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APHS Presents A Special Program on Tracing the History of Your Home

Is your house about one hundred years old- or even older? Have you ever wondered about the people who lived there in the past, how they went about their lives, and the ways in which they contributed to the history of our city?

On Thursday, Sept. 26, the Asbury Park Historical Society invites you to take a deep dive back in history, during a special presentation on "How to Research your Property" at 7 p.m.

Hosted at the Asbury Park Public Library (500 First Avenue at the corner of Grand Avenue), the program features city resident Roger Champagne in a lecture and slideshow that illustrates how homeowners and renters can use public records, online newspaper archives, and other easily accessible resources to create a detailed portrait of the places they call home.

“The presentation may also be interesting to non-Asbury Park residents as well,” APHS President Don Stine said.

Illuminating his presentation with stories of his own experiences in buying, renovating, and researching his Emory Street residence, Champagne will demonstrate how to put together a dedicated binder that will serve as a "biography" of your dwelling.

Topics include how to research health records; how to compile a deed history with the names and ownership dates of all previous owners; how to use census records to find the names and occupations of the previous owners, and where to search for city maps, insurance maps, and existing construction records, blueprints, permits, or contracts.

In addition, attendees will receive tips on using digitized newspaper files and microfiche to discover some remarkable details of the previous occupants' personal milestones, social activities, and occasional headline-worthy doings. Pointers will also be provided on how to reach out to descendants of former owners, in order to request copies of vintage photographs or written reminiscences.

"I'll show step by step what I did to discover the above for my own home. And I'll share that history with all," Champagne said.

The presentation is free and there is no charge. Refreshments will also be served.