Ocean View Historical Society to hold September barbecue

Next Saturday, the Ocean View Historical Society will be holding its second Annual September Barbecue, to raise money for the Historic Tunnell-West House, Poultry House, Post Office and the future Coastal Towns Museum.

“We just wanted something that would be fun and casual at the end of the season,” said Rose Parsons, a historical society member who is helping organize the event. “What we’re doing is keeping some of the history of Ocean View alive. For me, it’s important for youngsters to know about their town’s history.”

The barbecue will be held on Saturday, Sept. 14, with the cash bar opening at 4 p.m., and dinner at 5 p.m. Pork, beef and chicken barbecue will be provided by Charlie K’s BBQ.

“He’s really great. He does all he can for us,” said Parsons of Charlie K’s.

The event will take place at the Tunnell-West property, where attendees may also tour the historic buildings.

“Anyone who hasn’t seen or heard about it can take a tour of those,” she added.

Tickets to the event cost $15 per person and include dinner, as well as live entertainment. “Chinese,” silent and live auctions will also take place throughout the evening, as well as a 50/50 raffle.

“On the live auction, there’s going to be a night’s stay at the Marriott in D.C. and a certificate for Kennedy Center and a restaurant, as well. And we’ll have a basket filled with cards from Home Depot and Lowe’s, along with items from those stores.

“And we’re working on a couple of other items,” continued Parsons. “For the silent auction, we have an antique cookie jar that we’ll auction off. And we’ll have various baskets filled with goodies. For the ‘Chinese auction,’ we’ll have a beer basket, a restaurant basket and Italian basket… There’s going to be quite a spread.”

Last year, nearly 100 people attended, and this year Parsons said the society hopes more will come out in support.

“Last year went very well. The weather was wonderful, so we have our fingers crossed. My hope is good weather and that everybody enjoys themselves!”

Richard Nippes, the vice president of the historical society, said the funds raised at the event will contribute to the operating costs of the three buildings.

“We have come a long way. A lot of that is because of the people who have been working on it, and particularly people in the community who have generously donated money, materials and their time for us.”

Nippes added that, although they have come a long way, they still hope to build a Coastal Towns Museum, at an estimated $600,000 cost.

“We do need people to know that we’re not finished yet,” he said. “Hopefully, the museum will tell the story of how these local coastal towns came into existence and developed hundreds of years ago. We want to tell that story because these people made great sacrifices to live here, build businesses and develop the town and set the stage for what it is today. That story needs to be told.”

Currently, Nippes is researching the history of the area’s waterways.

“People have no idea there were schooners coming up and down Whites Creek, Blackwater Creek and the Indian River Bay. Nobody really has any idea about that phase of the story. We want to tell this story to the young people of this area, have them come over and see things, pump water, see the outhouse and how people had to live and sacrifice back in that age. The only way to do it is to bring the kids over here. We hope to start doing that this fall.”

Over the years, Nippes has clocked countless hours doing research at the Delaware Archives, and hejoked that if he had a dollar for every hour he’s spent there, he’d have a fine house in the Bahamas.

“You do it because you love it and feel there’s a very necessary story that needs to be told. I’m currently building a display for the post office. I’ve spent many, many hours working on that display,” he said. “It’s not just me. There’re a lot of dedicated people who have made this possible because they all believe in what we’re doing. It’s a message that needs to be told, and if we don’t tell it, it’ll die and never be told.”

Nippes added that he hopes more people in the community will want to join the society’s efforts in preserving the history of the local coastal towns, through donating time, money or even artifacts.

“Any artifacts that they would like to be displayed and shared with other people, we’d love to house them. We need more people who would like to help us create, build and make this museum a reality. We suspect most of the money for the museum will have to come from large grants that are out there that sponsor things like this, because it will cost something like $500,000 or $600,000. And certainly we can raise some of it, but any help that anybody would like to give, we’d be truly grateful.”

Although tickets to the barbecue may be paid for on the day of the event, Parsons emphasized that preregistration is strongly suggested, to ensure that there is enough food for all those who attend.

For more information, or to make a reservation, call Rose Parsons at (302) 537-5187 or email her at rmparsons1@mchsi.com. For more information on the Ocean View Historical Society and the Tunnell-West House, visit http://www.ovhistoricalsociety.org. The Tunnell-West House is located at 39 Central Avenue in Ocean View.