Ocean City’s historic tree stands tall at new location

OCEAN CITY, NJ (WPVI) — Though famous for its boardwalk and beach, Ocean City, New Jersey has a colorful past rooted in tradition, faith and a tree.

“Ocean City was a barrier island,” said John Loeper, president of the Ocean City Historical Museum. “There were hills and swamps and valleys. And the Lake brothers came here in 1879. They realized this could be a great place.”

The Lake brothers, along with Rev. William H. Burrell, attempted to plant a vacation religious community in southern New Jersey.

“And that leads us to the tree,” Loeper said. “The tree under which the Lake brothers prayed for divine guidance in establishing Ocean City in 1879.”

The efforts of the Methodist ministers to buy land and found a city were fruitful. Their intention to ban the sale of alcohol also lasts to this day.

But this cedar was pretty worn down over the years. Therefore, it was kept in the Ocean City Tabernacle. Once it was outside. It was later moved inside for further conservation. But due to the necessary renovation of the building, the tree needed a new home.

A collaborative effort resulted in the tree’s transfer to the Ocean City Historical Museum, where it stands amid photographs and literature depicting a timeline of the city’s founding.

“When you see something, it’s easier to learn, and I think that’s the great thing about this museum,” Mayor Jay Gillian said. “And I’m so thankful that the Tabernacle, we’re all working together to preserve it, because something this simple, something like this needs to be preserved.”

The Ocean City Historical Museum is free to visit seven days a week from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Donations are invited to keep the doors open to an educational institution that celebrates the unique culture of this famous Jersey Shore destination.

“There’s also a lot of history to be learned, from WWI, there have been visiting kings, really an experience,” said visitor Dominic Pastino of Sewell, New Jersey. “So if someone like my friend here needs an opportunity to get out and enjoy the museum, it’s free. Just leave a donation, tell your friends to come back.”

To learn more about the Ocean City Historical Museum, visit their website.

WATCH: Family of 70 says Ocean City, NJ is their ‘family place’

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https://6abc.com/ocean-city-new-jersey-historic-tree/12118146/ Ocean City’s historic tree stands tall at new location

Alley Einstein

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