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HAMMONTON - “Today’s present is tomorrow’s history” is not only a motto of the Historical Society of Hammonton, it also is one of the reasons for its upcoming personalized paving stone project.

“We want people to be remembered,” said Historical Society of Hammonton President Anne Marie DeCicco. While the Historical Society is constantly collecting and preserving historical items that are donated, members wanted to take preserving Hammonton history to a new level. When society members decided to add a new sidewalk — which will be handicapped accessible — they came up with the idea of using personalized paving stones as a way to preserve some of Hammonton’s history.

The idea for the project first began in the spring of 2017. However, before going forward with the plans, the Historical Society knew it would have to get the approval of the town’s Parks and Recreation department. So, the Historical Society began crafting a detailed proposal to present to the department.

That meticulously crafted proposal worked.

“They were all for it,” said Historical Society of Hammonton secretary Denise Saia. With that approval, the society set to work on making the project a reality.

Through advertising and word of mouth, the society has so far seen 154 families, businesses and organizations buy personalized paving stones. While the Historical Society is grateful to all those who have purchased a paving stone, members hope more people will contribute.

“It has been a very positive response, but we wish we had older businesses and names,” said Historical Society of Hammonton member Barbara Zinno.

There is still plenty of time for families, businesses and organizations to buy a personalized paving stone as the Historical Society has extended its deadline for ordering from the end of February to March 31. Members of the Historical Society also stressed that you do not have to live in Hammonton to purchase a paving stone. If you have any connection to the town, you are more than welcome to buy a personalized stone.

For $50, those who purchase a paving stone are allowed up to three lines, with 15 characters each. Part of that $50 covers engraving and installation fees, with the rest going as a donation towards the Historical Society. Forms for the paving stones can be downloaded from the Historical Society’s website or can be received by calling the society and asking for a form to be mailed. The stones are currently projected to be installed in the summer.

The Historical Society of Hammonton is also looking for new members. They welcome anyone who wants to be a member, whether young or old. They also have monthly meetings, which usually includes a guest speaker — on the first Thursday of every month at the local Canoe Club. The society encourages everyone — member or not — to come to the meetings to learn more about the history of Hammonton and to enjoy some refreshments.

The Historical Society of Hammonton is open every Tuesday from 10 a.m. to noon, and the first Saturday of the month, also from 10 a.m. to noon. For more information, please visit its website at www.historicalsocietyofhammonton.org or call (609) 270-7652. The society also can be found on Facebook.

The Historical Society of Hammonton is located at 333 Vine Street.

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