The Wildwood Historical Society George F. Boyer Museum
3907 Pacific Avenue
Wildwood, NJ 08260
Open: Sunday-Saturday-9:00am-2:00pm/Check with the museum in the off season
Fee: Free but they do ask for a donation
I visited the Wildwood Historical Society George F. Boyer Museum (See review on TripAdvisor) when I was visiting Wildwood, NJ for a convention. It was a gloomy morning and the museum is open from 9:00am-2:00pm. It is the perfect place to visit on a rainy day at the beach.
The museum is a treasure trove of artifacts of the history of the three towns, North Wildwood, Wildwood and Wildwood Crest. The history covers the original inhabitants when the Native Americans lived and fished in the area, the rise as a resort community especially its heyday in the 1950’s and 60’s as a solid middle class resort town and a extensive history of the police, fire department and schools as well as the town and its council people.
The Wildwood Historical Society at 3907 Pacific Avenue
Each room of the museum is stacked with information, artifacts in case lines and the walls are lined with books, manuscripts and albums. The school history shows how integration worked even as far back as the turn of the last century and the development of the school system. There were books of graduation pictures, sporting events and band involvement.
The town has contributed so much to society
There is a very interesting display of fire fighting pictures especially of the amusement fires of the past and the rebuilding of the parks and piers. Take time to look at the artifacts in the hallways and pictures of the development of the parks. There are interesting pieces saved from the old parks.
There is even a section of restaurant menus and dishware from the well known establishments of the past and many pictures of the hotels and motels of the ages. It showed how it went from a Victorian resort to the modern times of the sixties theme motels with art deco architecture. There was a real change after the war to a more middle class customer who was depending on the automobile instead of the train system.
Popular businesses of the past
There is also a large section on the old amusement piers with pictures and artifacts from the old “Dracula’s Castle” park that burned down in the early 2000’s. There are signs, old tickets, small ride cars and prizes from the games from the piers. There is extensive detail to the display and you have to look at all the pictures of the amusements at various points of history.
The Amusement section
Plan about two hours as you will loose track of time when looking at all the pictures and displays. It is a little packed in here but there is so much to see and take time to watch their videos which are fascinating and informative on the history of the town of Wildwood.
Who was George F. Boyer:
George F. Boyer was born in Philadelphia in 1904. He came to Wildwood around 1932 and earned his living as a butcher, a merchant and a fireman. His real local fame, however, came from his role as the City of Wildwood’s first and only official historian. While serving with Wildwood fire department in 1959, he came across the stump of a tree (now known as the “W” tree) in the old city hall.
Running down the origin of the tree, sparked a tsunami of information as he talked to local residents and researched and collected old records. One thing led to another and in January of 1962, Boyer was appointed in the city’s newly established historical commission and became the first president of the Wildwood Historical Society.
Tireless in his efforts to collect and preserve local artifacts, Boyer spoke to school and church groups as well as civic organizations, urging them to “act now..to gather those irreplaceable links with the past and preserve them for generations to come.”
Founded by Boyer, Wildwood’s first historical museum opened in 1963, on the second floor of the Municipal Building in October 1976, the City of Wildwood honored Boyer for his “long and devoted service” by renaming the museum, the George F. Boyer Historical Museum.
He passed away a month later but his legacy lives on. The museum, now located at 3907 Pacific Avenue, continues to welcome visitors and locals alike, just as it did a half century ago under Boyer’s care.
The non-profit museum is made possible thanks to volunteers who dedicate time to our cause. We always need volunteers. To learn about volunteering, drop in during our open hours, call us or fill the contact form on the website.
Disclaimer: This information was taken directly from the History of the Wildwood Historical Museum website and I give them full credit for the information. Remember that the museum has limited hours and the resort is seasonal so please call the above number for the times and dates when the museum is open.