OVHS offering trunkfuls of the past at History Mix

This weekend, visitors and residents will have the unique opportunity to tour a local workshop where antique trunks are restored. The Ocean View Historical Society will host a History Mix on Saturday, June 3, at 1 p.m. at Norman Justice’s workshop on Cedar Neck Road.

“Norman Justice is a local treasure who has spoken at previous Ocean View Historical Society public lectures about life in Ocean View in the early days,” said Carol Psaros of the Ocean View Historical Society.

“Norman is not only a master craftsman who restores heirloom trunks, he is a skilled holly wreath-maker whose wreaths were greatly prized in these parts when the Christmas wreath-making was one of Sussex County’s biggest industries.”

Those who attend the event will be able to view his collection of trunks and hear Justice talk about the history behind some of them.

“Norman Justice will select several types of heirloom trunks from his collection (which is stacked to the ceiling in his workshop) and talk about their historical and social significance,” said Psaros, noting that one trunk is lined with old newspaper that lists the names of slaves.

The event is limited to 40 participants, and as of mid-week about 20 people had registered. Those who attend will have the chance to ask questions, as well as enjoy light refreshments.

“Although the workshop is focused on trunks, participants will have an opportunity to informally ask Mr. Justice questions about his local knowledge, which is extensive. Craftsman Justice is 95 years old, and most of them have been spent in Ocean View.”

Attendance costs $5 for OVHS members or $15 for non-members. Registration is required.

This is the third History Mix the society has offered at various locations in and around Ocean View.

“The first was ‘Chicken Chatter’ at the Café on 26, which was the family home of Cecile and Wilmer Steele, the Ocean View farmwife credited with starting the international broiler industry. The second History Mix was held at Perucci’s Classic Italian Restaurant, where local historian Grace Wolfe and others talked about the many uses of that historic building and its surrounds over the years.”

Psaros said holding such events is important, as it helps educate people on the history of the area.

“There is no substitute for first-hand accounting of the past. Norman Justice has lived almost a century, and his stories about life in Sussex County during the early 1900s, throughout the Depression and two world wars, is priceless. The Ocean View Historical Society’s mission is to locate, share and save such knowledge.”

Those who wish to register for the event must contact Psaros at or (302) 539-5653 to register in advance. A rain date is set for Monday, June 5.