For the members of the Greate Egg Harbour Township Historical Society, there's nothing quite like sharing South Jersey's unique history through its Speaker Series, which has grown each year since it was established in 2009.

Dan Lawless, series chairperson, said the talks, which are usually held each month, are the product of collaboration among all the society's members.

"It's a labor of love," Lawless said. 'It's not just me. I mean, everybody has a hand in it here."

Douglas Yearsley, curator of the New Weymouth Township Historical Museum, will open the 2013 series with his talk, titled "Revolutionary War Through Your Senses" at 7 p.m. Feb. 15 at the Egg Harbor Township Community Center, 5045 English Creek Ave.

Yearsley will discuss lesser-known but still significant local wartime figures, such as John Barry, Francis Hopkinson and his own ancestor, Silas Newcomb, who was New Jersey's top-ranked militia leader. His talk will incorporate primary source documents and stories, all packaged in an engaging sensory experience, he said.

"Sensory keys, sensory triggers," Yearsley said. "Feel, sight, hearing, smell, taste. It'll all be satisfied."

Next on the historical society's event calendar after Yearsley's discussion are a talk on slavery March 8 and a discussion of Dr. James Sills, known as the Doctor of the Pines, on March 22. All programs are held at 7 p.m. at the community center.

In addition to the Speaker Series, the historical society contributes to the knowledge base of the community through its museum at 6647 West Jersey Ave., which contains several intriguing pieces of local history, such as the contents of a recently unearthed time capsure buried at the Shore Mall in 1974 and a spotlight that belonged to Enoch "Nucky" Johnson, who inspired the character of Nucky Thomspon in the HBO series Boardwalk Empire.

Possibly more compelling than the historical society's exhibits are its archives of official records like property deeds, marriage licenses and public meeting minutes, some of which date back to the early 18th century.

Members of the historical society can assist community members in genealogical research through these documents by appointment.

With all the society has to offer for township history buffs, Publicity Chairwoman Tamara Lamb said, its presence is an enriching one.

"It's a real diamond in the rough," Lamb said. "We're all so passionate about our history."

To plan a visit to the musem or for information about membership, visit the historical society online at or call 609-813-2002.

Contact Braden Campbell:


If you go

What: Greate Egg Harbor Township Historical Society Speaker Series "Revolutionary War through your senses"

When: Feb. 15, 7 p.m.

Where: Egg Harbor Township Community Center, 5045 English Creek ave.

How much: $2 suggested donation for adults, free for members and students

More info: For more information or a list of upcoming programs, visit or call 609-813-2002