museum’s collection of artifacts, photographs, historical records and documents is carefully preserved, documented and cataloged and is available by appointment to historians and researchers. By encouraging discovery, understanding and appreciation of the region’s heritage, the Museum provides perspective for the present and the future.

The Society is comprised of the Mahwah Museum at 201 Franklin Turnpike and the Old Station Museum and Caboose at 1871 Old Station Lane. The Mahwah Museum opened in 2001 and hosts several permanent exhibitions and a main exhibit on two levels. Permanent exhibits include: Les Paul in Mahwah, The Donald Cooper Model Railroad, the Who’s Who of Mahwah, the Lee Vold Gallery and a topographical model of Mahwah Township. The main exhibit changes periodically. Please check http://www.mahwahmuseum.org for current exhibits.

The Old Station Museum and Caboose opened in 1967. The restored Erie cupola caboose shows the daily operations of train crew life. The Old Station Museum was the original Erie Station in Mahwah built in 1871. Many Erie Railroad artifacts and photos related to passenger trains are displayed. The Museum is a great resource for adults and children. Educational programs are offered frequently.

The Trains of the Mahwah Museum:

The Mahwah Museum has an extensive collection of model trains representing all scales. This collection has been made possible by generous donations from the Cooper-Darboe and Margolis families.

The Donald Cooper Model Railroad:

Located in the lower level of the museum, the Donald Cooper Model Railroad is a DCC powered, 28″ x 13″ operating HO gauge model railroad. Designed as a walk-in layout, the visitor can experience the sights and sounds of a real operating railroad.

Mahwah Museum II

The collection that makes up the railroad was donated to the museum by Renee Cooper-Darboe of Mahwah, New Jersey. Donald Cooper lived in Mahwah on Island Road. He went to work for the Erie Railroad in Buffalo, New York as a Yard Supervisor. He was employed by the railroad until the 1960 merger with the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western. After he left the railroad, he moved back to Mahwah and began installing security systems.

It was during this time he met and married his wife, Renee and learned his electrical skills. After retiring, he and Renee decided to construct a model railroad representing the trains that went through his yard in Buffalo. From 1990 to 1995 Don worked constructing the tracks and doing the electrical work while Renee built the buildings and carefully placed the people in the railroad cars. Sadly, Don passed away in 1998 and the railroad sat unused for 8 years. Renee contacted the museum in 2006 and asked if we would like a “train set”. The rest, as they say, is history.

The railroad consists of four levels, a subway, two mainline tracks and a fully operational train yard. We also have a logging railroad and a trolley line. The Donald Cooper Model Railroad is a permanent exhibit of the Mahwah Museum and open during its regular operating hours on Saturday and Sunday. Volunteers are always welcome. No experience is needed. Please visit our museum website for more information.

Jerome Margolis Lionel Collection:

Jerome Margolis was an avid collector of Lionel “O” gauge trains. He was also the owner of one of the most popular pizza restaurants in the area, Kitchley’s Tavern. People visiting his restaurant were treated to three large display cases filled with his trains. What they didn’t know was that he had many more stored away. Thanks to his son, George, they are no longer out of view.

Our museum was the lucky recipient of the remainder of this collection. Currently they are in static display in out layout room for our visitors to enjoy. The collection represents many of Lionel’s most popular models from the 1970’s through 2005. The famous Santa Fe, red and silver “War-Bonnet” F7, Union Pacific “Big-Boy articulated locomotive and Pennsylvania “Mountain” steam locomotive are just a few pieces in the collection. Come and enjoy this wonderful collection of some of America’s best known locomotives.

The Mahwah Museum Society is a nonprofit corporation under the laws of New Jersey and has qualified as a 501(c)(3) tax exempt entity under the Internal Revenue Code. It is governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees.

Open Weekends and Wednesdays from 1:00pm-4:00pm October-June and the Donald Cooper Model Railroad is open on Weekends from 1:00pm to 4:00pm October-June.

Old Station MuseumIII

The Old Railroad Station Museum in Mahwah, NJ

Their sister Museum, The Old Station Museum and Caboose is located at:

1871 Old Station Lane

Mahwah, New Jersey 07430

It is open Sundays from 2:00pm-4:00pm June-September.

Mahwah Museum

The Mahwah Museum is part of the Northwest Bergen History Coalition.

*This information was taken from the pamphlets provided by the museum on my visit. Take the full afternoon to explore this interesting museum and their exhibitions.

*Please contact the museum for any changes in exhibitions or schedule of times.