Ocean County Press Release
BARNEGAT TOWNSHIP – With ceremonial scissors in hand, the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders joined the Ocean County Department of Parks and Recreation and other project partners in cutting the red ribbon marking the grand opening of the historic Cedar Bridge Tavern on April 1.
"When we can preserve even a small part of our history, we have done our jobs well," said Ocean County Freeholder Director Virginia E. Haines, who is the Chairwoman of the Ocean County Department of Parks and Recreation. "We have worked hand in hand with many individuals and agencies interested in preserving this structure and all of them helped in getting us here today."
Located near the intersection of Routes 72 and 539 in Barnegat Township, the Cedar Bridge Tavern restoration is the result of extensive architectural and archeological research that has resulted in the tavern being placed on the prestigious National Register of Historic Places on Aug. 8, 2013.
The grand opening hosted guest speakers including Architect Annabelle Radcliffe-Trenner, Principal of Historic Buildings Architects, who conducted a comprehensive preservation plan for the site, designed the plans, managed the prequalification of contractors and oversaw the detailed and historically appropriate restoration work. In addition, Dorothy P. Guzzo, Executive Director of New Jersey Historic Trust gave remarks as well as Freeholder Gary Quinn and Ocean County Historian Timothy G. Hart.
The historic tavern sits at an important 18th century crossroads of the east-west Old Springfield Road from Springfield in Burlington County to Manahawkin in then Monmouth County. It is also on the original stagecoach route from the west to the shore.
The multi-year renovation project to the circa 1816 building with an 1830's kitchen addition took place under the direction of the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the Ocean County Department of Parks and Recreation and its Cultural and Heritage Commission.
The Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders purchased the Cedar Bridge Tavern on Dec. 27, 2007. As part of the sale, the Freeholders granted Rudy Koenig, the owner-resident from 1959 a "life-estate" to live in the building for the remainder of his life. Mr. Koenig passed on Jan. 12, 2012 and the County began the work of removing the non-historic elements from the home. Meanwhile funded in part by grants through the New Jersey Historic Trust, the County hired consultants and contractors to renovate the tavern.
"This completed tavern and property now stands as a historical showpiece in the County park system," Haines said. "As one of the most accurate and authentic restorations in New Jersey of this type of structure, the project allows Ocean County to leave a legacy to future generations."
The Cedar Bridge Tavern is open to the public every week on Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (except April 19) and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information including scheduling school and group tours, call (732) 929-4779.