2017 John Belding
By 2017, John Belding had been Borough Historian of Brielle for more than 20 years. He was a founding member of the Union Landing Historical Society, served four terms as president, and held other responsible positions with the organization. The Society’s newsletter has included his informative column, “Your History Question Answered.” One of Belding’s major accomplishments was organizing and implementing the cleanup of the historic Osborn Family Burial Ground in Brielle, which by 2001, was overgrown with trees and bushes. Out of 21 gravestones, 18 were reassembled and a new wrought iron fence now surrounds all the graves, which date back to Osborns who fought in the Revolution and the War of 1812. Belding helped prepare three books on the history of Brielle, and wrote the chapter on Brielle for Town by Town: Impressions of Monmouth County, published by the Monmouth County Clerk in 2002. He arranged and directed placement of large historic site signs on state highways. Annually, for decades, he has given tours to elementary school students to instill a love of history and pride in their town.