The OCSMR club in Lakewood, New Jersey has finally made our move from All Saints Episcopal Church in Lakewood where we have been located there since 1992. We vacated the church basement completely on September 24, 2016. We are now located inside Pine Park in Kuser Hall next to Lakewood Country Club and Maggie's restaurant off of West County Line Road on the Lakewood/Jackson border. Our club www.ocsmr.com is a dual gauge club with HO and O gauge combined in one club. Last night was our first meeting in our new home as a club.
A little history behind why we made the move. Since we were located in a basement of a church that has been around for close to 90 years and we had a small problem with the last, not the current pastor, it was time to look elsewhere for a more secure location. The Lakewood Historical Society was renovating an old boys school built in 1927 to locate their newly opened Lakewood museum and offered the entire basement to our club when they heard we had an issue with the church. One of the folks on the historical committee was a past club member and a few folks on their committee actually have trains. When they offered the opportunity to us, we jumped on it. They had just signed a 50 year lease from the town with a 25 year extension as they were recreating the archives of Lakewood under one roof when Lakewood was a resort town back in the early 1900's. The museum has priceless memories in 10 gallery rooms that were used at one time as classrooms. Kuser Hall is 1 of 5 buildings that was left untouched which was the science and physics building. Lakewood tore down the other 4 buildings many years ago but left this one alone. It would have cost them too much money to tear it down. It is built like a fortress with poured concrete walls and bricked ceilings.
The move did come with costs involved to our club. We had to fully renovate a basement of a school built in the1920's that ceased operation in the 1960's. No one has used the basement in 50 years and the historical society did the same renovations to the upstairs and outside which came with some costs. Any building built back in those days were made of poured concrete walls and built to withstand any rumblings from God!! All I can say it was a task that started 2 years ago for us with the result now that we have 2 operating layouts that are being landscaped ans scenicked.
So... we have a nice association with the historical society. When they have their open houses, we do the same. It is a marriage made that benefits both and we are extremely happy to be associated with the Lakewood Historical Society. Very nice folks to share the building with!!! So our club will continue to be known as the Ocean County Society of Model Railroaders. Check our website and facebook page for updates, what we started out with at Kuser Hall and where we are at now.