Joan Berkey, left, talks with Sarah Handcock, the owner of the Dixon-Sheppard House in Greenwich that dates back to 1690. Joan Berkey of Dennis Twp, has completed a project to document the oldest homes in Cumberland County.

Architectural historian Joan Berkey lived without a laundry room for three years, hauling her dirty clothes to a Laundromat about 10 miles away.

"What we do for our old houses," said Berkey, who moved to the circa 1790 Thomas Ludlam House on Route 47 in Dennis Township in 2009.

She recently finished an addition that includes a laundry room, she said, and wrote about the process at

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Berkey has worked in preservation for 30 years,

and has written books on buildings at both the Naval Air Station Wildwood and the U.S. Coast Guard Training Center at Cape May with NASW museum volunteer Director Joe Salvatore.

The Coast Guard site, northeast of downtown Cape May at the mouth of Cape May Harbor, was home to a series of amusement parks in the 19th century. The last was called Funland, which closed in 1915, she said.

Then the Navy made the property an air station and built a dirigible hangar there.

"You can still see the concrete apron from the air," she said.

The Navy used the skating rink for a dorm, and a revolving barrel for the brig. But a fire destroyed the Fun Factory buildings in 1918, so the oldest there are from about 1919, Berkey said.

Coast Guard patrols based there chased rum runners during Prohibition, and the Coast Guard took it over in 1946.

Student-built canoes

Student boatbuilders will launch three handmade canoes for the first time at 3 p.m. Monday at the South Shore of Lake Audrey off Mauricetown Bypass Road in Commercial Township, said volunteer instructor Bill Sheridan, of Millville.

Students at Haleyville Elementary School in Commercial Township and Bridgeton Middle School built the boats in the Bayshore Center at Bivalve's "Building Kids Program."

Volunteers Dave Fenili, of Vineland; Frank Krammer, of Downe Township; Pete Slavin, of Medford Lakes; and David Zane, of Downe Township, also helped.

Hospital's top employee

Kimberly Kleiner, information systems support technician at Cape Regional Medical Center in Cape May Court House, is May's employee of the month.

The mother of two, from Villas, received nominations from co-workers for exceptional help with computer and technology problems, a hospital spokesperson said.

Contact Michelle Brunetti Post:


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