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Bishop Building
History & Folklore

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The strong genealogical and historical research collection of the Ocean County Library is housed in the Bishop Building next door to Headquarters in Toms River. The building was constructed in 1941 as a public library for Toms River, using the accrued assets of Nathaniel Holmes Bishop III, a local author and cranberry-grower. Mr. Bishop moved to Ocean County from Massachusetts after the Civil War and as an author and sportsman, became known for his books about the Barnegat Bay sneak box and his travels in a "paper canoe". Both Bishop and his wife, Mary Ball, advocated the founding of a public library for Toms River and provided in their wills for the purchase of land and subsequent design of a spacious brick Georgian building. Since the library opened, it has served both the local citizens and those of the county when Dover Township joined the Ocean County Library system in the 1970s. Presently the mellow, pine-paneled premises also provides a classroom for a Marine Science class from the Ocean County Vocational and Technical School. Since 1997, the building also includes a computer laboratory to provide instruction in the use of the newest of information retrieval systems, the computer.


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