Allenhurst Municipal Records

RECORD GROUP: Municipalities
RECORD SERIES #: 8600.23
SERIES: Allenhurst
DATES: 1898- 2006
VOLUME: 39 volumes

Allenhurst image

ABSTRACT
Historical records from this township were placed on deposit in 2019 at the Monmouth County Archives and Records Center, pursuant to a municipal resolution and a depository agreement which provides that Allenhurst retains ownership of the records and that the Monmouth County Archives can provide public access to them as part of its Municipal Records – Monmouth Archives Records Center (MR-MARC) program.
HISTORY
The following historical narrative about Allenhurst was prepared by Mayor Joseph M. Coyne, for the book, Town by Town: Impressions of Monmouth County (Freehold: Office of the Monmouth County Clerk, 2002):

Among the earliest settlers (1660’s) in Monmouth County were the Parkers, the Slocums, and the Wardells. In the 1700’s the Parkers settled in Eatontown.  Deborah Parker married Benjamin Corlies, and their grandchildren were Benjamin White and Abner Allen.  In the 1830’s, Abner Allen downed trees adjacent to the northeast side of Deal Lake to create a farm.  The Allens operated a successful boarding house that was originally the farmhouse.  There was also the Spier Family who had a large piece of land adjacent to the Allen Farm.  By the end of the 19th century, there were a number of businesses including restaurants, a blacksmith shop, livery stable, flower shop, greenhouses, grocery stores, a large boarding house, as real estate agency.

Mr. E.P. Benjamin and James M. Ralson, owners of Coast Land Company, conceived the idea of purchasing the Allen Farm and developing it into a summer residential community. In 1895, the Farm was taken over by the Coast Land Improvement Company and laid out in lots and streets.  Stylish homes (cottages) and lavish hotels were swiftly erected in the mid 1890’s.  The Borough soon became the summer resort of some of the most famous and influential figures of the 19th and 20th centuries.  On August 12th, 1895, Allenhurst received its name, and on April 26, 1897, it was incorporated as a Borough, operating under a Council form of government.

By the turn of the century, Judge Spier sold his tract of land, and several Spanish Mission/Italian Renaissance homes were added to the beachfront development. An enameled brick train station, an artesian water works, sewer mains, a stylish nautical beach club (with saltwater pool), a non-commercial boardwalk, a centrally located pharmacy/ice cream parlor, a quaint commercial district with filling station, village shops, a bank, and trolley car barn added convenience to an unparalleled evolution.  A Post Office was also established, with the Mayor Edwin P. Benjamin as Post Master.  There were no mail deliveries; all residents called at the Post Office for their mail.  Carrier mail service did not begin until 1922.

During the years 1913 and 1914, questions were being raised about the Council form of government in the Borough. In 1915, there was a proposal to change to the Commission form. A special election on this proposal was held on January 4, 1916 with 116 votes cast.  The Commission form was adopted by a vote of 62 in favor and 52 against.

A Police Department and volunteer borough-operated Fire Department were established in 1898. Tilton’s Dairy furnished their horses from the milk wagons for the fire truck when there was an alarm.  The present-day volunteer fire department will celebrate its Centennial in 2001.  In October of 1904, the Borough purchased two lots on Hume Street on which to erect a firehouse and borough hall.  The building was constructed at a cost of $5,150.00.  In August of 1942, Borough Hall was moved from the firehouse on Hume Street to its present location at the corner of Norwood and Corlies Avenues.  Grinelle & Schanck Ice Cream Parlor and the Allenhurst Pharmacy formerly occupied this building.

By the 1950’s all of the early hotels were lost to fire or demolition. The vast majority of larger homes and hotel bungalows of Allenhurst’s golden development remain to this day.

Allenhurst is singularly fortunate in having retained many of its original 19th century structures.  Of the 350 total buildings/structures in the Borough, 300 meet Landmark (pre-date 1941) criteria and of these 300, 170 meet Historic Landmark (pre-1905) criteria.  The streetscape, which exists today in the district, features a typical mix of 19th century domestic architecture and large, street-side shade trees.  Greek revival, Queen Anne, Italiante, Victorian Eclectic, Vernacular Variations, Colonial Revival, Spanish Mission/Italian Renaissance, Bungalow, English Tudor, and other 19th century architectural styles are all represented within the district.  These resources are meaningful and tangible links with the Borough’s past.  Through a recently enacted architectural preservation ordinance, the entire Borough of Allenhurst has been designated an Architectural Preservation District.  This action was undertaken to preserve the unique architecture of the community and insure their continuation for the benefit of future generations.

SCOPE & CONTENT
This record group contains township books of Commissioner Meeting Minutes and Ordinances. Please note, in Box 6, the volume that contains minutes from January 1909 to May 1915 overlaps with the volume of minutes from January 1915 to August 1920.
ACCESS RESTRICTIONS
These records are open to the public without restriction.
USE
Researchers may view these records in the Archives.
REPOSITORY
Monmouth County Archives
125 Symmes Drive
Manalapan NJ 07726
(732) 308-3771
ACQUISITION INFORMATION
Allenhurst Township deposited 7 boxes of township records with County Archives on April 5, 2019. The township retains ownership of the records.
PROCESSING INFORMATION
This finding aid was created by Gregg Gaal on April 15, 2019. History transcribed by Shelagh Reilly.