About Us

The formation of the Historical Society was initiated by Ann C. Rafano and Florence Clayton in August 1988. They put together a list of twelve South River residents who they thought would have a strong commitment to the preservation of the history of South River. The Society was incorporated on October 3, 1988 and the original trustees were: Ann C. Rafano, Robert C. Rafano, Florence Clayton, Llewellyn Clayton, Woodis Booraem, Warren Booraem, Doris Booraem, Elizabeth Chando, Kathryn Paprota, William Reichenbach, Audrey Scheidig, and Mary Weis.

The Society's first project was the purchase of a pair of oil paintings identified as "The Willett Sisters of South River." Early projects also included the placement of the Old School Baptist Church, located at 64-66 Main Street, on the New Jersey Register of Historic Places (November 19, 1991) and on the National Register of Historic Places (January 7, 1992). The church is now the South River Museum.

The membership of the Society is composed of residents of South River and others who share an interest in preserving South River's past for future generations. Members include individuals, families, students, businesses, and honorary and life members. 

Executive Board 2024

  • Officers
  • President - Sara-Ann Goldman
  • Vice President - Donna Rafano
  • Treasurer - Marilyn Anastasio / Brian Armstrong
  • Secretary - Richard Alai

  • Immediate Past President
  • Nan Whitehead 
  • Trustees
  • Traci Alai (2022-2024)
  • Nick Bachar (2022-2024)
  • Alfred Baumann (2022-2024)
  • Joanne Dembinski (2023-2025)
  • Hank Dziemian (2023-2025)
  • William Goepfert (2024-2026)
  • Kevin LaScala (2022-2024)
  • Candice Lewandoski (2023-2025)
  • Ann Rafano (2024-2026)
  • Robert Rafano (2024-2026)
  • Michele Senko (2024-2026)
  • Andrea Ternyila (2023-2025)
  • Honorary Trustees
  • Ann Rafano (2003)
  • Marilyn Anastasio (2005)
  • Stephanie Bartz (2007)
  • Doris Miller (2008)
  • Robert Rafano (2008)
  • Brian Armstrong (2014)
  • Iris Schmitt (2014)
  • Ken Roginski (2022)
  • Joann Smith-Goepfert (2022)
  • Standing Committee Chairs
  • Artifacts - Stephanie Bartz
  • Buildings & Grounds - Paul Migut
  • Contingency Planning - Paul Migut
  • Fund Raising - Joann Smith-Goepfert
  • Grants - Brian Armstrong
  • Historic Buildings & Sites - Brian Armstrong
  • Hospitality - Linda Grimm / Jennifer LaScala
  • Membership - Marilyn Anastasio
  • Newsletter - Stephanie Bartz
  • Program - Donna Rafano
  • Publicity - Donna Rafano
  • Scholarship - Brian Armstrong /
  • Joann Smith-Goepfert
  • Web Site - Stephanie Bartz