ESTELL MANOR— The next time a member of the Estell Manor Historical Society has a question about the town’s history all they’ll have to do is look up at the wall.
Members of the society unveiled a new mural at its headquarters at the Risley Schoolhouse building, which is celebrating its 100th year and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The mural includes a timeline of the history of the township, including when the Estell family first came to the area and when important buildings were erected. As about a dozen members gathered to view the mural at their meeting Thursday, they discussed Estell Manor’s history and occasionally asked when certain events happened.
“Just look at the wall,” responded Tom Pogue, the society’s president. “That’s why it’s there.”
With the 2013 being the 100th anniversary of the building on Cape May Avenue, the society will have additional events in the coming year to promote the structure and the town’s history — especially among the local school children.
Artists Nancy Palermo, of Linwood, and Susan Rau, of Upper Township, finished the mural at the end of December. It features a timeline of important events, pictures of historic buildings — many of which are no longer standing — and a picture of Estell Manor’s founder and first mayor, Rebecca Estell Burgeois Winston — standing underneath a family tree filled with generations of ancestors.
“I didn’t know anything about Estell Manor,” Palermo said. “We both had to do quite a bit of research to (paint the mural) that they wanted.”
Palermo and Rau have worked on other murals in the area, including at the Ocean City Free Public Library, and the two said they had a lot of fun learning about the history, including the early industrial days of the glass-making plants and shipping out lumber.
“It’s got a rich history, but you have to look for it,” said Peter Tracy, the society’s vice president.
Bob Grant, chairman of the society’s board, said students will come visit the schoolhouse during the year, and the mural will be used as a teaching tool so they can learn more about their city’s history.
“People often ask questions (about the history),” he said. “Now we can just look at the wall.”
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