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August 04, 2022

Tree where Ocean City's founders met in 19th century on display at history museum

The Ocean City Historical Museum, which is housing the artifact, is open Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

History Museums
OCNJ historic tree Courtesy of/City of Ocean City

The trunk of the tree that shaded the founders of Ocean City as they met in 1879 to discuss their plans is now on display at the Ocean City Historical Museum. The museum is free and is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

History buffs can now view an artifact that was involved in the founding of one of the Jersey Shore's most popular family destinations.

The Ocean City Historical Museum is displaying the trunk of a tree that shaded four Methodist ministers as they met in 1879 to establish a Christian retreat that would eventually become Ocean City. The tree was placed in a section of the museum dedicated to the town's founding.

MORE: Historical Society's social media campaign uncovers 19th century family murder

Reverend S. Wesley Lake, his brothers Ezra and James, and Reverend William B. Wood allegedly prayed under the tree for guidance and blessings for their plan to develop the retreat. At the time of the meeting, the tree was located near what is now North Street.

The tree was formerly displayed at the Ocean City Tabernacle, but its new location was decided upon to better serve visitors interested in the town's history.

"I love history, and I'm excited to see our Historical Museum continue to evolve," Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian said in a release. "I want to encourage everybody to check out this new exhibit."

The museum at 703 Deal Rd. is free to visitors and is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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