Historical Society Director Wins County Award

De Hearn, the recipient of the 2021 Jane G. Clayton Award, has served the county for several years as the President and Museum Director of the Old Wall Historical Society and more. (Photo courtesy Monmouth County Clerk’s Office)

  MONMOUTH COUNTY – Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon has announced that De Hearn is the winner of the 2021 Jane G. Clayton Award.

  Hearn, who is an active historian, will receive the award at the County Clerk’s 26th Annual Archives and History Day on October 2 at Brookdale Community College’s Collins Arena in Lincroft.

  “De Hearn has played a crucial role in preserving Wall Township history through the preservation of key historic structures in the township and through the programs and activities of the Old Wall Historical Society,” Hanlon said.

  Since 1975, Hearn has been as a leader of the Old Wall Historical Society and currently is the President and Museum Director of the organization. She was instrumental in the acquisition of the Algor-Barkalow Homestead, built in 1800, which currently serves as the Historical Society’s headquarters and museum.

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  In addition, Hearn succeeded in getting the homestead placed on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historical Places in 1984. To this day, she continues to lead the preservation efforts of the property.

  Hearn is also passionate about educating children and students about their local history. She was a crucial role in helping the Historical Society to acquire the Blansingburg Schoolhouse.

  She’s held several class trips to the farmhouse and schoolhouse, which are now part of the township curriculum. Every year, second grade classes in Wall Township visit the museum to learn what life and school were like in the 1800s.

  Hearn helped the Historical Society acquire and restore the Morris-Algor-Kittell Wheelwright Shop property in 2010. The property became the third building owned and operated by the Historical Society and dates back to 1840, being the oldest brick commercial building in Monmouth County. She has also mentored 19 Boy Scouts with their Eagle Scout projects related to the Old Wall Historical Society’s buildings, including the Wheelright Shop property.

  Hearn has published two books about the township, titled “Wall Township…A Quieter Time” and “A Pictorial Guide to Old Wall.”

  She has successfully applied for many grants from multiple organizations to support the financial needs of the Historical Society. Additionally, she’s secured extra funds through fundraising activities and events, such as antique shows, flea markets and holiday open houses.

  “The efforts of De Hearn have made a significant impact on the preservation of Wall Township history and I am delighted that she will be receiving this year’s Clayton Award,” Hanlon said.

  Named for the former County Clerk who established the Monmouth County Archives, the Jane G. Clayton Award has been given annually since 1997 to someone who has made a major contribution to the preservation and knowledge of Monmouth County history.

  The 2021 Jane G. Clayton Award Committee members are County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon, County Historical Commission Executive Director John Fabiano, County Historian Randall Gabrielan and County Archivist Julia Telonidis.

  Archives and History Day will be held at Brookdale Community College and is organized by the Monmouth County Clerk’s Archives Division.

  The 2021 Archives exhibit, which will be on display at Archives and History Day, is titled “Facing Adversity: Monmouth Responds in Times of Crisis.”

  In addition to the award presentation, there will be more than 50 local and state historical societies, museums and archives will be there to share information about their organizations.

  “Archives and History Day is a key opportunity for history-related organizations to connect with the public and with each other,” Monmouth County Archivist Julia Telonidis said. “Those with an interest in Monmouth County history will enjoy this year’s exhibit and the keynote speech presented by Professor Melissa Ziobro of Monmouth University.”

  For more information about Archives and History Day, visit the Monmouth County Clerk’s Archives Division website at MonmouthCountyClerk.com/Archives or contact the Monmouth County Archives by phone at 732-308-3771, ext. 3776, or email to CountyClerk@co.monmouth.nj.us.