To end the summer with a bang, the Ocean View Historical Society is inviting the public to attend a barbecue to support the society and its mission.
The fundraiser will be held on Saturday, Sept. 6, at the Ocean View Historical Complex. The evening will kick off at 4:30 p.m. with a cash bar, with dinner beginning at 5:30 p.m.
This year, the barbecue will be catered by the Hocker’s BBQ truck. Attendees will have their choice of pulled pork or fried chicken, with baked beans, coleslaw and dessert included with every entrée.
“A lot of people have been very kind to us in helping us keep our cost down, so we can make as much as we can on this event to put toward our renovations,” said Ocean View Historical Society Vice President Carol Psaros, who noted that Hocker’s also donated dessert.
Tickets to the event cost $15 each, and seating is limited to 100 people.
“It has been a popular event. Last year, we almost sold out,” said Psaros. “You really do need to make a reservation ahead of time in order to get one of those 100 seats.”
To raise additional funds, during the event there will be a silent auction set up in the gazebo in John West Park, where attendees can bid on a number of items, such as restaurant gift certificates and rounds of golf. There will be a live auction of a handful of higher-end items, as well.
“The historic buildings will also be open that night, too. People can go through the Tunnell-West house, the post office and the Cecile Steele poultry house.”
This year, for the first time, the fundraiser will have a theme: “History through Art.”
“We’re going to honor local artist Laura Hickman, because she is one of the local artists who helped us design our logo,” said Psaros, noting that Hickman will be attending the fundraiser. “She’s spent her whole life painting buildings around Ocean View — houses and historic buildings. She has surely given us a presence.”
To highlight the theme, a small presentation will be given at town hall, adjacent to the historical complex, after dinner.
“I’ll talk about some of her paintings, and we’ll have some of her artwork on display there and probably some prints on sale,” said Psaros, adding that one of Hickman’s pieces will be auctioned that evening. “We just wanted to honor her. She just loves old houses. If you look at one of her paintings, you can’t help but see that. Her work has really given Ocean View a historical presence.”
Funds raised at the event will help the historical society restore its historic Tunnell-West house, the town’s original post office and more. Earlier this year, a town resident made a major donation to the society — gifting their property, which contains a house, barn and area artifacts, to the nonprofit.
“We’ve come a long way, but we’re still finishing the Tunnell-West house. Our big goal is to establish a coastal towns museum. We’re working with representatives from Fenwick Island, South Bethany, Bethany Beach and Millville to help us raise funds so that we can have a place for all of them to put artifacts and tell their story,” explained Psaros.
“There’s a barn on the [donated] property that’s one of the oldest barns in Sussex County. We’d like to preserve that, as well. We can’t do all that from this barbecue, but every bit helps.”
Community support has been growing, according to Psaros, who said this summer’s tours of the historical complex have been well-received.
“People come because they love the history and want to support local history and what we’re trying to keep alive,” she said. “We had the complex open this summer on Wednesday afternoons from 1 to 4 p.m. We’ve had a lot of people come by and see.
“We have two docents there who take people through the complex and talk about what life was like,” she added. “We’re adding to our historical buildings all the time. The people who come seem to really enjoy it. Our numbers keep growing every week.”
Psaros became involved in the OVHS about four years ago. A native Delawarean and lifelong history lover, she said she has always loved the area.
“I’ve been coming to Bethany since the ’40s. I just love it and Ocean View,” she said. “My father was a history teacher in Georgetown. He encouraged me to love history, which I do. I just want to help keep Delaware history alive.”
For those who may be unable to attend the barbecue fundraiser, Psaros said any kind of donation to the historical society would be greatly appreciated.
“Even people who aren’t free that night are free to go to our Facebook page and donate there or get our address and send us a donation that way.”
Psaros said the society hopes the community will support their efforts by attending the fun event and learn a little bit of local history, too.
“We just hope people come, enjoy the evening and increase their knowledge about Delaware history.”
To make a reservation or purchase tickets, contact Rose Parsons at (302) 537-5187 or email@example.com.
The Ocean View Historical Complex is located at 39 Central Avenue in Ocean View. For more information on the historical society, visit www.facebook.com/oceanviewhistoricalsociety.