By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @blogfinger.net
Ocean Grove is a historic town on the State and National Registers. Our town government and our town organizations, especially including the Home Owners Association, are supposed to be committed to maintaining that historic perspective as Ocean Grove moves forward in time, now into the 21st century.
But these town entities don’t often place our master plan on top of their priority list. This quote is from the Neptune Twp. Master Plan, Historic Element: “The MLUL (Municipal Land Use Law) responds to a generally held belief that those sections of a municipality that still bear the visual imprint of the past should be preserved.”
Among the “goals and objectives” of this document we find “#1 To preserve and protect Neptune Township’s designated historic sites and structures.”
Most recently they made a decision to use diagonal parking to narrow our beautiful boulevard, Main Avenue, right where it enters town and greets visitors. On Blogfinger we assailed that plan, partly because it will turn our lovely entrance way into a congested eyesore.
But more than the ugliness, this decision goes against history.
In an article written early in the 20th century, the story of President Grant’s visits to Ocean Grove was recounted. You can read it at Justin Truth’s web site. http://thebookofhistoricalsecrets.blogspot.com
Here is a quote from that piece, and please take notice of the part in italics:
“The matchless soldier and the nation’s chief was also a dutiful son and brother, and during the time that his mother and sister occupied a cottage near Wesley Lake he came at frequent intervals to visit them. These trips from Long Branch were made by carriage, and the President’s favorite pair of horses came in time to be as quickly recognized as the man himself.
“It is not surprising, perhaps, that Main Avenue, so wide and straight and smooth, offered to a genuine horse- lover almost irresistible temptation to speeding; but the big and commanding chief of police, who still holds the same position at Ocean Grove, testifies that on certain occasions when it became necessary for him to lift his hand as a warning signal the President always and instantly complied, reining in his spirited bays to a decorous trot.”
So, the President of the United States enjoyed his carriage rides as he rode into our town via that welcoming “wide, straight and smooth” west part of Main Avenue. What would he think today if he knew that the Township was about to choke that stretch with diagonal parking. He probably would change his route onto Broadway.
Contact the Neptune Committee and ask them not to degrade the historic entrance to the Grove.
BEVERLY KENNEY from “Oklahoma.”