2007 The Jersey Shore in Monmouth County

An Exhibition of Documents and Photographs

at the

Monmouth County Library Headquarters
125 Symmes Drive
Manalapan, NJ

October 1 to 31, 2007

Prepared by the

Monmouth County Archives
Gary D. Saretzky, Curator
Eugene Osovitz, Preparer

Produced by the
Monmouth County Archives
125 Symmes Drive
Manalapan, NJ 07726
Archives Information


“The Jersey Shore in Monmouth County” is the product of a collaborative effort between the Monmouth County Archives staff and a number of history-minded individuals.   Collectors and historians Randall Gabrielan, Walter Greason, Jeffery Howe, Madonna Carter Jackson, John P. King, George H. Moss, Jr., Elsalyn Palmisano, and Karen L. Schnitzspahn generously made materials available for exhibition from their personal collections.  Kathy Dorn Severini loaned copies of historic photos from the Dorn Studio photographic archives.  Margaret Carlsen of the Twin Lights Historic Site arranged for the use of several images from the Twin Light Historical Society.  The Long Branch Public Library kindly provided the Winslow Homer poster. Without these generous collaborators, this exhibit would not have been possible.

For research and captions, I am indebted for the contributions by Ralph Apicelli of the Monmouth County Archives staff; and interns Scott Greenberg and Kevin Revoir.  Joya Anderson produced the digital prints and Eugene Osovitz did most of the exhibit preparation, including scanning, matting, mounting, and encapsulation, with additional work by Chuck Steiner.  The Monmouth County Art Department, under the direction of Roberta Ohliger, mounted the portion of the exhibit on the curved wall in the library’s lobby and helped promote the exhibit through posters and flyers.  Editorial and other assistance for the exhibition catalog were provided by Patrick Caiazzo and Shelagh Reilly.

Ken Sheinbaum, Director, Monmouth County Library, graciously made the exhibition space available.  The cost of exhibition materials was supported by a grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, which also helped to fund Archives and History Day and an Archives Week workshop.  Monmouth County Clerk M. Claire French provided the resources and encouragement without which the Monmouth County Archives would not be able to provide public services.

Gary D. Saretzky


When historians consider the Jersey Shore in Monmouth County, they tend to think first about the 1870s and 1880s when, in part due to the hoopla surrounding Ulysses S. Grant’s summer home in Long Branch, the area, along with Newport and Saratoga,  became one of the most popular vacation destinations on the Eastern seaboard.  Huge summer “cottages” built by the elite and fashionable hotels catering to a wider range of clientele were constructed near the ocean.  The new railroad and ferries brought thousands daily to enjoy the Atlantic breezes, beaches, and other recreational opportunities such as the racetrack, Monmouth Park.

While tourists still enjoy Monmouth’s beaches today, much has changed since the heyday of Grant’s time.  Some Shore towns have suffered long periods of economic decline from which they are only recently reviving.  There have been periods of economic depression and many social changes.  Monmouth developed from a largely rural, agricultural county to “a suburban paradise” but urban areas have not uniformly prospered.

The history of the Shore encompasses both the romanticized Victorian period as well as its more recent development.  Shore towns are proud of their past and seek to use their history to promote community identity and cultural tourism.  They recognize that their histories encompass social and economic changes, as well as the stories of the U.S. Presidents and other famous visitors.  Accordingly, this exhibit includes a diversity of personalities, from Commodore Stockton in 1853 to a Chinese laundryman in the early 20th century.

This exhibit is not intended to present a history of the Jersey Shore, which would be foolhardy given the limitations of space and resources.  Rather, it provides some aspects from that history, combining images and ephemera with selected documents from the Monmouth County Archives that relate to people and architecture.  (Some photographs from the Archives’ visual collections are also included.)  Hopefully, the exhibit will encourage visitors to think about what constitutes local history and give them a better appreciation of the resources in the county archives.

The entries in this catalog reproduce the labels that appear in the exhibit, plus bibliographic citations and, occasionally, additional information that due to length could not be included in the label.  Abbreviations used for those who wrote or contributed to the captions, in order of appearance, are as follows:

GS  Gary D. Saretzky
SG  Scott Greenberg
KR  Kevin Revoir
RA  Ralph Apicelli
Table of Contents


“Touring the Jersey Coast’s Historic Spots,” 1917
Topographical Map of the Monmouth Shore, 1890

Asbury Park:

The New Asbury Park and Its Surroundings, ca. 1900
Lyric Hall and Garden, Asbury Park, 1906
Asbury Park Baby Parade, ca. 1900
Official Program for 1902 Asbury Park Baby Parade
Casino, Asbury Park, from Asbury Park and Ocean Grove, ca. 1905
Four Real Photo Postcards from the 1914 Asbury Park Baby Parade
SS Morro Castle, Asbury Park, 1934
Hurricane, September 14, 1944
Asbury Park: A West Side Story, 1940s-1960s


Bath Houses at Ocean Beach (Belmar), 1877
Belmar Fire Department, ca. 1960
First Aid Classes, Belmar, ca. 1960
Fishermen with Large Fish, Belmar, ca. 1960

Bradley Beach:

March of Dimes Walkathon, Bradley Beach, 1995


President Garfield’s Last Days, Elberon, 1881
Property Taxes on President Chester A. Arthur’s Estate, Elberon, 1897


Aviation Meet in Interlaken, 1910


Beach at Keansburg, 1984
Keansburg, articles on history, 1968 and 1999


“50 Reasons to Love Keyport,” 1999

Long Branch:

Breakfast Menu, American Hotel, Long Branch, ca. 1862
“Long Branch” by Winslow Homer, 1869 (poster)
“Ocean Hotel and Bluff, Long Branch,” 1877
Building Contract, Long Branch Pier, 1878
Long Branch Pier, 1879-1888
St. James Chapel (Church of the Presidents), Long Branch, built 1879
“A Chinaman – Brighton Ave.,” West End, Long Branch, ca. 1920
Long Branch, 1917


Underground Railroad in Manasquan?


“Matawan, the Crossroads Town,” 1977

Monmouth Beach:

Monmouth Beach, two items, 1906 and 1999

Ocean Grove:

Ocean Grove Auditorium, ca. 1900
Tent City, Ocean Grove Postcard, ca. 1910
Aida Trumpet Quartet, Ocean Grove Auditorium, 1911


Horse Race, Monmouth Park, 1873?
Red Bank:

Mrs. Finch’s Home School for Young Ladies, Red Bank, 1878
Train Derailment, Red Bank, 1909
Broad Street, Red Bank, early 1900s
Charles R. D. Foxwell, Photographer and Justice of the Peace
Parcel Post, Red Bank, ca. 1913
Fire Department, Red Bank, 1873-1905
Theodore Roosevelt campaigns in Red Bank, 1912
President Taft campaigns in Red Bank, 1912
George Martin’s Soho House, Red Bank, 1970


Five Postcards of Rumson, ca. 1910

Sandy Hook:

America’s Cup Race off Sandy Hook, 1893
Sandy Hook Lighthouse

Sea Bright:

Bridge, Sea Bright from Highlands
Bird’s Eye View of Sea Bright, ca. 1895

Sea Girt:

Beach House, Sea Girt, 1878

Shark River Hills:

Fan Promoting Shark River Hills, Neptune Township, 1924

Shrewsbury River:

Ice Boats, Shrewsbury River, ca. 1900
Ice Skating, Shrewsbury River, ca. 1900

South Belmar (now Lake Como)

Celia Brown’s restaurant, South Belmar, 1936-1937

Spring Lake:

Lake House, Spring Lake, 1878
Zeppelin over The Monmouth hotel, Spring Lake Beach, 1936


Union House, Squan, 1878

Twin Lights:

Twin Lights views, ca. 1910-1930

Union Beach:

Sunrise, Union Beach, 1994


Steamboats at the Jersey Shore
Turkish Trophy Bathing Beauties, 1902
Dorn’s Classic Image: Photographs from the Jersey Shore
“Ghosts of the North Atlantic”: Long Branch, Asbury Park, and Red Bank at the End of the Twentieth Century.  Photographs by Walter Greason
Touring the Jersey Coast’s Historic Spots in 1917

This enthusiastic New York Times article encourages New Yorkers to visit Monmouth County for a “wonderful week-end of history and apple-blossoms and ocean breezes.”  From New York to Red Bank on the train, it was only $1.75 for a round trip ticket.  Then the traveler could take a trolley or a jitney (a small bus) to Shrewsbury, to see Christ Church, the old Allen homestead, and two Quaker churches.  Next, the visitor should travel from Red Bank to Middletown to see the Christ Church there, a “twin sister” of the one in Shrewsbury; the Morford, Taylor, and other old houses; and a tavern.  Of all the places specified on the itinerary in the second column of the article, all are still standing except the tavern.

Comstock, Sarah.  “Amid Jersey Coast’s Historic Spots,” New York Times, May 27, 1917, p. 81.


1. Copy, A Topographical Map of the Monmouth Shore with the Interior from Metuchen to Lakewood.  George H. Cook, State Geologist.  C.C. Vermeule, Topographer. Geological Survey of New Jersey, 1890.   2.  Cover of The Mentor, July 1925, depicting surfman on beach patrol

Although much has changed in Monmouth County since 1890– more roads, fewer railroads, and changes in place names–most features in this map are still easily recognizable.  Note the nine Life Saving Stations evenly spaced along the shore between Sandy Hook and Manasquan, the northernmost of forty-two stations built between Sandy Hook and Cape May.  The United States Life-Saving Service, which operated the stations, was the precursor to the United States Coast Guard.  One of the few stations still standing is Life Saving Station No. 5, near Elberon, now the Takanassee Beach Club.  In 2006, Preservation New Jersey designated it as one of the ten most endangered historic sites in the State of New Jersey.
Map, Monmouth County Archives.  Gifted by Joe Dangler, 1999
The Mentor, courtesy, Elslayn Palmisano

Preservation New Jersey, http://www.preservationnj.org


Enlarged Reproductions from The New Asbury Park and Its Surroundings.
Asbury Park: Pennypacker Press, ca. 1900

The half-tone screen printing process, invented by New Jersey resident Stephen H. Horgan in 1880, began to be used extensively to produce inexpensive illustrated publications in the 1890s.  This now scarce thirty-two page view book includes reproduced photographs, four of which are exhibited here (*), with titles such as

In the Business Centre – Main Street and Mattison Avenue (*)
The New Asbury Park Casino and Beach Promenade (*)
Reviewing the Baby Parade from the Main Grand Stand (*)
Court of Honor – Annual Baby Parade (*)
An Afternoon Scene on Asbury Park’s Famous Ocean Promenade
Watching the Bathers from the Asbury Avenue Casino
Sunday Morning on the Sand at the Third Avenue Bathing Grounds
Watching Passengers Land from the Yacht
The Bathing Grounds Adjacent to the Fifth Avenue Arcade
Unfathomable Sea, Whose Waves Are Years
Deal Lake, a Paradise for Motor Launches and Canoes
Canoeing Among the Islands, Sunset Lake
Courtesy, Elsalyn Palmisano


Lyric Hall and Garden, Asbury Park.  Quarter Sessions Court Papers, 1906

According to its letterhead, the Lyric Hall and Garden was the “Largest Afro-American Amusement Resort in America.”  In addition to providing entertainment, a billiard room, and a shaving parlor, Lyric Hall and Garden could supply a vocalist, dancers, a humorist (Te-Wan-Ka), and musicians for all occasions.  It was located on Springwood Avenue, within 150 feet of the A.M.E. Zion Church, and beginning in about 1903 was managed by W. Frank Patterson, a former journalist from Attica, Indiana who had edited and published a Democratic newspaper, W. Frank Patterson’s Weekly, in Belmar, from 1892 to 1899.  The owner of the Lyric Hall and Garden bought it from Samuel A. Patterson (relationship to Frank not determined) after Samuel lost heavily from his investment in the Monmouth Trust Company of Asbury Park, which failed in 1903 after two directors embezzled and falsified accounts.  The new Lyric Hall owner also hired Frank’s wife, Kate, as Treasurer; she had edited the Weekly in 1899.

On November 29, 1905, Patterson got into a fight over ownership of some music with a customer, Daniel D. Franklin, a young carpenter who lived on Avenue A, a short distance from Lyric Hall.  Patterson threw a sickle at Franklin and it went into Franklin’s leg.  Patterson was convicted of Atrocious Assault and Battery on February 1, 1906.  The Lyric Hall’s owner, the minister of the nearby church, various businessmen, a justice of the peace, and even the victim (calling Patterson a friend) wrote to the judge asking for leniency.  Patterson apparently had an excellent local reputation and was active in the National Negro Businessmen’s League that had been founded a few years before by Booker T. Washington and other respected black leaders.  Local businessmen wrote that before W. Frank Patterson managed Lyric Hall, it was “a very disorderly place” and that “it was unsafe for women to pass on that side of the street” but after he took over, they wrote, it had been conducted “in a highly respectable manner.”  Nevertheless, Judge John E. Foster sentenced Patterson to 18 months.  Patterson appealed to the New Jersey Court of Errors and Appeals but they upheld the sentence when Patterson did not appear on the day of the hearing.  On admission to the State Prison, he was described as blind in his left eye and having numerous scars on his face and arms.  After incarceration from July 7, 1907, to April 3, 1908, he was paroled and returned to Asbury Park.
Monmouth County Archives

“Charges Against Monmouth Trust Co.; Illegal and Unsafe Investments Made, Bank Examiner Says,” New York Times, Feb. 18, 1903, p. 5.

Descriptive List of Convicts, N.J. State Prison, pp. 3396-3397, N.J. State Archives.

Minutes, New Jersey Court of Errors and Appeals, June 19, 1907, N.J. State Archives.

New Jersey and the Negro, A Bibliography, 1715-1966.  N.J. Library Association, 1967.

1900 U.S. Census (Frank W. and Kate A. Patterson).  Belmar, Wall, Monmouth County.

1910 U.S. Census (Daniel D. Franklin). Asbury Park Ward 1, Monmouth, New Jersey.

State vs. W. Frank Patterson, Quarter Sessions records, Monmouth County Archives.

“Threw Sickle; Goes to Jail,” Asbury Park Morning Press, July 4, 1907, p. 4

“Trust Officials Guilty; Verdict Against Twining and Cornell of Monmouth Company—Accused of Falsifying Accounts of Asbury Park Institution.”  New York Times, Dec. 29, 1903, p. 1.


Asbury Park Baby Parade, ca. 1900.  Photo by Pach Brothers, New York

The parents of this contestant in the annual Baby Parade in Asbury Park obviously intended to win.   Riding a patriotically decorated coach pulled by two goats with large horns, the young lady is accompanied by three servants: two young African American boys in top hats, white ties, and suits who are driving the wagon; and a white lad dressed as an outdoor worker tending the animals.  Presumably, the girl, with flags on her hat and dress, was supposed to personify “America.”  What her parents probably did not realize was how much the whole ensemble reflected the social and economic ideals of the upper middle class at the fin-de-siècle.

The Pach Brothers imprint at 935 Broadway, New York, suggests that a Pach photographer set up a temporary studio in Asbury Park to coincide with the event.  In about 1900, in addition to New York, Pach Brothers had well established branches in Long Branch (West End), and Lakewood.
Framed photographic reproduction, courtesy Karen L. Schnitzspahn


Official Program for 1902 Asbury Park Baby Parade

In 1890, the city of Asbury Park held its inaugural Baby Parade, conceived by Caleb T. Bailey, secretary to Mr. James A. Bradley, and H.A. Sackett, a local silhouette artist.  It featured 165 babies strolling down Ocean and Asbury avenues and then back to the Auditorium.  By the third Parade, prizes were given out by local businesses.  By the sixth year, the Parade grew to international renown with contestants from Canada and Europe.  The Baby Parade became the most famous symbol of Bradley’s campaign to keep Asbury Park and Ocean Grove temperate communities.  It demonstrated to visitors that Asbury Park and Ocean Grove were family-friendly and served as a very effective means to promote cultural tourism.

In 1897, the eighth annual event, prizes were awarded in the following categories: Best Decorated Baby Carriage; Best Decorated Baby Carriage in Cultivated Flowers; Best Decorated Baby Carriage in Wild Flowers;  Best Baby Carriage; Handsomest Baby Carriage in National Colors; Handsomest Doll Carriage; Best Decorated Girl’s Tricycle, Bicycle, or Velocipede; Best Decorated Boy’s Tricycle, Bicycle, or Velocipede; Best Girl’s Fancy Costume; Best Boy’s Fancy Costume; Best Decorated Two-Wheeled Cart; Handsomest Goat Turn-Out; Heaviest Boy Under One Year of Age; and Baby Coming the Longest Distance, which was won by Alexander Saure of Russia.
Courtesy, Karen L. Schnitzspahn

“Asbury Park Baby Parade: The 550 Youngsters Viewed by a Crowd of 50,000 as They Pass By,” New York Times, Aug. 22, 1897, p. 9.

Pike, Helen-Chantal. Asbury Park’s Glory Days: The Story of an American Resort. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 2005.


Casino, Asbury Park, from a view book, Asbury Park and Ocean Grove, ca. 1905

Two photographs showing the Casino at Asbury Park from a string-bound book with twenty half-tone reproductions of photographs of Asbury Park and Ocean Grove.  The book lacks any identifying information regarding photographer, publisher, or date.  Of particular interest here are the huge crowds on the boardwalk, documenting the popularity of these resorts at the turn of the century.  Note also the way that many people, significantly overdressed for summer compared to today’s styles, walk with umbrellas to relieve some of the heat.  Bathing attire, as seen on the beach, certainly provided protection from sunburn.
Courtesy, Elsalyn Palmisano


Four Real Photo Postcards from the 1914 Asbury Park Baby Parade

By 1914, the Asbury Park Baby Parade had become such a major event that President Woodrow Wilson agreed to be an official reviewer.  In this era, attendance by 100,000 spectators was typical.  Just like the Baby Parades in Asbury Park in recent years, parents dressed up their children to impress the judges.  The costumes some of the children are wearing in these photographs relate to contemporary events and personalities.  For example, the child shooting the bear is a representation of Teddy Roosevelt (if you look closely, you can see the child wearing the same type of bifocals and hat as TR) depicting his love of hunting.  Another picture shows a child dressed up as a boxer, perhaps Jess Willard, the contender who would wrest the heavyweight title from the African American champion, Jack Johnson, in 1915.  Given the elaborate costumes and accessories, the parents of the participants had to have considerable wealth, although Asbury Park, Long Branch, and other towns on the Jersey Shore were vacation spots popular with all social classes in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Courtesy, Karen L. Schnitzspahn

The Daily Northwestern, March 1914.  (article about the Baby Parade):


SS Morro Castle Aground at Asbury Park, 1934

Perhaps the most famous shipwreck in the history of Monmouth County occurred when the 508-foot luxury cruise liner, Morro Castle, while en route from Havana to New York, burned off the Jersey Shore and eventually drifted aground at Asbury Park, where for months it was a tourist attraction.  The tragedy began on September 7, 1934, when the captain died suddenly after eating dinner.  Later that night, shortly before 3 a.m., a suspicious fire spread from a storage locker and, fanned by high winds, soon engulfed the ship, cutting off electrical power and destroying the hydraulic cables necessary to steer.  As recounted in the September 1934 Asbury Park Press clipping in this exhibit, many passengers were forced by flames and smoke to jump into the heavy seas, while some of the crew escaped in lifeboats.  Of 549 passengers and crew, 135 died.
Monmouth County Archives

Cook, Fred J.  “The Morro Castle,” Asbury Park Press, September [?], 1934.


Savage Hurricane of September 14, 1944, Causes Heavy Damage on Jersey Shore

The prospect of occasional great hurricanes is a fact of life at the Jersey Shore.  This tropical storm wreaked havoc in the coastal towns of New Jersey and Long Island.  At Asbury Park, 200 feet of the municipal fishing pier was washed away and a two-block section of the boardwalk was deposited 150 feet inland onto Ocean Boulevard.  Hundreds of families were evacuated from Manasquan Beach and Point Pleasant.  Damage was also heavy in Atlantic City, Cape May, and Wildwood, where the drawbridge was ten feet under water.  Detachments of soldiers from Fort Dix and Fort Monmouth were sent to aid the police to keep order in local communities.  The photographs in the newspaper clippings on display depict storm effects in Asbury Park, Belmar, and Ocean Grove.
Monmouth County Archives

“The Great Hurricane of ’44,” newspaper insert, source unknown [Asbury Park Press?], 1944.

“Storm Loss Heavy on Jersey’s Coast; Atlantic City, Other Resorts Hit Hard—Fort Dix Troops Asked to Aid Police,” New York Times, September 15, 1944, p. 10.


Asbury Park: A West Side Story

Asbury Park: A West Side Story (2007) by Madonna Carter Jackson is a book of photographs by Jackson’s father, Joseph A. Carter, Sr. (1917-1980).  Carter, who operated Carter’s Photographic Studio, photographed the African American community extensively for decades, creating an unparalleled documentary record, described by his daughter as “individuals, families, weddings, church functions, clubs and organizations’ events” dating from 1938 to 1980.  Presented here is a selection of the photographs from the book, documenting social and economic life, street views, medical care, recreation, music, politics, and other aspects of the black community from the 1940s to the 1960s.  According to Helen Pike, “He began with a sidewalk-level studio on Springwood Avenue after arriving here from Florida in the 1940s. Despite his studio left unharmed by the 1970 riots, Carter moved to 715 Mattison Avenue above the Klitzman, Klitzman and Gallagher law firm. When her father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, Carter Jackson persuaded him to let her take most of the negatives from his East Side studio for safe-keeping. The move was prescient: In 1978 the building was destroyed by fire. Today it is the site of a parking lot opposite Bistro Ole.”

Photographs on display include:

Springwood Avenue, 1960s
Bruce & Carter’s Drug Store, Rice Jewelers, and Knuckle’s Electric
Carver Hotel, 1950s
Carter’s at the boardwalk, 1950s
1950s Parade on Springwood Avenue
Dr. Lorenzo Harris and Mrs. Louis Hughes at a blood drive in Asbury Park
Mortgage burning at Asbury Park Elks Lodge
Jazz & Blues Band, Sam Pugh on piano
Meat Market on Prospect & Bangs Avenue
Masonic Lodge beauty contest, 1950s
Bobby Hill’s Shoe Shine Parlor, late 1940s
Asbury –Neptune Branch of NAACP, 1960s
Ladies Golf Tournament Player, 1960s
Cotillion at Convention Hall, 1950s (2)
Elks Parade on Springwood Avenue, 1950s
Courtesy, Madonna Carter Jackson

Jackson, Madonna Carter.  Asbury Park: A West Side Story.  A Pictorial Journey through the Eyes of Joseph A. Carter, Sr., Photographer, 1917-1980.  Denver: Outskirts Press, 2007.

Pike, Helen. “A West Side Story Retold,” The Coaster, http://thecoaster.net/wordpress/?p=1046, last accessed September 6, 2007.


1. Plan for Bath Houses at Ocean Beach [Belmar], 1877. Building Contracts, Monmouth County Archives.  2.  Belmar boardwalk, photograph, ca. 1900. 

Belmar began as Ocean Beach, settled in 1872 by Methodists from nearby Ocean Grove who felt that it was getting too crowded.  Ocean Beach acquired six buildings when the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia was dismantled and converted them into hotels and cottages.  In 1877, as per the specifications in the exhibit, a building was erected at the beach with fifty-two “bath rooms,” each four feet wide and five feet deep” for visitors to change their clothes in privacy.  Ocean Beach’s name was changed to Belmar in 1890, after one month as “Elco.”
Building Contract, Monmouth County Archives

Salvini, Emil R.  Boardwalk Memories: Tales of the Jersey Shore.  Guilford, CT: Insiders’ Guide, 2006.


Belmar Fire Department Building, Photograph by Gil Steele, c. 1960

The history of the Belmar Fire Department starts with a fire.  On New Year’s Eve 1888, James Freeborn’s market and a Belmar Masonic Hall burned down.  The townspeople let the fire smolder until the next morning because they did not have adequate equipment to put out the fire that night.  The cost of the damage was around $20,000.  By the end of January 1889, Belmar had organized and established the Union Fire Company.  The volunteer fire company was not formed until 1894.  Additionally, a third fire company named The Goodwill Hose Company was established in the year 1900, so the borough of Belmar has three different fire companies.  By June 1889, the borough had secured a ‘steam’ fire engine for $5,000.  It was an upgrade from the wagon, buckets, and wells they had previously used.  Today, all three companies work together for pumping, hook and ladders, and hose lines. Also, all three companies are staffed by volunteers and are located on Main Street in Belmar.

Courtesy, Karen L. Schnitzspahn

History of Belmar Fire Department: http://www.belmar.com/tourism/default.asp?Section_ID=357

Belmar Fire Department Now: http://www.belmar.com/tourism/default.asp?Section_ID=448


First Aid Classes at the Belmar First Aid & Safety Squad Building.
Two Photographs by Gil Steele c. 1960

The Belmar First Aid Squad was organized in 1927 by Dr. Daniel Traverso.  Traverso was the squad’s first physician and leader until his death.  On Memorial Day, 1936, a bronze plaque in his honor was unveiled by Frank Mihlon, Jr., whose father bought an ambulance for the squad and donated the land for its headquarters.  Although Belmar has only about 7,000 year-round residents, it has lots of summer nightlife, so it averages about 900 EMS calls a year, mostly in the summer months.
Courtesy, Karen L. Schnitzspahn

Belmar First Aid Now: http://www.belmar.com/default.asp?Section_ID=672

History of Belmar First Aid:



Two Photographs of Fishermen with Large Fish by Gil Steele, Belmar, ca. 1960

Hundreds of years ago, Native Americans journeyed to the sea and established temporary communities to harvest nature’s marine bounty.   Today, many people still come to the Shore with fishing foremost on their agendas.  Fishermen typically catch from twenty-five to more than forty million pounds of fish each year off the coast of New Jersey.  However, the total alone does not provide the complete picture: the quantity of mackerel obtained by large commercial fishing boats increased from less than two million pounds in 1950 to eighteen million pounds in 1996.  The past decade has seen a decline in the number of commercial sports fishing boats due to a variety of factors, including the price of gasoline and regulations intended to protect the fishing stocks.
Photographs, courtesy Karen L. Schnitzspahn

Interview by author with Hank Koch, formerly Captain, Marie-S II, August 3, 2007.

New Jersey FishNet, Number 18, April 9, 1998.


March of Dimes Walkathon, Bradley Beach, April 1995.  Four Color Photographs

Future Monmouth County Clerk M. Claire French, waving to County Photographer Paul DeNucci, was among numerous Monmouth County employees who participated in the March of Dimes Walkathon to raise money for the foundation. At the time of the picture, Mrs. French was Chair, Monmouth County Improvement Authority; she has been County Clerk since 1997.  The event was organized by the March of Dimes New Jersey Chapter, based in Cranbury. Its mission “is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.”
Monmouth County Archives, Negatives, 1994-04-11a


Scenes of President James Garfield’s last days in Elberon.
Harper’s Weekly and Leslie’s Illustrated, 1881.

In the summer of 1881, on his way to join his family in Long Branch, President Garfield was shot by the deranged office seeker Charles Guiteau.  After languishing in a White House sick room for two months and surviving a series of misguided operations, he was moved to the healthier climate of Long Branch, where local residents and tourists, in just 24 hours, built a 5/8 mile railroad spur to the borrowed Elberon cottage where it was hoped that he would recuperate.  The patriotic construction feat made national news.  Unfortunately, Garfield died just twelve days after arrival, on September 19.  The ties of the spur were later removed and used to construct “Garfield’s Hut,” also known as “Garfield’s Tea House,” eventually moved to the grounds of the Long Branch Historical Museum.

Robinson, Archie, “Murder Most Foul,” American Heritage, 25:5 (August 1964), 90-104.

Salvini, Emil R.  Boardwalk Memories: Tales of the Jersey Shore.  Guilford, CT: Insiders’ Guide, 2006.


Property taxes on President Chester A. Arthur’s Estate, Elberon, 1897

In 1871, President Grant appointed Republican Chester Alan Arthur to the well-paid position of Collector of Customs of the Port of New York, where he supervised nearly one thousand officials.  Arthur purchased a summer home in Elberon, on Park Avenue near the beach, in 1874.  Elected Vice-President in 1880, he succeeded James Garfield after the president’s death in Elberon in 1881. Arthur, a widower, died in 1886 and left his estate in trust to his children, Chester Alan and Ellen H., until his son was thirty years old.  In the note on display, dated April 26, 1897, tax collector William R. Joline certifies that seven years of back taxes owed on Arthur’s property have been paid.  Two months later, Chester Alan Arthur II, who had turned thirty in 1894, acquired and sold the property.
Tax Records, Monmouth County Archives

Deed Books, Monmouth County Archives
Garraty, John A., ed.  Encyclopedia of American Biography (1974), pp. 40-41.


Aviation Meet at Interlaken in 1910

Marie Sylvester’s essay in the 75th Interlaken anniversary booklet (1997), augmented by contemporary newspaper accounts, provides fascinating details of the competitive air show held in an open area that is now the Interlaken Ball Field and Recreation Park. Some pioneer aviators flew “Wright Brothers Machines.” One, Walter A. Brookins, crashed his biplane near the grandstand, injuring himself, two policemen and several newspaper boys. Wilbur Wright, who with his brother Orville had made the first successful heavier than air flight in 1903, came to investigate. The only fatality at the event was Benny Prinz, who jumped from a balloon and died when his second parachute failed after he cut away his first as a stunt. (Spectators paid five cents to see the dent he made in the ground.)
Municipalities File, Monmouth County Archives

Sylvester, Marie.  “The Flying Machines Come to Interlaken,” Interlaken Journal, 1922-1997.  Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Incorporation of the Borough of Interlaken.  Interlaken Historic Preservation Committee, 1997.


The Beach at Keansburg, July 1984. Photograph by Paul DeNucci

Keansburg Beach’s dunes slope off into the Raritan Bay; at right looms the Ferris wheel of the Keansburg Amusement Park, established as a resort area in 1904 when the beach was cobbled together with imported sand.  The photograph was taken by Paul DeNucci, the official county photographer from about 1973 to 1996, for a story on flood control.  Chuck Steiner made the print in 2005 in the Monmouth County Archives darkroom.


1. “Keansburg: a long way from Waackaack,” 1968.
2. “Keansburg ready to put history in its place,” 1999

In 1999, under the direction of President Douglas F. Foulks, the Keansburg Historical Society opened a museum on Carr Avenue filled with historical mementos of Keansburg beginning in the late 1800’s. The small town is rich in history, from its settlement by Lenni-Lenape to the purchase of land by Richard Hartshorne in 1670 and to its more modern history of steamboats and “boardwalk amusements.”  On display at the museum are two 44 inch and 58 inch steamboat models, various works of art, numerous photographs, books, and other items of historical relevance.  The two newspaper articles on display provide details on the history of the town and the Society’s museum.
Municipalities File, Monmouth County Archives

“Keansburg: a long way from Waackaack,” The ADvisor, May 29, 1968, p. 17.

“Keansburg ready to put history in its place,” 1999.


“50 Reasons to Love Keyport”

“On the Scene” writer Bob Cullinane paid a visit to the Bayshore town of Keyport.  Meeting with local residents, he liked it so much that he compiled fifty reasons to visit Keyport for this May 30, 1999, article in the Asbury Park Press.  Some of the reasons included Hot Dog Bob’s, the Keyport fishery, antique shops, Seaport Diner, Steamboat Dock Museum, free parking, parks along Raritan Bay, Ye Cottage Inn, Henry Hudson Bike Trail, and, of course, “the fine people who live there.”
Margaret Field Collection, Monmouth County Archives

Cullinane, Bob. “50 reasons to Love Keyport,” Asbury Park Press, May 30, 1999.


Breakfast Menu, American Hotel, Long Branch, ca. 1862

This menu, found in papers for a court case, is undated but the back has a handwritten list of unpaid bills from 1858 to 1862 and it was signed by a justice of the peace in 1865.  Although breakfast included eggs, hot biscuits, and toast, diners could also partake of heartier items such as mutton chops, broiled mackerel, fried clams, broiled chicken, and ham.  Diners had to get up early, as breakfast was over by 7:30am, except on Sundays when the deadline was 8am. When was the last time you saw “stale bread” on a menu?
Monmouth County Archives


Long Branch, 1869, by Winslow Homer.
Poster from Museum of  Fine Arts, Boston, 1995

In 1869, Long Branch was just beginning to become popular; indeed, it is possible that Winslow Homer’s art helped draw increasing numbers of tourists to the Jersey Shore.  The artist was about thirty-three when he painted this iconic view of women on the bluffs overlooking the ocean; his great fame would come much later.  Homer became renowned for his story-telling watercolors and oil paintings of seascapes, such as “The Gulf Stream.”  With a preference for his own company, he spent the last twenty-six years of his life living mostly alone in a studio overlooking the Atlantic at Prout’s Neck, Maine.  He died in 1910.
Courtesy, Long Branch Public Library

Starkweather, William.   “‘He Painted the Might of the Sea’: Winslow Homer, Man and Artist,” The Mentor, July 1925, pp. 45-50 [copy made available courtesy, Elsalyn Palmisano].


Ocean Hotel and Bluff, Long Branch, New Jersey,
from Frank Leslie’s Popular Monthly, July 1877

As this wood engraving suggests, the Ocean Hotel (previously called the Continental Hotel when completed in 1866), became one of the largest summer resorts in the United States.  The Continental was the result of adding a link between two pre-existing hotels, Congress Hall and The National House, which became the left and right wings, respectively, of the enlarged structure.  The Leland family renamed it the Ocean Hotel when they added it to their impressive chain in 1872.  The hotel was so large that one would walk a mile by circumnavigating it three times.  It accommodated more than 1,200 guests and the dining room, 250 by 58 feet, was serviced by 150 waiters and 28 cooks, who prepared more than a ton of food daily.  The Ocean Hotel suffered financial reverses in the 1890s, leading to its closure in 1902 and demolition in 1905.
Courtesy, George H. Moss, Jr.

Moss, George H., Jr. and Karen L. Schnitzspahn. Victorian Summers at the Grand Hotels of Long Branch, New Jersey.  Sea Bright, NJ: Ploughshare Press, 2000, pp. 89-99.


Building Contract, Long Branch Pier, November 11, 1878

The building contract for what became known as The Ocean Pier was between the New York City-based contractor, Job Johnson, and The Long Branch Pier Company.  The engineers on the project were Maclay and Davies, who had previously engineered a similar pier structure on Coney Island.  The pier was finished in eight months on June 14, 1879, just in time for the ‘Season.’ It stretched 660 feet into the ocean and had a rail track so goods could be carried easily to the shore. The sea wall part of the pier was made from beton, or concrete. The 133 wrought iron tubular piles were divided into four different sizes.  Group A’s were 12 inches in diameter, a half inch thick, and 40 to 44 feet long.  Group B’s were ten inches in diameter, a half inch thick, and 39 to 44 feet long.  Group C’s were eight inches in diameter, three-eighths of an inch thick, and 31 to 41 feet long.  Group D’s were six inches in diameter, five-sixteenth of an inch thick, and 20 to 38 feet long.  Johnson was paid $60,000 to finish the project.
Monmouth County Archives

Moss, Jr., George H., and Karen L. Schnitzspahn. Victorian Summers at the Grand Hotels of Long Branch, New Jersey. Sea Bright, N.J.: Ploughshare Press, 2000, 31-39.

1.  Ocean Park Way and Ocean Pier, Long Branch, illustration by Donaldson Brothers.  2.  Stock Certificate, Long Branch Ocean Pier Company, 1888

The Ocean Pier in Long Branch was built in 1879 by the engineering firm of Maclay and Davies and designed by Job Johnson.  Its construction marked the pinnacle of a fabulous decade for the Jersey Shore.  In July 1879, approximately 7,000 people paid ten cents just to walk on the pier.  Newspapers from all over the East Coast raved about what economic impact the structure could possibly bring to the Jersey Shore.  Not only was The Ocean Pier a place where one could go and ‘be seen,’ it was also the destination for some of the most famous steamboats of its day.  The Plymouth Rock, the Adelaide, and the Jesse Hoyt all cruised to Long Branch during the summer months to carry New Yorkers down to the summer paradise of Long Branch.  In the winter of 1880, The Ocean Pier was mostly destroyed by a blizzard and replaced in 1881 by The Iron Pier.
Courtesy, George H. Moss, Jr.

Moss Jr., George H., and Karen L. Schnitzspahn. Victorian Summers: at the Grand Hotels of Long Branch, New Jersey. Sea Bright, N.J.: Ploughshare Press, 2000, 32-36.

Brochure, St. James Chapel, Long Branch, New Jersey

St. James Chapel in Long Branch, also called the Church of the Presidents, was built in 1879 and designed by the New York-based engineering firm of Potter and Robertson.  It was financed by three prominent summer guests to the Shore: George Pullman, George W. Childs, and Anthony Drexel.  Each had a summer home in the area and desired a house of worship close by.  Presidents Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, Chester A. Arthur, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, and Woodrow Wilson all spent summers in the area and worshipped in St. James Chapel.  In 2002, it was obtained by the Long Branch Historical Museum Association and funds are being gathered for restoration.
Courtesy, Elsalyn Palmisano

“A Chinaman – Brighton Ave., West End [Long Branch],”
Photograph by George A.M. Morris, ca. 1920

According to the 1920 Census, there were only thirty-one Chinese people in Monmouth County, all single men.  Of the thirty-one, twenty-eight were born in China and three in California.  Asians comprised only .05% of the New Jersey population in 1920, compared to 3.5% in 1990, a seventy-fold increase in percentage.  Who this man was is likely to remain a mystery but he probably was one of the half dozen Chinese laundrymen living in Long Branch in 1920: Henry Fong, Lim Ham, Ken Ho, Sam Wha, Charles Winc, or Fook Wong, all between the ages of 42 and 60.  While most Chinese in Monmouth County were in the laundry business in 1920, an exception was Joe Young, who operated a “chop suey” Chinese restaurant at 135 Main Street, Asbury Park.  The photographer, George A.M. Morris, born in Germany, worked for Gustavus Pach in the 1890s, then took over Pach’s Long Branch studio after Pach’s death in 1904.  The title of the photo is from the original negative envelope.
Courtesy, Karen L. Schnitzspahn

Gibson, Campbell and Kay Jung.  Historical Census Statistics on Population Totals by Race, 1790 to 1990, and by Hispanic Origin, 1970 to 1990, For The United States, Regions, Divisions, and States.  Population Division.  U. S. Census Bureau, September 2002 (Table 45).

Heritage Quest, 1920 U.S. Census.

Moss, George H., Jr. and Karen L. Schnitzspahn.  Those Innocent Years, 1898-1914.  Images of the Jersey Shore from the Pach Photographic Collection.  Sea Bright, NJ: Ploughshare Press, 1993.


Enlarged Reproductions from Long Branch, 1917.  Booklet issued by Department of Publicity, City Hall, Long Branch, New Jersey

In this promotional booklet, the city of Long Branch tried its best to assure the public that, despite World War I, which is not mentioned, Long Branch was open and ready for tourists.  The photographs show “The Garden Resort of America,” “The Famous Long Branch Horse Show,” “Long Branch Golf Club,” “Shadow Lawn and Ocean Boulevard,” the “Annual Dog Show at Long Branch,” and views of huge mansions and resort life.  The introduction praised Long Branch’s “chain of crystal lakes,” its “best facilities for yachting,” “first class hotels,” and “100 miles of fine roads available for automobiling. . . throughout the most beautiful cottage colony in America.”  Long Branch also boasted “every attraction known to the lover of outdoor life.”  In sum, “No city the size of Long Branch can present such a record of healthfulness.”  It was convenient to get there by train or steamboat and “modern” cottages were available for rent in all sizes and prices.
Courtesy, Elsalyn Palmisano

Underground Railroad in Manasquan?

This 1998 article by Louis Torrieri discusses the Bailey-Reed House, 105 South Street, Manasquan.  Built about 1700, the building has a secret cellar, possibly used by escaped slaves before the Civil War.  The hiding place, about 40 inches high, was accessed through a hole in the floor of a closet next to a fireplace in the dining room or through the fireplace itself.  The house is now owned by the Squan Village Historical Society.
Municipalities Reference File, Monmouth County Archives

Terrieri, Louis.  “On the Long and Hard Road to Freedom: Manasquan and the Underground Railroad,” Coast Star, February 19, 1998.


Matawan, the Crossroads Town

This newspaper article, published about 1970-1975, traces the name Matawan to Matovancons, a branch of the Raritans of the Lenni Lenapi Indians.  As the area developed, it became the site of important junctions for both roads and railway lines.  In 1857, Matavan Township, including areas then known as Mount Pleasant and Middletown Point, was created; the name was changed to Matawan in 1882 and   Matawan Borough was organized in 1885.  In 1977, after this article was written, Matawan Township changed its name to Aberdeen.
Municipalities Reference File, Monmouth County Archives

“Matawan Historically a Crossroad Town,” newspaper clipping, source and date unknown, 1975 or earlier


Life-Saving Station at Monmouth Beach (newspaper clipping, 1999).  2.  Act to Incorporate Monmouth Beach, March 9, 1906

The Monmouth Beach Life-Saving Station, now the town’s Cultural Center, was built in 1857, more than a decade before the town was developed on land that had been purchased by Eliakim Wardell in 1668.  His descendant, Edward Wardell, was the first keeper of the station and served until 1875.  In the 1990s, the Station, which was the second built on the Jersey Shore, was going to be demolished for a parking lot but it was saved largely through the efforts of the Monmouth Beach Historical Society headed by president Greg Kelly and by philanthropist Jay Ross.  The town was chartered in 1906 by an act of the New Jersey State Legislature, a copy of which is in the exhibit.
Monmouth County Archives

Margolin, Josh.  “Building on a Heroic Past: Life-saving Station May Be Rescued,” Star-Ledger, May 11, 1999.

Monmouth Beach NJ Brief History.  http://www.newjerseyshore.com/monmouth-beach.shtml  last accessed Aug. 9, 2007

U.S. Coast Guard.  Station Monmouth Beach, New Jersey, Coast Guard Station #100.  http://www.uscg.mil/history/STATIONS/MONMOUTH%20BEACH.html last accessed Aug. 9, 2007


1.  Ocean Grove Great Auditorium, from The New Asbury Park and Its Surroundings from the Pennypacker Press, ca. 1900.  2.  Auditorium, illustration with inset photograph, published by Alfred Scott, n.d.

The Ocean Grove Great Auditorium was completed in 1894 by the founders of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, which still operates it today.  The wooden structure routinely seats more than 6,500 people.  It has not been altered in any major way since it was built and looks about the same as it did in this representation.  The Auditorium holds the distinction of having one of the world’s largest pipe organs, with about 10,000 pipes.  Each summer, it holds a choir festival for the entire surrounding region, including New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and other states.  In 2004, it celebrated its 50th anniversary of summer choir festivals, which have grown from 200 to more than 1,700 singers.
Courtesy, Elsalyn Palmisano
Bambarger, Bradley, “With One Voice: Ocean Grove’s 50th Choir Sing Fills the Air with Hosannas,” The Newark Star-Ledger, July 14, 2004.

A Corner of Tent City, Ocean Grove N.J.  Postcard, ca. 1910

After a religious conversion at a camp meeting in Vineland in 1857, Rev. Dr. William B.  Osborn sought a place of moderate isolation that was mosquito-free where people could participate in similar events.  In the summer of 1869, a small group of the like-minded set up tents and camped on the area between the Great Pond (Deal Lake) and Shark River.  Their aim was to establish a secluded Christian community where spiritual as well as physical health would thrive.

The town was named for the groves of cedar, hickory and pine as well as for their location.  The small kindlings of a religious camp revival eventually became the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association of the Methodist Episcopal Church on December 22, 1869.  Once the enclave of land was purchased, it was never sold again.  Unlike other beach towns, Ocean Grove was subdivided into lots and leased to society members who pitched tents to join in the simple vice-free way of life.  There was no alcohol permitted or sold within a one mile radius of the town, nor any carriages or automobiles on Sundays until the late 1970’s.

At one time, the Association leased 660 tents; today, there are 114, many bequeathed and passed down through generations.  In the winter months, they are stored in wooden sheds on the lots until the following season. The amount of interest generated by the town eventually led in 1894 to the building of the Ocean Grove Great Auditorium in order to accommodate the tremendous surge of worshippers seeking a quaint escape from city life.

The postcard was printed in the United States by Valentine & Sons of Dundee, Scotland, a major photography and printing firm that produced postcards from 1897 to 1970.
Courtesy, Elsalyn Palmisano
Bell, Wayne T.  Images of America: Ocean Grove.  Dover, NH: Arcadia Publishing, 2000.

Di Ionno, Mark.  New Jersey’s Coastal Heritage.  Piscataway, NJ: Rutgers University Press 1997, pp. 45-50.


Ocean Grove Auditorium.  Aida Trumpet Quartet at President Taft’s Reception at Ocean Grove, August 15, 1911.  Real Photo Postcard

President Taft was the fourth president to speak at the Ocean Grove Auditorium, preceded by Grant, McKinley, and Theodore Roosevelt.  For his oration on international treaties then under consideration, held at the invitation of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, the auditorium seating was increased to 12,000.  Governor Woodrow Wilson, former governors Murphy and Stokes, Senators Briggs and Martine, and other officials attended the event.  Traveling from Washington by special train via Jersey City, Taft arrived somewhat late, just after a cloudburst which left streets “ankle-deep” with water.  He unfortunately missed the musical entertainment, which included a chorus of 300 and the trumpet quartet illustrated here, wearing American flag dresses.

The Ocean Grove Auditorium has featured presentations by numerous prominent figures, as well as some who, little known at the time, became famous in later life.  The day before Taft spoke, Fiorello La Guardia, later mayor of New York City, gave a speech to about 100 members of the Florence Crittenden Society; at the time, La Guardia was an attorney who had worked at the Ellis Island Immigration Station.
Reproduction of postcard, courtesy Elsalyn Palmisano

Various New York Times articles, August 13 to 17, 1911.


Horse Race, Monmouth Park, Oceanport, from an engraving
[Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, 1873?]

Monmouth Park opened on July 4, 1870, and helped establish nearby Long Branch as one of the premier resorts in America, rivaling Newport and Saratoga Springs.  At that time, gambling was legal and, in addition to the track, there were numerous gambling houses in Long Branch to entertain visitors, including the Pennsylvania Club, at which it was estimated that $5 to $10 million was wagered annually.  Monmouth Park closed in 1893, the victim of anti-gambling legislation supported by James Bradley, the founder of rival Asbury Park, and other morality advocates in the Anti-Race Track League, accelerating a decline in Long Branch’s popularity as a summer destination; the track did not reopen until 1946.  Although the original source for the engraving of the horse race has not been located, the ridiculous depiction of the animals with forelegs extended indicates that it predates Eadweard Muybridge’s renowned photographic studies of the running horse, published in Scientific American in 1878.

Salvini, Emil R.  Boardwalk Memories: Tales of the Jersey Shore.  Guilford, CT: Insiders’ Guide, 2006.

Solnit, Rebecca.  River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West.  NY: Viking, 2003.


Mrs. Finch’s Home School for Young Ladies, Red Bank

The first issue of the Red Bank Register on June 27, 1878, reported that during the closing exercises at Mrs. Finch’s school, the nineteen female students read essays on such topics as “Influence of Good Women,” “Hope,” “Music,” “Life,” “Beauties of Nature,” “Flowers,” and “Siege of Troy,” intellectual fare then considered appropriate for the minds of young women to contemplate.  After the recitations, four students were given books as rewards for not violating rules and academic achievement, and four (Becky Parker, Emma Mills, Kate Nevius, and Ella Vanderveer) were given diplomas.
Reprint, Monmouth County Archives

“Mrs. Finch’s Home School,” Red Bank Register, 1:1 (June 27, 1878), p. 1.


1. Train Derailment, Red Bank Station, March 19, 1909.  Photo by Charles R.D. Foxwell 2.  New York Times article, March 20, 1909

The Red Bank Station on the Jersey Central Line opened in 1875 and became an important transportation hub for both residents and visitors.  While the train was usually reliable, in this photograph, onlookers are in awe after Pennsylvania Train 216 jumped off the railroad tracks just 200 feet south of the Red Bank train station.  The rear axle of the last car and the pony wheels of the engine were the only ones not to leave the track.  Pitched at a forty-five degree angle, the middle coach car was very difficult to walk through.  The train derailment blocked all surrounding tracks and caused major delays on the Jersey Central Line.  Fortunately, very few passengers were injured.
Photo courtesy of Randall Gabrielan

Gabrielan, Randall.  Images of America: Red Bank Volume II.  Dover, NH: Arcadia Publishing, 1996, pp. 75-76.

“Wreck Blocks 2 Railroads,” New York Times, March 20, 1909, p. 6.


Broad Street in Red Bank, Monmouth County.  Photo by Charles R.D. Foxwell

In the early 1900’s, Broad Street in Red Bank was filled with people and shops.  Broad Street had everything you would need, including bicycle shops, drug pharmacies, automobile repair, horse harnesses, clothes, photographers, hardware, furniture, guns, locks, trunks, etc.  One of the more popular stores at the time was Spinning & Patterson. Here you would find a very diverse product line including groceries, notions, and even popular fashions of the time.  The store flourished until c. 1913, when J. Kridel, a dry goods store, bought and remodeled the location.
Foxwell photo, courtesy of Randall Gabrielan

Gabrielan, Randall.  Images of America: Red Bank Volume II.   Dover, NH: Arcadia Publishing, 1996, pp. 10-11.

Charles R.D. Foxwell, Photographer and Justice of the Peace: 1. Naturalization, 1904.  2.  Statement/Bill, Justice of the Peace, 1926.
3.  Obituary, New York Times, Oct. 22, 1944

Charles Foxwell (1875-1944), Red Bank photographer, was born in Liverpool and emigrated from England in 1879, 1883, or 1884 (sources vary) with his parents.  His mother Emma died on the voyage to America and his father remarried in about 1890.  Charles, who probably remained single, continued living with his parents until at least 1910.  By that time, he had his own photography store and his father James was working as his bookkeeper.

The earliest found published reference to Charles Foxwell’s involvement in photography is 1895, when a local newspaper described him as one of the better amateurs in the area.   At that time, he was working as manager of Charles A. Minton’s store in Red Bank but he also was manufacturing a print toner for use by local amateur photographers.  Apparently, photography was a passion for him.  In 1898, he was one of the founders of the Red Bank Camera Club and served as its first Secretary.  That year, he and another Camera Club member, Bert F. White, started a photography business on the third floor of the Child building in Red Bank.  After a few months, they moved to the second floor of the Register building, where the Red Bank Register was published.  Another member of the Club was John H. Cook, the newspaper’s editor and publisher.  Foxwell and White’s business was in the room next to the Camera Club and the young entrepreneurs let club members use their darkroom.

Among the services Foxwell and White offered were outdoor views, mounting photos on card stock, framing, printing for amateurs, and the sale of supplies such as Velox paper.  After two years, Foxwell bought out White’s interest and, in 1902, he purchased the stock of a competitor in Red Bank, Joseph Cooper.  Foxwell was very effective in expanding his business through marketing techniques.  In a promotion in 1900, he gave away cameras that took 2 ¼ x 2 ¼ glass negatives, each with a dozen plates that sold at $.40 per dozen.  Foxwell also sold Kodak Brownie roll film cameras, the first inexpensive camera for the mass market, for $1 each.  Brownies, marketed especially to women and children, were simple to use and presumably, most of the purchasers returned their exposed film to Foxwell for developing and printing.

In the early 1900s, Foxwell had a standing glass showcase outside the Register building, made souvenir calendars for the Christmas season, and offered to transfer photographs to envelopes.  More importantly, in 1902, he introduced picture postcards to Red Bank by offering twenty local scenes in this new format made popular by changes in U.S. postal regulations.  Foxwell benefited from the postcard craze in the early 20th century.  Within a few years, he had at least fifty-five different ones for sale and, in 1910, he sold ten thousand in just one weekend in Highlands.  Subjects included views of Front and Broad streets in Red Bank; seven different bridges; fishermen at Seabright, Deep Cut in Middletown; Moonlight on the Shrewsbury River; churches; and more than half a dozen of iceboats.  Some of Foxwell’s postcards were colorized during printing.

A few of the same or similar images Foxwell published as postcards are found in a set of glass lantern slides, now in the collection of Randall Gabrielan, from which prints were made for the October 2007 exhibit at the Monmouth County Library.  Very likely, Foxwell screened these slides at camera club meetings.  One of the slides has a label indicating it is by John H. Cook and some makers are unidentified but most were signed by Foxwell on the negative or labeled as his on the mount.  The slides depict various people and places in Red Bank and surrounding areas such as Highlands.

Several slides are of iceboats and a speed skater.  Foxwell raced iceboats on the Shrewsbury River.  He was involved in a collision in 1900 in which both ice boats were wrecked and several passengers were seriously injured but continued racing his yacht, the Digby, for at least several more years.  In addition to winter sports, Foxwell also ran road races in the 1890s and in 1912, was described as “one of the best shots in the state” when he competed in shooting clay birds at the Riverside Gun Club.

After his naturalization in 1904, witnessed by his friend John H. Cook, he qualified for public service and was appointed a Surveyor of Highways by the County of Monmouth in 1907.  As a charter member of the Relief Engine Company No. 2 in 1906, Foxwell also was a volunteer fire fighter.  By 1914, he was no longer solely in the photography business, although he continued photographing at least until 1922, when he shot an ice carnival on the river.  From 1917 until his death in 1944, Foxwell was almost continuously a Justice of the Peace in Red Bank.  For many years, he operated a stationery and photography store on Monmouth Street, where he displayed his photographs and conducted his court.

Foxwell lantern slide collection, Randall Gabrielan
Justice of the Peace records, Monmouth County Archives
Naturalization Record #3384, Monmouth County Archives
Exempt Firemen Records, Monmouth County Archives
U.S. Census, Red Bank, 1900 and 1910
New York Times, various articles
Foxwell file, 19th Century New Jersey Photographers, Gary Saretzky


1.  Man with Horse-Drawn Parcel Post Truck, c. 1913, by Charles Foxwell, Red Bank.  2.  Four cents Parcel Post stamp

Before 1900, the U.S. Post Office Department was limited to delivery of packages of less than four pounds; heavier packages were handled by highly profitable private carriers.  The rural population, comprising 54% in 1910, demanded a lower cost delivery service to receive objects like tractor accessories, packaged food items, and medicine.  Congress authorized cheap Parcel Post shipping on August 24, 1912, effective January 1, 1913.  The introduction of Parcel Post created a boom in mail order businesses.  Rates were prepaid with twelve different “Parcel Post” stamps, including a twenty cent stamp which was the first postage stamp in the world with an image of an airplane.  The four cent stamp, “Rural Carrier,” with a horse-drawn Parcel Post truck, is very similar to, and possibly the inspiration for, Foxwell’s photograph.  It was shipped to post offices on December 12, 1912.  Beginning in July 1913, regular postage stamps could be used for Parcel Post and then no further Parcel Post stamps were issued.
Foxwell photo, courtesy Randall Gabrielan

History of Parcel Post:
Kloetzel, James E., ed.  2003 Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers, 81st edition.  Sidney, OH: Scott Publishing Company, 2002.


1.  Relief Fire Engine Company No. 1, Red Bank, ca. 1905.  Print from lantern slide by Charles R. D. Foxwell.  2.  Clippings from New York Times about Red Bank Fire Department, Dec. 25, 1881; Feb. 11, 1883; Sept. 7, 1909; and Oct. 18, 1909.  3.  List of members of Navesink Hook & Ladder Co. of Red Bank, Chartered June 13, 1873

According to an index developed by the Monmouth County Archives, more than 17,000 individuals have served at least seven years as volunteer fire fighters in the county since the 1870s.  Corlies W. Thompson, a public spirited citizen who served on the Board of Chosen Freeholders, was one of the founders of the first fire department in Red Bank, as documented in a list of members of the Navesink Hook & Ladder Co. he submitted to the County Clerk in 1873 and by his obituary in 1909.

Fires were frequently devastating at shore towns in the 19th century, exacerbated by wind and, paradoxically, lack of water until fire hydrants became available.  Moreover, regarding the Red Bank fire in 1881, the New York Times mentioned that “the firemen were compelled to drag the heavy machines through the streets where the mud was almost a foot and a half deep last night, there not being a paved street in the entire place.”  Charles Foxwell, a member of Relief Company No. 2 of Red Bank, photographed Relief Company No. 1 in the early 1900s.

Although the postman in photograph is unidentified, it might be Harry Supp, a mailman who was a member of the Red Bank Camera Club to which the photographer Foxwell belonged.
Foxwell photo courtesy of Randall Gabrielan
Exempt Firemen Records, Monmouth County Archives

“The Red Bank Fire,” New York Times, Dec. 25, 1881, p. 2.

“Flames in Red Bank,” New York Times, Feb. 11, 1883, p. 1.

“Thousands in Red Bank Fire Parade,” New York Times, Sept. 7, 1909, p. 7.

“Obituary Notes – Corlies W. Thompson,” New York Times, Oct. 18, 1909, p. 7.


Theodore Roosevelt campaigns in Red Bank, May 25, 1912.
Photograph by Charles R.D. Foxwell

Both Theodore Roosevelt and his chief opponent for the Republican Presidential nomination, William Howard Taft, crisscrossed New Jersey in May 1912.  Traveling by a special train, Roosevelt departed Penn Station in New York City on Friday, May 24, and stopped at Burlington, Hammonton, Egg Harbor, Atlantic City, Millville, Vineland, Bridgeton, Glassboro, Woodbury, Camden, and Trenton.  The next morning, departing from Trenton, he visited Lakewood, Asbury Park, Long Branch, Red Bank, Perth Amboy, Rahway, New Brunswick, Plainfield, Bound Brook, Westfield, Garwood, Cranford, Roselle Park, and Elizabeth.  The following Monday, he boarded a train in Hoboken and headed for Morristown, Dover, Newton, Hackettstown, Washington, Phillipsburg, Princeton, Bayonne, and West Hoboken.  The primaries were held the following day and Taft, running as the incumbent President, was the victor.
Foxwell photo, courtesy Randall Gabrielan

“The Colonel’s Jersey Tour; It Will Last Three Days and Cover the State from End to End,” New York Times, May 23, 1912, p. 2.


1. President William Howard Taft, Presidential Campaign, Red Bank?, Monmouth County, May 27, 1912.  Photo by Charles Foxwell.  2.  Excerpt from clipping, “40,000 Cheer the President,” New York Times, May 27, 1912

In one day, running against Theodore Roosevelt for the Republican nomination, incumbent President “Big Bill” Taft campaigned through five New Jersey counties, including a stop in Red Bank, where it was reported, “There was an exceptionally big crowd at the Red Bank station when the train came in.  Many of the private houses were decorated with flags and bunting and the streets were filled with automobiles.”  In Monmouth, Taft also visited Matawan, Long Branch, and Asbury Park, then completed his long day in Atlantic City.  It is probable that the photo of Taft, seated on the stage, was taken in Red Bank, where the photographer lived.  The man with the long beard, who appears to be introducing Taft, is John Stilwell Applegate (1837-1916), a prominent Red Bank lawyer and banker who served as a state senator, 1882-1884, and was the Republican Party leader in Shrewsbury Township in the early 1900s.
Foxwell photo, courtesy Randall Gabrielan

“Charge Three with Bribery; Detective Says Jersey Leader Used Money at the Primaries,” New York Times, Oct. 3, 1906, p. 3. [Applegate’s son and two others charged with trying to influence voters.]

“40,000 Cheer the President,” New York Times, May 27, 1912, p. l.

“John Stilwell Applegate,” The New Jersey Coast in Three Centuries, Vol. II., NY & Chicago: Lewis, 1902, pp. 310-312.


George Martin’s Soho House, 74 Shrewsbury Avenue, Red Bank

With a bit of hyperbole, the Asbury Park Press (March 1, 1970) called the “Soho House” in Red Bank “one of the oldest and most interesting homes in the State.”  George Martin purchased the house in 1945 from Emily Peacock, who, with her sister and Mary Cornell, operated the Cornell-Peacock School there for many years.  The house was tastefully appointed with various art treasures, plants in the conservatory, Chinese antiques in the sitting room, an Asian themed guest room, a coal fired stove in the kitchen, and even a bronze Greek style sculpture in the dining room.  Outside, thousands of tulips bloomed each spring on the one acre property.  Shortly after his retirement in 1970, George Martin sold the property and moved to Georgia.  The Soho House was demolished to make room for the Red Bank Senior Citizens Center.
Margaret Field Collection, Monmouth County Archives

Jones, Kay. “George Martin’s ‘Soho House,’” Asbury Park Press, March 1, 1970.


Five postcards of Rumson and vicinity, ca. 1910.  Reproduced for the Borough of Rumson Centennial, 1907-2007

The aura of a by-gone era is evoked by these enlarged reproductions of postcards with applied color:  Hook and Ladder Truck, Rumson Fire Company; H& L Co. No. 1, Ready for Action, Oceanic; The Rumson Club; Rumson Post Office; and Rumson Road, Sea Bright.  The Rumson Club photo was taken by Andrew R. Coleman, who in 1912 became a staff photographer for the Red Bank Register.
Courtesy, George H. Moss, Jr.


America’s Cup Race: the Vigilant and the Valkyrie II off Sandy Hook, 1893

In an 1851 sailboat race off the coast of the Isle of Wight in England, the American schooner, America, bested the British boat, Aurora, and the British challenged the Americans to another race, which became known as “America’s Cup.”  In 1870, the next America’s Cup was won off Sandy Hook by the Magic and the race became “a perpetual challenge cup for friendly competition between nations.”  The winner of each Cup hosts the next competition four years later.  From 1870 to 1983, the race took place off the coast of either New York City (near Sandy Hook) or Newport, Rhode Island.  The winner of the 1893 America’s Cup was the American, Vigilant, designed by famed sailboat designer Nathanael Greene Herreshoff.  It defeated the Valkyrie II, designed by George Lennox Watson.
Courtesy, George Moss, Jr.

America’s Cup Match: http://www.americascup.com/en/acclopaedia/since1851/timeline.php
Moss, Jr., George H. Steamboat to the Shore: A Pictorial History of the Steamboat Era in Monmouth County, New Jersey. Sea Bright, N.J.: Ploughshare Press, 1966.

Sandy Hook Lighthouse.  Photograph, Before 1925

More than a decade before the Revolutionary War, the original Sandy Hook lighthouse was constructed, although the project had been suggested as early as 1679.  But it took several shipwrecks amounting to tens of thousands of dollars in damages in early 1761 to catalyze the building process.  Funding for the lighthouse was provided by two lotteries:   the first only raised enough to purchase the land from Esik and Richard Hartshorne; a second was authorized to fund the design and construction by Isaac Conro.

During the War of Independence, the lighthouse was a beacon for destruction by the colonists.  They feared it too desirable for the British to use for strategic advantage.  The colonists’ attempts to destroy it by cannon fire caused only nominal damage and the British maintained control of it for most of the war.  In 1857, the lighthouse benefited from major reconstruction, including brick lining to reinforce the walls and an iron spiral staircase to replace the wooden one.  The 1890’s brought the advent of Fort Hancock.  The military added very large concrete gun batteries to defend the entrance of New York Harbor.  These weapons later received upgrades to Nike missiles.  The Sandy Hook lighthouse became a National Historic Landmark on its bicentennial.  Ownership was given to the National Parks Service in 1996.  Today, it is the oldest operational lighthouse in the country.

The structure to the left in the photograph is the keeper’s house, which is now a museum.  The houses in the background are called Officers Row.  They are now leased by non-profit groups such as the Littoral Society and the History House.  To the right is a horse stable.
Courtesy, Elslayn Palmisano


The Mentor, July 1925, p. 29.


1. Bridge to Sea Bright from the Highlands.  Photographs by Charles R.D. Foxwell, ca. 1900, prints from lantern slides.  2.  $20,000 Bond, Navesink Bridge Co, 1873.  3.  Building Contract, Highland Bridge Company (two selected pages), May 6, 1878

Before 1872, a ferry took passengers across the Shrewsbury River between Highlands and Sea Bright.  In that year, a draw bridge was built by the Navesink Bridge Company, led by Edward and Benjamin Hartshorne.  The bridge was funded in part by a $20,000 bond, shown in this exhibit.  Interest was to be paid semi-annually beginning in December 1873.  Apparently, only one payment was made and in 1877, this bond became Exhibit No. 27 in Bryce Gray, Trustee for the bond holders, vs. Navesink Bridge Company in Chancery Court of New Jersey.  Other legal troubles for the company are documented an 1874  Civil Court case, Phillipsburg Manufacturing Co. vs. Navesink Bridge Co., for non-payment for bridge parts.  In 1875, a schooner hit the bridge and the draw bridge was stuck in the open position for three years.  After the Navesink Bridge Company was reorganized as the Highland Bridge Company, it was repaired and widened in 1878, at a cost of $4,900, according to the contract awarded to Eli A. Young of Elizabeth, New Jersey.   In 1892, the Central Railroad of New Jersey added a new bridge that crossed the old one, creating a unique crisscross bridge that is depicted in these photographs.   The railroad station and the shaded boarding area along the tracks can be seen on the left in the photographs.  The 1878 bridge was replaced in 1931-1932 by the Rt. 36 highway bridge to the right of the crisscross bridge, which was removed in the late 1940s when the railroad discontinued service along the shore to Long Branch.  The State of New Jersey is now planning a new bridge.
Photographs, courtesy Randall Gabrielan
Bond, courtesy John P. King
Building contract, Monmouth County Archives

King, John P.  The Highlands: A, B, C’s.  King, 1995.

King, John P.  Images of America. The Highlands.  Dover, NH: Arcadia, 1995.


Bird’s Eye View of Sea Bright, ca. 1895, Reprinted by Ploughshare Press

South of Sandy Hook, Sea Bright began as a shanty fishing village formerly named after a Sephardic Hebrew term, “Nauvoo,” which means “beautiful or pleasant place.”  Nauvoo was a settlement of wooden shacks housing men who made their living by salt water fishing in the 1840s.   In 1869, Mifflin Paul, a contractor for the Long Branch Sea Shore Railroad, purchased a strip of land from Sandy Hook to Long Branch from Dr. Arthur W. Conover of Freehold.  The area around Nauvoo was at that time known as Wardell Beach.  A recently completed railroad through the area gave Mifflin Paul and his associates entrepreneurial ideas for the barrier reef village.

Paul and other investors began what became Sea Bright by building homesteads for their families in the areas surrounding Nauvoo.  Paul’s octagon-shaped home later became the basis for the landmark Octagon Hotel.  But the development of the town was hampered by its isolation and lack of creature comforts: its only roads were sand and there was no electricity, gas, or running water.  Improvements came with the building of the first Sea Bright-Rumson Bridge in 1870, the first of four at this location before 1901.  As the development of the town progressed, the better the bridges became.

Severe storms in the early twentieth century caused several sprawling hotel complexes to be destroyed.  The few that were salvageable were moved either across Ocean Avenue or across the bridge to Rumson.  To protect the town, a jetty wall was installed that runs along Ocean Avenue.  The last of the great landmark hotels was the Peninsula house, destroyed by fire in 1986.  Although much of the beach is gone, there are many thriving businesses along Ocean Avenue today.
Courtesy, George H. Moss, Jr.

Methot, June.  Up and Down the Beach.  Navesink, NJ: Whip, 1988, pp. 89,110,142-144.

Moss, George H., Jr.  Another Look at Nauvoo to the Hook.  Sea Bright: Ploughshare Press, 1990, pp. 83-88.


“Beach House, Sea Girt,” from Woolman and Rose Atlas (1878)

The central structure of this large hotel is the former vacation home of the immensely wealthy Commodore Robert Field Stockton.  Stockton, who was born in 1796 at Morven in Princeton, was the grandson of Richard Stockton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.  After his retirement from the Navy, Commodore Stockton purchased a large seaside farm in 1853 and named it “Seagirt,” hence the name of the town today.  Although the land already included an inland farmhouse, Stockton added a mansion, 100 feet wide and 25 feet deep; he called it “Beach House,” as it was on the edge of the bluff overlooking the Atlantic, in a heavily wooded portion of his estate.  The first floor had 14-foot ceilings and was divided into three main rooms: a family sitting room in the center, about 25 feet square, and parlors on either side, each about 35 feet by 25 feet.  To withstand hurricanes, Stockton built his house like a fortress, with solid two-inch shutters fastened with heavy wrought-iron bolts and hooks, but his wife still worried that a great storm would arise during the night and refused to sleep there.

Stockton sold Seagirt in 1866, shortly before he died, and the new owners converted it into a hotel.  They added two wings and connected the three buildings with a 400 foot-long portico facing the ocean.  Around Beach House, which could accommodate 300 guests, twenty acres of land were preserved as Crescent Park, where summer visitors today can still seek shade during the hottest part of the day.

Writing in the New York Times in 1885, “E.A.D.” described a visit to Beach House: “. . . soon you are rolling through the winding carriageway of a well kept park where the air is fragrant with the scent of the pines.  These are the grounds of the Beach House, and here is the house, a low, broad roomy mansion with two huge wings.  The lawns . . . at the rear of it are kept in the highest state of culture, with surf boats filled with flowers stuck here and there by way of ornament, and a huge floral anchor dominating the whole scheme of embellishment. . . . The house is attractive enough in itself, with its broad piazzas and its cool, linen-draped parlors.  But go through the office to the front veranda.  What a sight meets your eyes!  As you recline in one of the easy chairs there is nothing in sight but the broad Atlantic.  .  .  . This piazza is fitted up to resemble the main deck of a ship.  Here is the wheel, there the windlasses; whaleboats hang on the davits.  The ship’s bells are still religiously sounded every half hour, as in the old Commodore’s day.”
Monmouth County Archives
“An Ideal Hot Weather Home; Many Attractions of the Beach House at Sea Girt,” New York Times, July 30, 1893, p. 2.

E.A.D.  “Along the Jersey Coast From Long Branch Down to Sea Girt,” New York Times, Aug. 21, 1885, p. 3.

Ellis, Franklin.  History of Monmouth County, New Jersey [1885].  Reprint: Cottonport, LA: Polyanthus, 1992, p. 804.

“Preparing for Summer: New Jersey’s Sea-Side Resorts,” New York Times, Apr. 29, 1878, p. 1.

Rose, Theodore F., H.C. Woolman, and T.T. Price.  Historical and Biographical Atlas of the Jersey Coast.  Philadelphia: Woolman & Rose, 1878, pp. 233-234.

“Stockton’s Old Mansion; the Historical House of the New-Jersey Coast.  New York Times, June 26, 1892, p. 16.

Venino, Richard O.  History of Sea Girt: Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration, 1917-1967.  Self-published, 1967.


From Alms House to Bungalows: Fan Promoting Shark River Hills, 1924

In 1913, the Shark River Hills Company purchased 728 acres from Monmouth County, which had used the land for the County Poor Farm since 1800.  The real estate investment firm sold off some of the property, including the Alms House where the indigents lived, to the city of Asbury Park for a golf course and used the funds for development.  Lots began to be sold in 1923 and roads, named after the company’s directors, were cut through.  To promote sales, company representatives handed out printed fans on the Asbury Park boardwalk that advertised free bus tours.  Some of the tours included a free lunch at the new Shark River Hills Country Club, now a Monmouth County golf course.  Sales were encouraged by the legend that, in 1699, Captain Kidd divided up his booty with his crew and buried his personal share of treasure in Shark River Hills.  Numerous lots were sold in the first two years and more than two hundred bungalows were constructed.  Today, Shark River Hills, an unincorporated area in Neptune Township, has a population of about 1,500 households and a population of about 4,000.
Fan, courtesy, Karen L. Schnitzspahn

Lewis, Evelyn Stryker.  Images of America; Neptune and Shark River Hills.  Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 1998.

Goodrich, Peggy.  History of Shark River Hills, 1923-1963: Forty Years of Progress.  Neptune: Neptune Township, 1963.


1. Ice Boats on the Shrewsbury River, ca. 1900 by Charles R.D. Foxwell (three prints from lantern slides).  2.  Three New York Times clippings re Foxwell and iceboating, 1900-1904.  3.  Exempt Fireman Certificate for Foxwell, 1913

Several of Charles R.D. Foxwell’s lantern slides depicted ice boats.  Foxwell operated a photography store in Red Bank and was active in the local camera club and iceboat racing, as documented by three articles in the New York Times.   On January 11, 1900, Foxwell’s yacht collided with that of Robert Vance and two of Foxwell’s friends were seriously injured.  One of them, Elwood Ivins, like Foxwell, became a charter member of the Relief Engine Company in 1906; after seven years, both qualified as “exempt firemen” in 1913.  Foxwell’s accident did not stop him from ice boating; his yacht, the Digby, is mentioned in the Times articles in 1902 and 1904.  Foxwell, who enjoyed sports, also competed at shooting clay pigeons and in 1912 was described as one of the best marksmen in New Jersey.
Foxwell photograph, courtesy Randall Gabrielan
Fireman certificate, Monmouth County Archives

New York Times, “Iceboats in Collision,” January 12, 1900, p. 1

New York Times, “Shrewsbury Ice Yachts Race,” February 7, 1902, p. 10.

New York Times, “Hazel L. Won Ice Yacht Pennant,” February 14, 1904, p. 15.

New York Times, “[Albert D.] Ivins Wins Gold Trophy [shooting clay birds],” August 25, 1912.  [Foxwell placed seventh of ten contestants for the John Frank James gold and diamond trophy.]

New York Times, “[A.L. Ivins Leads Red Bank Gunners,” June 16, 1912, p. C6.  [Foxwell mentioned as one of the best shots in the State.]


1. Unidentified  man ice skating, ca. 1900, Shrewsbury River?  Photo by Charles R.D. Foxwell.  2. “Rudd’s Two-Mile Skating Record,” New York Times, Jan. 26, 1895

Speed skating is believed to have originated in the Netherlands as early as the 13th century.  Ice skating races were held in Red Bank on Jan. 28, 1895, by the North Shrewsbury River Ice Yacht Club.  There were a large number of spectators who came to watch this event and they weren’t disappointed as Olaf Rudd set a new three lap record at 5:42 and 3/5 seconds for two miles.
Foxwell photo, courtesy of Randall Gabrielan

“Speed Skating,” http://Britannica.com/eb/article-9069047/speed-skating  pp. 1-2.

“Rudd’s Two-Mile Skating Record,” New York Times, Jan. 26, 1895, p. 3.

“Johnson’s New Record,” New York Times, Jan. 29, 1895, p. 6.


Photos of Celia Brown’s Workforce, 1936-1937,
and Celia Brown’s Menu, n.d., South Belmar (Lake Como)

One of the first ‘fast-food’ restaurants in America started at the Jersey Shore: Celia Brown’s in South Belmar, which was renamed Lake Como in 2004.  People from all around the Shore would come to Celia Brown’s on Main Street for delicious 15-cent hamburgers and mouth-watering ice cream sodas.  Open by 1935, Celia Brown’s was similar to malt shop drive-ins that became popular in the 1950s.  The customers would stay in their automobiles and a ‘carhop,’ such as Raymond Davis, who collected the photos on display, would take care of them.  The carhop would take the order and serve the food on a special serving dish attached to the rolled-down window of the car.  The original owners, Mr. and Mrs. Condé McGinley, came from the Midwest to start this popular Jersey Shore business; Celia Brown was Mrs. McGinley’s maiden name.  In the 1940’s, it was called Huhn’s before closing not long after World War II.  The site became the location of radio station WRAT.
Courtesy, Karen L. Schnitzspahn

Schnitzspahn, Karen L. “Shore restaurant pioneered carhops.” Asbury Park Press, August 4, 1997.

E-mail, Karen L. Schnitzspahn to Gary D. Saretzky, September 20, 2007.


1. Lake House hotel, Spring Lake, from Woolman & Rose Atlas (1878). 2.  Public Comfort Building, Centennial Exposition, Philadelphia, from Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Historical Ledger of the Centennial Exposition, 1876.

The Lake House hotel, 1877-1904, was built at the head of Spring Lake, now the site of Potter Park.  It was formerly the Public Comfort Building at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia where it provided lavatories, coat and baggage storage, the “American Lunch Counter,” and other facilities for visitors.  In December 1876, it was sold and, as can be seen by comparing the copies of the two woodcuts in the exhibit, was extensively modified when rebuilt in Spring Lake by Smith & Hughes.  Two of the three wings in the Public Comfort Building were joined and the third made into a bowling alley in a separate building.  The Lake House, which opened in June 1877, had 92 guest rooms and large dining parlors on the first and second floors.  To appeal to families, it had no bar.  In addition to the Public Comfort Building, three other Exposition buildings were sent to Spring Lake, as well as lumber from other exhibits.
Centennial Exposition image, courtesy Jeffery Howe
Woolman & Rose, Monmouth County Archives

Colrick, Patricia Florio.  Spring Lake.  Images of America.  Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 1998, p.18.

Memorial of the International Exhibition at Philadelphia.  Philadelphia: Thos. Hunter, 1876. Scan of woodcut reproduction, courtesy, Jeffery Howe.

Rose, Theodore F., H.C. Woolman, and T.T. Price.  Historical and Biographical Atlas of the Jersey Coast.  Philadelphia: Woolman & Rose, 1878.

Salvini, Emil R.  Boardwalk Memories: Tales of the Jersey Shore.  Guildford, CT: Insider’s Guide, 2006, p.68.

Wrege, Charles D.  Spring Lake: An Early History.  Spring Lake, NJ: Bicentennial History Committee, 1992.


Zeppelin over The Monmouth hotel, and view of boardwalk,
Spring Lake Beach, published 1936

The photomontage of a German airship over the Jersey Shore dates to the short era of trans-Atlantic passenger travel by hydrogen-filled Zeppelins that ended with the explosion of the Hindenburg at Lakehurst in 1937.   Elsewhere in the promotional Monmouth Pictorial, Spring and Summer 1936, the source for this picture, it is stated, “With Europe now within two and one half days time from the United States, Spring Lake Beach is the ideal spot for Zeppelin passengers coming to and fro.  Its proximity to both New York and Philadelphia makes it incomparable as a week-end haven.  Here they are offered the luxuriousness and comfort of the finest of resort hostelries—the Monmouth at Spring Lake Beach, New Jersey.”
Monmouth County Archives


“Union House, Squan, N.J.,” from Woolman & Rose Atlas, 1878

The Union House, built after the Civil War, was located at Union Landing in what is now Brielle, on the Manasquan River at the foot of Union Lane.  It was a popular destination for visitors, including, in May 1888, novelist Robert Louis Stevenson, already famous for writing Treasure Island (1883), The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886); and Kidnapped (1886).  During his sojourn, Stevenson sailed a cat boat up the river to Osborn Island (now Nienstedt Island), where he and his friend, the painter Will Low, carved “Treasure Island” and their initials on a bulkhead.  The hotel’s owner, Adelaide V. Wainwright, kept a portrait of Stevenson in the room where he stayed.  She also preserved a handwritten verse Stevenson wrote about her young daughter’s piano practice sessions.  When the hotel burned in 1914, the New York Times erroneously reported that Stevenson had written much of his novel Treasure Island there.
Monmouth County Archives

“Baby Gives Alarm of Fire; Hotel in Brielle, N.J. in Which Stevenson Wrote Burns,” New York Times, Feb. 16, 1914, p. 1.

Belding, John, “History of Brielle,” http://www.brielle.com, last accessed Aug. 20, 2007.

“Jersey Resort Rich in Memories of Robert Louis Stevenson,” New York Times, July 27, 1913, p. X3.

“Mrs. A.V. Wainwright.  Owner of New Jersey Hotel Where Robert Louis Stevenson Stayed,” New York Times, Feb. 3, 1936, p. 17.

Rose, Theodore F., H.C. Woolman, and T.T. Price.  Historical and Biographical Atlas of the Jersey Coast.  Philadelphia: Woolman & Rose, 1878.


Navesink Light Station and Marconi’s Antenna Tower, Twin Lights;
postcard and two photographs, ca. 1910-1930

Three early views of the Navesink Light Station (Twin Lights lighthouse) show the antenna next to the north tower built for Guglielmo Marconi in 1899.  Twin Lights was originally constructed in 1828 with two towers so that mariners could distinguish them from the lighthouse at Sandy Hook.  The first Fresnel lenses used in the United States were installed in 1841, 246 feet above sea level.   In 1862, the twin lighthouses were replaced by brownstone towers, which remain standing today.  One is rectangular, the other octagonal, connected by a keeper’s residence and storage facility that is now a museum operated by The State of New Jersey, which acquired the property in 1962 and created the Twin Lights State Historic Site.

In 1899, James Bennett, Jr., publisher of the New York Herald, invited Gugliemo Marconi to the United States to demonstrate wireless telegraphy.  Bennett had the antenna built so that he could get the scoop on the America’s Cup sailboat race held that year.  On September 30, Marconi used his system to announce the approach of Commodore Dewey’s fleet, which delayed the race for a few days.  On October 16, the Columbia and the Shamrock began racing and Marconi sent the news from a boat to the antenna, where it was relayed both to Manhattan and to a cable ship, the Mackay Bennett, moored over the transatlantic cable so that transmissions could be sent to London and Paris.  (J.P. Morgan’s Columbia was victorious.)  The experiment was a success and the Twin Lights telegraphy station continued in commercial use until 1907.  Marconi won the Nobel Prize in Physics for his invention.
Photographs, courtesy Twin Light Historical Society

Ellis, Franklin. History of Monmouth County, New Jersey (1885), pp. 537-538.

Gabrielan, Randall, “Twin Lights,” Encyclopedia of New Jersey, pp. 819-820.

“The Gugliemo Marconi Story,” http://www.monmouth.com/~histmarc.htm

E-mail, Margaret Carlsen, Twin Lights State Historic Site, to Gary Saretzky, July 28, 2007.


Sunrise, Flat Creek, Union Beach, 1994, Color Photograph by Chuck Steiner

This photograph was taken early in the morning on the Union Avenue bridge just north of Brook Avenue, looking out toward Raritan Bay.  Union Beach was constituted as a borough by the New Jersey State Legislature in 1925, as a result of a referendum.  It was formerly part of Raritan Township (now Hazlet).
Courtesy, Chuck Steiner


1.  Scenes of Steamboats at the Jersey Shore, Photo by Charles R.D. Foxwell.
2. “Fastest Trip through the Sound,” New York Times, Oct. 9, 1894

To get so many steamboats in one picture created in about 1900, the photographer Foxwell combined two different negatives, one for the Columbia in the foreground and another for the City of Lowell and other boats in the background.  The Columbia, a steamboat well known for its hospitality, was a very popular vessel in the early 1900’s.  It usually made the “outside run” between Long Branch and New York.  The average fare for a round trip to the Jersey Shore from New York cost about $1.00.  Steamboat dinners were $1.50.  In 1894, the City of Lowell set a record from New York to New London, Connecticut, a distance of 122 miles, in 5 hours and 34 minutes.
Foxwell photo, courtesy Randall Gabrielan

Moss Jr., George H., Jr.  Steamboat to the Shore.  Sea Bright, NJ: Ploughshare Press, 1966, p. 94-96.

“Fastest Trip through the Sound,” New York Times,  Oct. 9, 1894.


Selected Turkish Trophy “Hamilton King” Bathing Beauty Cards, 1902.
Enlarged facsimiles, Nos. 26, 29, 31, 34, 36

By 1875, to entice buyers, tobacco companies packaged photographic or lithographic pictures mounted on small cards of actresses, sports figures, Indian chiefs, and other themes appealing to males.  Just before 1900, postcards became popular due to changes in the postal regulations that allowed picture postcards to be used for mail.  At about the same time, expensive all-Turkish tobacco cigarettes became a stylish fad.  In 1902, Turkish Trophies Cigarettes began to be sold with coupons which could be redeemed for 86 different postcard-sized pictures of idealized females, issued in five series by S. Anargyros.  Most were designed by illustrator Hamilton King (1871-1952), who specialized in pictures of beautiful women for magazine covers and advertising.  Numbers 25 to 36 in the Turkish Trophy Series were bathing girls by King, each named for an East Coast locale, from Maine to New Jersey, including Atlantic City (26), Asbury Park (29), Cape May (31), Ocean Grove (34), and Long Branch (36).  Although King did not design all the Turkish Trophy cards, collectively they are known as “Hamilton King Cards.”
Courtesy, Elsalyn Palmisano

Hamilton King (1871-1952).  http://www.americanartarchives.com/kking,h.htm Last accessed, June 15, 2007.

Nuhn, Roy.  “Bathing beauties frolicked on early picture postcards,” AntiqueWeek, March 18, 1991, 2, 4.

Turkish Trophies – Hamilton King Girls – Premium Cigarette Cards.  http://www.the-forum.com/ephemera/hamking.htm  Last accessed June 15, 2007.

The Turkish Trophies Premium Girls, 1902-1906.  http://www.wclynx.com/burntofferings/adsturkishtrophies.html Last accessed, June 15, 2007.


Dorn’s Classic Images: Photographs from the Jersey Shore

1. Asbury Park Boardwalk, 1985. Dorn’s Staff Photographer.  Dorn’s #1308.

2. Shrewsbury Company Drill Team Senatorial Lodge, Bergen Place, Red Bank, 1920.  Dorn’s #2223.

3. Sandy Hook Lifesaving Station, early 1900s.  Dorn’s #3351

4. South Shrewsbury Ice Boat and Yacht Club on Port Au Peck, Oceanport, 1910.  Dorn’s #3599.

5. Rumson Field Club Giants Baseball Team at Rumson Field, Rumson, 1936.  Dorn’s #3600.

6. Fisherman with Bass at Bahr’s Landing, Highlands, 1949.  Dorn’s Staff Photographer.  Dorn’s #1574.

7. Jersey Girl and Jersey Duck Strutting on Bradley Beach Boardwalk, 1950.  Dorn’s Staff Photographer, #3392.

8. Soap Box Derby Finish Line, Harding Road, Red Bank, 1965.  Dorn’s Staff Photographer. #2653.

9. Pound Boats on Sea Bright Beach, n.d.  Dorn’s #1702.

Photographs, courtesy, Kathy Dorn Severini, Dorn’s Classic Images, Fair Haven, NJ 732-747-9350

“Ghosts of the North Atlantic”: Long Branch, Asbury Park, and Red Bank at the End of the Twentieth Century. Photographs by Dr. Walter Greason.  Captions © 2007 by Dr. Walter Greason, Ursinus College, Department of History, 25 July 2007
Long Branch was the summer destination for the wealthy and the powerful in the late 19th century.  Fancy cars, fast women, and risky wagers all drew the American elite to the Jersey shore between 1870 and 1890.  Monmouth County retained its overall reputation as an idyllic location for the successful and prosperous over the years.  Long Branch, however, lost much of its luster in the second half of the twentieth century.

1. Broadway, Long Branch, facing north.
This photograph of abandoned storefronts, only a few steps from the beach, reflected the struggles of a resort that was the model for the rest of the state long before Wildwood or Ocean City.  The absence of foot traffic adds to the eerie feeling of loss as does the overcast sky.  The liquor store and the pawn shop reflect the desperate financial straits of many small resort towns in an era dominated by long-distance travel made possible by highways and airplanes.  Some scholars have compared the decline of towns like Long Branch to the deindustrialization of larger urban centers throughout the northern United States.  However, the service nature of the economies in New Jersey’s resorts and the absence of widespread light or heavy manufacturing complicate these comparisons.

2. Bangs Avenue, Asbury Park, facing south.
This three-floor dwelling was located less than two blocks from the Bangs Avenue Elementary School – one of the sites where the racial segregation of New Jersey education was contested between 1920 and 1950.  While the national Civil Rights Movement transformed the racial politics of the United States between 1948 and 1968, the abandonment of integrating communities in the North accelerated during these years.  The resulting de facto segregation and the subtle discrimination in the real estate market assured the demise of large and attractive homes like this one, located on the “west side” of Asbury Park.

3. Playground, Long Branch, facing east.
The suburban playground became one of the major images used to draw families to the comforts of the metropolitan fringes after World War II.  This photo in Long Branch reveals a different sense of childhood play.  Garbage, broken toys, and shards of glass pose more danger than recreation, yet the space stands available to the households across the street.  Empty tree branches add some sense of foreboding and warning about the failed promises stretching beneath them.

4. Boardwalk, Long Branch, facing north.
The resorts tried to maintain their appeal during the second half of the twentieth century.  This photo reveals two phases of the strategies to maintain the relevance of Monmouth County’s resorts.  In the foreground, arcades and pizza stands reflected attempts between 1960 and 1980 to keep the children of new suburbanites visiting the local beaches and venues.  Emerging in the background is the future of the shore – a convention hotel to host major events ranging from trade shows to local graduations and prom nights.

5. St. Stephen A.M.E. Zion Church, Asbury Park.
The tradition and legacy of the A.M.E. Zion church reaches back to the foundations of the United States itself.  As the young republic attempted to assert itself as a viable entity, free African American communities emerged throughout the New England and Mid-Atlantic states.  The largest black communities were located in Philadelphia and New York, but as African Americans gradually attained their freedom during the first half of the nineteenth century, Monmouth County’s free black communities also grew.

With national emancipation in 1865, smaller streams of African American migrants moved north to New Jersey from Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia.  Some of these traveling workers settled in resort towns like Asbury Park and started churches like St. Stephen A.M.E. Zion (1878).  Throughout the twentieth century, the black church established itself as the foundation for black political and economic activity to end legal segregation in New Jersey.

6. South Bridge Avenue, facing west, Red Bank.  Private photographs.
Red Bank was arguably the most prosperous of the African American communities in Monmouth County during the first half of the twentieth century.  The presence of historic figures (T. Thomas Fortune) and famous entertainers (William “Count” Basie) added to the image of the town.  The collapse of black prosperity in the decades that followed legal integration was particularly troubling in the resort communities.  As a new black middle class expanded in the western parts of the county, the historic center of black achievement faced crises of unemployment, high crime, poor health, and educational underachievement.  The foreclosure of homes was just one dimension of this transformation.

7. Count Basie Learning Center, intersection of South Bridge Avenue and Drs. James Parker Boulevard, Red Bank.
Efforts to revitalize and improve the racially segregated parts of the resort towns failed through the last three decades of the twentieth century.  The power of public memory, however, preserved some sense of the legacy of local excellence.  The Basie Learning Center expanded the tradition of the “Westside YMCA” (a segregated Young Men’s Christian Association branch for African Americans and, initially, Italian immigrants) to support and develop the academic, spiritual, and musical talents of Red Bank residents.

8. Pulpit, Calvary Baptist Church, Red Bank.
Calvary Baptist Church was the second large congregation to coalesce in Red Bank at the end of the nineteenth century, following Shrewsbury Avenue A.M.E. Zion.  Building steadily in response to the increasing number of southern black migrants settling in the area, Calvary Baptist was a model of institutional development over the last century.  This photo shows the choir loft behind the pulpit, but does not reveal the baptismal basin built into the floor of the pulpit.  Clearing the chairs and bringing the white-robed converts into the pool was a moving sight to many witnesses on the second Sunday of each month.