HAMMONTON - The Historical Society of Hammonton recently saw the realization of a project that has been a year in the making — the completion of its brand-new sidewalk with personalized paving stones that will help preserve the town’s history.

“We are thrilled with it,” said Denise Saia, secretary of the town’s historical society. The idea for the sidewalk originally started with the desire for easier access to the front of the building. From there, the idea grew to include the personalized paving stones.

As those tasked with preserving the town’s history, the members and volunteers of the historical society viewed the personalized paving stones as a perfect opportunity to do just that.

“They want their families to be remembered,” said Anne Marie DeCicco, president of the Historical Society of Hammonton about those who purchased personalized pavers.

Many families, businesses and organizations in the area purchased the paving stones.

“As you walk up and read the names, it brings back memories,” said Barbara Zinno, a volunteer with the society.

For $50, those who purchased a paving stone were given up to three lines, with 15 characters each. Part of that money covered engraving and installation fees, with the rest going as a donation to the historical society. In all, 231 personalized paving stones were sold.

“It was slow at first, but it really picked up,” said Saia. In fact, the fundraiser gained so much steam that there are still people coming to the historical society asking if they could purchase a personalized stone.

While that is no longer possible, the society is considering a future project where everyone who is interested could still have a chance to preserve their family name. “We just touched a small portion of people,” said Zinno. However, nothing is certain quite yet.

With the fundraiser complete, the work for the new sidewalk began this past June. With the help of Lou Cappuccio and his company Green Giant Landscaping, Tom Mature and his company Mature Concrete, and PaverArt in Lindenwold, the sidewalk and personalized pavers were quickly installed. Visitors now have a direct path from Vine Street to the front door of the museum.

To celebrate the new sidewalk, the Historical Society of Hammonton will be holding an open house on Sept. 16, from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Refreshments will be served. The open house also will be the perfect time to view the museum’s current exhibit focusing on vintage kitchen items and old businesses.

The society is already hard at work planning its next exhibit, which will be all about trains. That exhibit will be up in time for the holidays. The society also is selling Boscov Friends Helping Friends 25 percent off shopping passes for $5. The entire donation goes towards the historical society.

The historical society is open the first Saturday of every month and every Tuesday from 10 a.m. to noon. It is located at 333 Vine St in Hammonton. For more information, call 609-270-7652.

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