Great American History Right Here in Downtown Toms River, New Jersey
I always enjoy an opportunity to share some cool "American History" with you when it comes from New Jersey and the Jersey Shore. It's always exciting to me to learn about the history of where we live and what happened before our time here in the Garden State.
This particular history involves Downtown Toms River and the original Presbyterian Church that sits at the Ocean County Library location on Washington Street in Toms River. The Presbyterian Church was built circa 1858, making it 165 years old. The church has undergone several cosmetic changes and brick facing, but still stands in the Ocean County Library building. When the Pandemic hit the Dunkin Donuts and coffeeshop, located in the church, closed its doors and now sits closed to the public.
So now my question is what can we do with the church, besides having it used as a storage closet? There must be a better way to highlight this historic building, even if nothing more than just that, a historic site for residents to visit.
This building has beautiful windows and the architecture inside is pretty amazing. The ceiling rafters look impressive too. Surely this nearly 200-year-old building could be once again transformed so folks can enjoy it? Even if simply a study lounge where folks using the library could enjoy bringing a cup of coffee and enjoying a good book, or catching up on work. In my humble opinion, this area needs to be re-opened and available for folks to utilize.
Don't misunderstand me, I'm not trying to blame anyone for why this piece of history is locked shut, my purpose is to say "hey let's bring this historic space back to life so residents can use".
What do you think we could transform this space into? I think a simple studio area with tables and chairs is perfect, with no cost involved. Maybe having some plaques placed in the former church with historical facts about the building, that visitors could read would be a nice touch. There is information posted outside the church but maybe a few items of interest inside the church would be a very nice touch.
Let us know what you think and post your comments below. We always enjoy getting your feedback.
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