IMAGE: Panoramic painting of All Saints' Memorial Church is by local artist Mike Scherfen
HIGHLANDS, NJ – A Cornerstone campaign Launch at Bahrs Restaurant last month was the official opening of a fund-raising event to maintain and preserve the historic All Saints’ Memorial Church buildings and grounds in Locust.
Sponsored by the All Saints’ National Historic Landmark Trust, a non-profit trust founded to receive and disburse funds for preservation, the event at Bahrs brought together community members to announce the fundraising efforts towards a $2.5 million goal. During efforts prior to an official launch of the campaign, congregation members launched their own efforts and are near their 100 per cent participation. More community members are still being sought to volunteer at future events, fund raise, or serve on the Trust board.
PHOTO: Becky Cosgrove, Anna Sekosky, Lisa Ebeling, Marie Russo, Kim Warman. Photo courtesy Becky Cosgrove.
Nearly 30 local residents, many who live in the Hartshorne Woods area, attended the initial event, including members of other non-profit organizations, including Navesink Maritime Heritage Association, Monmouth Conservation Foundation, Middletown Twp. and Highlands Historical societies, and Friends of the Twin Lights, in efforts to show the importance and vitality of historic groups in preservation of the numerous historic buildings in the Bayshore area.
The event was hosted by Becky and Jay Cosgrove of Bahrs, and Mrs. Cosgrove welcomed the group and presented the historic importance of each of the five buildings and the cemetery that make up the campus of All Saints, locally known as Stone Church. Andrew Zuzulock reported the slate roof and gutter replacement project, partially funded by a grant from the New Jersey State Historic Trust received in 2016, is underway and also noted technical repair problems of the peanut stone foundations that have been compromised by water damage and drainage issues. He described the church ADA ramp and parish restroom ADA renovation plans and presented the timeline for these projects.
PHOTO: Jay Cosgrove and MaryJoe Kenny. Photo courtesy Becky Cosgrove.
Cosgrove noted the next steps for the Landmark Trust include raising more funds and educating the community on the historic significance of the buildings as well as ways to expand their role as a community resource. “We need people to know there is a major fundraising campaign underway,” Cosgrove said. “We want to state the case for maintenance and preservation so that eventually the campus can be opened up for more and larger public events, events like themed picnics, cemetery tours, additional concerts and educational programs.” The volunteer for the Trust said education could be as diverse as how a stone mason works with peanut stone, how to get a horse drawn carriage parked in carriage shed and unique subjects on the historic side. Major fund-raising events within the buildings cannot take place until parish hall renovations are completed, she continued, including foundation repair, air-conditioning, better access to second floor, reconfiguration of community area, ADA restrooms and bringing the parish house kitchen up to code.
Cosgrove said that while current work concentrates on the church and rectory foundations, together with slate roofs and ADA access ramps, future projects include preservation of the barn with its original tack, haylofts, stalls, and two-seater wooden "outhouse" toilet. “In addition, we anticipate that the long awaited and much needed traffic roundabout at the five-road intersection will be a major improvement but will likely impact the driveway entrance for a time. Entering and exiting the campus is expected to be easier and safer after completion of the roundabout,” Cosgrove explained.
PHOTO: Lisa Ebeling and Mike Stasi. Photo courtesy Becky Cosgrove.
Because of the historic integrity of all five buildings on the campus, the property was placed on the New Jersey State Register of Historic Places in 1973, National Register of Historic Places in 1974, and named a National Historic Landmark in 1988.
Anyone wishing to make a donation to the trust can visit the PayPal link at allsaintsnavesink.org/landmark-trust or make out a check payable to "All Saints' National Landmark Trust" and mail it to The Landmark Trust, P.O. Box 326, Navesink, NJ 07752
The next planned fundraising events include a ceremonial shovel in the ground groundbreaking in October.