For Immediate Release:
August 10, 2012
Passion for Ocean Grove history yields recognition
Wayne T. Bell Jr. to receive 2012 Jane G. Clayton Award
FREEHOLD, NJ – Monmouth County Clerk M. Claire French has announced that Wayne T. “Ted” Bell Jr. of Ocean Grove has been selected to receive the 2012 Jane G. Clayton Award.
Bell, who is semi-retired from a nearly 50-year career in environmental research, historical report preparation and education, is a noted speaker in New Jersey. He is recognized for his lectures and demonstrations on such subjects as American pattern glass of 1830 to 1910, stained-glass windows, Victorian architecture, wildflowers of New Jersey and the history of camp meetings.
“Mr. Bell has done an excellent job chronicling the local history of Ocean Grove with a special emphasis on the Great Auditorium,” French said. “It is largely because of his work in the 1970s that the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting is a National Historic Site.”
Bell is the lead author for the June 2012 book The Great Auditorium: Ocean Grove’s Architectural Treasure, published by the Peppertree Press of Sarasota, FL. This new 137-page book traces the history and development of the Great Auditorium in Ocean Grove, a distinctive historic structure from the national Camp Meeting movement of the late 1800s. This book is the realization of over a decade of research by Bell, and is based on materials found in the Monmouth County Archives in 1999.
Other publications include Images of Ocean Grove (Arcadia Publishers, 2000), Ocean Grove in Vintage Postcards (Arcadia Publishers, 2004), and the popular pamphlet So How Old is My House? (Historical Society of Ocean Grove, NJ, 2003). Bell was the lead author in the 1976 proposal that designated the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting as a National Historic Site, and was a contributing author to Encyclopedia of New Jersey (Rutgers University Press, 2004).
Bell performs various research, publication services and grant proposal applications for local non-profit groups such as The Deserted Village of Allaire at Allaire State Park, Belmar Environmental Commission, Howell Township Environmental Commission, and Girl Scouts of America. Other local activities include guest curator at the Monmouth County Historical Association for a six-month exhibit on pattern glass in America, and guest lecturer at the New Jersey Council on the Humanities Religious Diversity Seminar held at Monmouth University.
Bell is a founding member of the Historical Society of Ocean Grove, which recognized him for his outstanding service to the community with the annual Beersheba Award and nominated him for the 2012 Jane G. Clayton Award for exceptional contribution to awareness, understanding and preservation of the history of Monmouth County.
Each summer, Bell volunteers his time and knowledge to Historical Society, leading interpretative tour on the Auditorium grounds or assisting as a curator and historian. He also served as a member of the Historic Preservation Committee for Neptune, which reviews and approves applications for restoration of Victorian structures within the historic district of Ocean Grove.
Bell and his wife, Shirley (Hemphill) have been married 58 years. They have four daughters, nine grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter.
Created in 1997, the Jane G. Clayton Award honors individuals who, over a substantial number of years, have made exceptional contributions to the awareness, understanding or preservation of Monmouth County history. The award is named after former County Clerk Jane G. Clayton, who was responsible for the creation of the Monmouth County Archives.
Past winners of the award include George Moss, Mary Lou Strong, Louise Jost, Wesley Banse, Douglas Foulks, Gail Hunton, Michael Adelberg, Lee Ellen Griffith, Flora Higgins, Gerald Ceres, Karen Schnitzspahn, Lydia Wikoff, Garry Wheeler Stone, Edward J. Raser and Joseph G. Bilby.
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