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Title Hoboken Historical Museum. Annual Report 1986.
Object Name Report
Catalog Number 2014.025.0701
Collection Mel Kiernan Collection
Credit Gift of Mel Kiernan.
Scope & Content Hoboken Historical Museum. Annual Report 1986.

Single photocopied leaf, 8-1/2" x 11", doublesided typewritten text. Full text is transcribed in notes.

Document is the first annual report and includes a history of its founding, incorporation and first year of activities including financial matters.
Hoboken Historical Museum Archives
Notes Archives 2014.025.0701

The Hoboken Historical Museum began in December of1985, when Hoboken Historian Jim Hans presented a Plan for a Hoboken Museum to the Mayorand his aides. They encouraged the idea and expressed their support in several visits with Jim, and when the Mayor's Cultural Advisory Committee was formed, Jim was asked to join. In February of 1986, the Committee officially designated "City Hall as an art space", to be called the Hoboken Historical Museum, in a memorandum to its members, with Jim elected curator.

April 15 saw the first meeting of the organization - Jim was joined by Barbara Cole McKay, Kevin McCloskey, Virginia Parrot, John Calligy and Ross London, and officers were nominated. They set up a table at the Lackawanna Plaza Marathon and Arts Festival Day (5/4) with info on the planned Museum andsigned up people for a mailinglist. The firstmeeting open to the public was held atthe Gold Coast Cafeon May 12, and a certificate of corporation was filed for with the Secretary of State's office the following day. By-laws modeled on those of similar museums were adopted by vote of all present at the next meeting, which took place on May 27; officers were also elected at that meeting as follows: Jim Hans, President; Martin Andrews, Vice-President; John DePalma, Treasurer; John Calligy, Recording Secretary; Virginia Parrott, Corresponding Secretary. Plans were made for a Grand Opening slide show on "Hoboken - Changing Scenes", which later became the theme for the November show. So by the end of May the organization had taken shape and laid the groundwork for future activities.

Throughout the summer, the Museum continued its recruitment and public relations efforts. At the Church Square Park Rededication on May 31, the Museum presented a display and sold souvenir booklets and prints (donated by Jim Hans), the proceeds from which offset general expenses and printing costs for brochures and such. Several charter memberships resulted from this event. The city's support included the donation of two medium-sized display cases for outdoor festivals, which were used for the first time here. The Museum's exhibit at the Statue of Liberty Centennial Celebration on July 4 was seen by hundreds; though nothing was offered for sale, many brochures were distributed and over 150 people signed the mailing list.

At the July 15 Meeting, Treasurer John DePalma announced that he had opened a Museum checking account at Haven Savings with a balance of $178. All income to date was from membership dues and what had been made from the sale at the Rededication ceremony.

Though the Museum so far had been able to run on almost no money, to foot the bill for the River City Fair table, members agreed to "loan" money to the organization, to buy prints to sell and for other expenses. The exposure seemed to be worth it, and interest in the Museum sufficient to warrant going ahead with little or no money. And though poor weather and resultant poor attendance and low profits at the River City Fair cut our representation from the planned two days to only one, a T-shirt designed by Kevin McCloskey commemorating the First Baseball Game was very well-received.

By September 2, the Treasurer was able to report a balance of $ 352.15 in the Museum's coffers. As a result of the exposure obtained at the various outdoor festivals, membership had expanded to include more people. The Chronological History of Hoboken, first seen at the River City Fair, was compiled by Jimin ajoint effort with the Hoboken Environment Committee. One thousand copies of this 26page history were then put together for sale at the Lackawanna Terminal RR Festival, to be held on September 27. Donations were requested for the publication, and these and profits from the advertising therein allowed the repayment of the members for their earlier loans.

At the October 1 meeting paid members number 25, with about 15 people attending meetings and participating in Museum projects on a regular basis. The remainder of the month was occupied with the planning and preparation for the first Annual Opening on November 7. A number of members worked many long hours to prepare all the aspects of such an event. Publicity was extensive, providing us with lots of area exposure, and we enjoyed the help of the Mayor, in the form of a letter of support, and his office.

On October 15, the Mayor and the City Council passed a resolution recognizing the HHM officially.



The Museum opened on November 7 with an exhilirating and enormously successful Gala.

We estimate that between four and five hundred people attended between 4:30 and 9:30, and the first and second floors of City Hall were transformed into a bustling, active, wonderful museum. In addition to the photographs, maps and prints hung on the walls, a slide show comparing old postcard views of Hoboken locales with their present-day incarnations was presented; there was continuous music and singing, both live and recorded, and refreshments were served. Souvenir programs were provided. Almost 250 people signed the Guest Register. Vincent Dimone, the Museum’s Public Relations representative, later wrote in a letter published in the Hoboken Reporter: "The gala grand opening demonstrated that people of all ages, ethnic backgrounds and occupations are interested in the unique history of this very special town. The turnout of visitors proved inspiring.”

Also inspiring was the financial support we gained at the opening. A donation box provided $100.75 that night; we had made over $500. from advertisements and sales from our publication ”A Chronological History of Hoboken”, and another $500. from advertisements appearing in the Program (thanks in large part to the efforts of John DePalma), and then received a number of donations from members and local corporations.

As of November 17, then, the Museum had $ 2,610. in our account. We had truly made a success of the Museum.

At year's end, we had about thirty members, many more potential members, and what looks like a bright future. Plans are already being made for next November’s Opening Show, for future fundraising efforts and for ways we can benefit the public. We have many organizational problems to iron out as we get started - lack of experience running meetings, voting and financial expenditure procedures, by-laws, etc. But we are confident we will persevere and create an exciting, vital and permanent institution for the citizens of Hoboken. One measure of our success already in doing so is that our current exhibit is still being enthusiastically visited and viewed by Hoboken residents and visitors alike.

People Hans, Jim
Calligy, John
Andrews, Martin
Parrott, Virginia Rolston
DePalma, John
London, Ross
McCloskey, Kevin
McKay, Barbara Cole
Date 1986
Year Range from 1986
Year Range to 1987
Search Terms HHM (Hoboken Historical Museum)
Hoboken City Hall
Church Square Park
Haven Savings Bank
Lackawanna Terminal
River City Fair
Caption pg [1] (side 1)
Imagefile 267\20140250701.TIF
Classification Museums
Cultural Activities
Government & Politics
Social & Personal Activity