MANALAPAN, NJ – Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon is pleased to announce that De Hearn is the winner of the 2021 Jane G. Clayton Award. The award will be presented at the County Clerk’s 26th Annual Archives and History Day on Saturday, Oct. 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,” said Clerk Hanlon.
De Hearn has been as an active leader of the Old Wall Historical Society since 1975 and presently serves as 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. In 1984, she succeeded in getting the homestead placed on the New Jersey Registry of Historical Places and National Landmarks, and continues to lead the preservation efforts of the property to this day.
In addition to her love of preservation, De is also passionate about educating children and students about their local history. In the late 1990s, De played a pivotal role in helping the Historical Society to acquire the Blansingburg Schoolhouse, built in 1856. She has hosted countless class trips to the farmhouse and schoolhouse, which have now become a part of the township curriculum. Each year, every second grade class in Wall Township visits the museum to learn what life and school were like in the 1800s.
In 2010, De helped the Historical Society to acquire and restore the Morris-Algor-Kittell Wheelwright Shop property, which became the third building owned and operated by the Historical Society. The property dates back to 1840 and is 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.
Another contribution De has made to local history is her involvement in the publishing of two books about the township, titled Wall Township…A Quieter Time and A Pictorial Guide to Old Wall. She also writes a quarterly newsletter, The Storekeeper’s Ledger, and an annual publication titled, the Journal.
De has successfully applied for many grants from numerous organizations to support the financial needs of the Historical Society and has been instrumental in securing additional 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,” said Clerk Hanlon.
Named for the former County Clerk who established the Monmouth County Archives, the Jane G. Clayton Award has been given annually since 1997 to an individual 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.
This year’s 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.”
During the Archives and History Day event, De Hearn will be presented with the 2021 Jane G. Clayton Award. In addition to awards presentations, more than 50 local and state historical societies, museums, and archives will set up tables relating to the mission and activities of their organizations.
“Archives and History Day is a key opportunity for history-related organizations to connect with the public and with each other,” said Monmouth County Archivist Julia Telonidis. “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, please 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.