Ever since the Hamilton Township Historical Society finished selling personalized bricks as part of a fundraiser in 2000, people have asked museum curator Dottie Kinsey when it would again hold such a fundraiser. The answer, finally, is 'Now.'

Until Sept. 20, the historical society will sell the red bricks for $40 apiece in celebration of the township's 200th anniversary.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will help cover upkeep and some much-needed repairs to the society's museum, including roof renovations, Kinsey said.

"We need some funding - we're only able to be open because of donations and fundraisers - so we needed a nice fundraiser," Kinsey said. "I remembered we had a good one here, so why not try it again?"

The bricks are 4-by-8 inches, which allows enough room for three lines of characters each. Words will be etched onto the brick and filled in with black enamel, which, like the bricks from the previous fundraiser, is fully capable of withstanding the elements.

The bricks will be laid in two rectangular sections of the path that rings the fountain in the center of Heritage Park.

Kinsey said she expects the fundraiser to again prove popular, as there are many who have expressed an interest in leaving their mark on the township. She herself plans to buy two, one dedicated to the memory of her uncle Robert East, who served as a belly gunner in World War II, and the other to honor her grandchildren.

"Earlier, in 2000, (when) I bought a brick, I only had one grandchild," Kinsey said. "Now I have six, so I'm told I need to buy a brick for them."

The Historical Society started selling the bricks at its booth at the Hamilton Township Hometown Celebration in June, and has sold about 30 so far. Carl Farrell, a society member and a museum staffer, said the society hopes to sell about 150 bricks, which will cover a large chunk of the $12,000 it takes to keep the museum open each year, not counting repairs.

While the historical society has a number of recurring fundraisers, among them its appraisal nights and its Art in the Park Craft Show, the brick fundraiser is not on a set schedule, meaning those interested need to act fast.

"It's not something we do every year," Farrell said. "It only comes along on special occasions, anniversaries, things like that. The time to get one is those times."

By their nature, the sale of bricks is a fundraiser befitting the Historical Society. In a century, the bricks themselves will be pieces of history, just as similar bricks laid decades ago are today.

Farrell, for one, said he's excited at the possibility of his name becoming a permanent piece of Mays Landing history.

"History people and historians, we look at these bricks from years ago and we say, 'Who were these people?'" Farrell said. "Sometimes, you find stuff about them that's interesting, and we're hoping maybe a hundred years from now, someone will do the same for us."

For more information, call Cheryl Fetty at 609-625-1598 or visit hamiltonhis

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