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Archive for the ‘Historical Society of Ocean Grove’ Category

By Kathy Arlt, contributing writer @ Blogfinger    (Re-posted from its original date of June, 2011.   Play it again, Sam.  And that’s a fine kettle of fish.)

Victorians were big believers in the curative effects of fresh air and ocean bathing, but a day at the beach was a lot different for them than it is for us. For one thing, there were those bathing suits…made out of wool—WOOL!—and covering the body from head to toe. Just imagine hitting the beach on a 90-degree day in one of these suits. Maybe that’s why no one in this group looks too happy:

Or maybe they’re wondering how many other people may have worn the suit that’s now covering their body, because it was common in the 1870’s to rent bathing suits.

And what did the Victorians do when they got to the beach in their rented woolen bathing suits? Well, they didn’t swim—very few people knew how to swim back then, even if they could maneuver through the ocean currents in a woolen bathing suit—and they certainly didn’t surf. They clung to ropes in order to obtain the ocean’s benefits, as this illustration shows:  (from Woolman and Rose,  “Atlas of the Jersey Coast 1878,”  Ross Bathing Houses,  Joseph Ross, proprietor, Ocean Grove, NJ)

From the show DAMES AT SEA:

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Wayne (“Ted”) Bell (left), Cindy Bell, and Darrell Dufresne.   Blogfinger photo.   July 2011. ©

 

By Paul Goldfinger   re-post:

 

A delicate balance was precariously achieved today at History Day during a presentation sponsored by the Historical Society of Ocean Grove about the Great Auditorium.  The three authors of a soon-to-be published book about that extraordinary building discussed a variety of fascinating facts that are not widely known about the GA, but they didn’t want to reveal too much; after all, they need to retain some secrets in order to tantalize those who would buy the book, perhaps in September.  The tentative title of the long-awaited book—3 years in the preparation— is “The Great Auditorium:  Ocean Grove’s Architectural Treasure.”

Cindy Bell, Darrell Dufresne and Wayne (“Ted”) Bell offered a lecture-slide show in the Community Room, and then Mr. Bell took the group over to the Great Auditorium to check out some of the structural and engineering features that are so interesting and mysterious.

Cindy told us about the fund raising efforts by Rev. Stokes and his associates that went right to the wire as far as paying off the building in time.  No deficit spending for those 19th century Methodists. Darrell talked about strange features like the huge wooden pipes underground and the primitive and nonfunctional air conditioning system  found under the floor. He shared the secret of how the ceiling light bulbs are changed and he discussed how that massive roof is supported.

 

Ted Bell conducts a walking tour in the Great Auditorium. Photo by Eileen Goldfinger

During Ted’s GA tour, he was able to point out some fascinating facts about the installation of that huge Hope Jones organ  (the 3rd largest organ in the northeast after Atlantic City and West Point.)  One fact that leaked out has to do with the false impression that the GA is made totally of wood. The truth is that there is a steel framework that maintains the strength and rigidity of the building.

 

Steel buttresses and posts reinforce the GA to help support the roof. The pipes carry water in case of fire.    P Goldfinger photo.

We all hope that Ted and his colleagues complete the book before the CMA decides to build a bigger tabernacle.

Editor’s Note, 2014:  The Great Auditorium book  by Bell, Bell and Dufresne was published in 2012  and can be purchased at the Historical Society of Ocean Grove and on Amazon.com.  It is wonderful.

And Ted, Mr. Tambourine Man, thanks for playing a song for all of us in the Grove—PG

 

BOB DYLAN

 

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Centennial Cottage

Centennial Cottage “abuzz with ladders” by Jean Bredin, Blogfinger staff. June 3, 2015. ©  Be careful Patrick—the bucket’s got a hole in it.

 

Centennial Cottage is maintained as a historical museum by the Historical Society of Ocean Grove. It is at Central Avenue and McClintock Street. Tours are given in-season; just contact the HSOG.

The cottage was built in 1874 and is of the “carpenter’s gothic style.”  It was donated to the OGCMA by the Robert Skold family.

A Victorian garden adjoins the cottage.

 

Credit:  All the information above is courtesy of Wayne T. Bell of Ocean Grove.  He is the author of Images of America: Ocean Grove, published in 2000.

 

PRESERVATION HALL JAZZ BAND (New Orleans)

 

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DH Flyer 2015 TIFF

 

 

MOUND CITY BLUE BLOWERS   (1935-1936)

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Historical Society of Ocean Grove museum. Pitman Avenue next door to Days. © Blogfinger .net photo

Historical Society of Ocean Grove museum. Pitman Avenue next door to Days. © Blogfinger .net photo

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

Every year the Historical Society of Ocean Grove offers two very popular antiques auctions: Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend. These auctions permit consigned items to be sold, and the auctioneer at these HSOG events was to be an experienced member of the HSOG Board who was also selling his own consigned items. There is no inherent problem with either of these policies.

The May 23 event at the Youth Temple seemed to go well until an email complaint surfaced on Facebook two days later, alleging that the auctioneer was “playing favorites with  one individual in the audience all night long” giving the impression that the pair might have been trying to influence some outcomes of the bidding.

The complainant not only cited “wrong” behavior,  but speculated that “money might have been passed under the table.” She also blamed the HSOG for not noticing the “wrong way the auction was conducted.”   She said, “HSOG, you need to look at yourselves and clean up your act.”

The e-mail complaint did not allege “illegal” activities, but there is a law against “buy-back bidding” where a “shill” in the audience tries to drive up the price on certain items to help the seller of consigned goods.

According to Darrell Dufresne, a member of the HSOG Board, the group was horrified when the allegations appeared, especially after others made similar complaints to the Board.  They immediately launched an investigation and they tried to hire a second professional auctioneer for September 4, but that was not possible.

Dufresne said that they found “no clear evidence” of illegal or unethical activity, but even the appearance of such could damage the reputation of the organization. When asked his opinion if something illegal had occurred, he said, “I don’t know.”

Meanwhile, rumors and speculation about the cancellation continued.  In order to avoid an inevitable cloud over the Labor Day auction, the group decided to cancel the Sept. 4 event, review their rules regarding future HSOG auctions, and “look forward to a successful auction in the Spring .”  One change will be that the next auctioneer will be an “independent professional.”

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Blogfinger file photo ©

Blogfinger file photo ©

 

Dear Paul:

 

On Monday, September 22nd, the Historical Society of Ocean Grove held their annual meeting at Francis Asbury Manor. At the meeting the election of officers was held. The following members were elected unanimously:

President: Liz Ogden

1st Vice President: Phil May

2nd Vice President: Sam Olshan

Treasurer: Linda Dousis

Assistant Treasurer: Jean Buckley

Recording Secretary: Kim Brithingham

Corresponding Secretary: Gayle Aanensen

 

I would like to thank the current executive board for all the time and effort they have put in during my term of office.

 

Sincerely,

Gail D. Shaffer

HSOG President, 2010-2014

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Congratulations to the old and new officers.  You know the guy who has been hanging around  in the back of the museum, John Phillip Sousa, well his ghost lives over there at the HSOG.  And he wants to celebrate your election with a selection from his bag of marches. We got an email from him today about this. It’s “The Thunderer.”

The March King. John Phillip Sousa. (ps don't tap your toes during his music--he hates when that happens!)

The March King. John Phillip Sousa. (ps don’t tap your toes during his music–he hates when that happens!)

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Ocean Grove, NJ.  Paul Goldfinger   ©

Ocean Grove, NJ. Paul Goldfinger ©  *

HSOG press release:   “The Historical Society of Ocean Grove is sponsoring a Tent Colony Tour on Tuesday, July 30th from 11-3, rain or shine. Tickets are $20 to visit ten tents. Participants will choose ten tents from a list of participating tents.

“Ocean Grove was founded in 1869 as a religious camp meeting ground where people brought tents and furniture for a vacation. At one time over 700 tent and tent cottages were on the grounds of the Camp Meeting. Today only 114 tents remain. They are cherished by the individual tenters. The tents are rented from the Camp Meeting and occupied from May 15 to September 15. Each tent is decorated and furnished by the tenters so all tents are different

“Proceeds from the tour will go to the Sandy Together Fund. Tickets may be purchased at the Historical Society’s Museum at 50 Pitman Avenue in advance or on the day of the tour. Call (732)774-1869 for more information.”

* Paul Goldfinger’s signed folding photocards of Ocean Grove have a metallic finish and come with a matching envelope. They are sold exclusively at Smuggler’s Cove.  Ask for Richie who, he will tell you himself, was once a Barbary Pirate.  All photographs from the Blogfinger Photo Department are available as enlargements for framing.  Just email Blogfinger @verizon.net.

THE BEATLES .   Don’t you think this tent street should be called “Penny Lane?”

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By Kathy Arlt, Contributing Writer   @Blogfinger

Want to spend your summer in an Ocean Grove tent? Well, sorry to disappoint you, but unless you spent last summer in an Ocean Grove tent, you probably won’t be in one this summer. The 114 tents that remain on the two Camp Meeting tent grounds by the Great Auditorium have long waiting lists of people hoping for the chance to become an Ocean Grove tenter.

Ah, but if only you could travel back in time to 1887, you would have had a much better chance. There were more than 400 Camp Meeting tents then—in twice as many campgrounds—not to mention several hundred tents put up by outside contractors on many Ocean Grove lots. Here are two Ocean Grove Record advertisements for commercial tent rental companies:

But you’d need more than just a tent to get through your summer. How about a bed to put inside the tent? And a chair or two, and maybe a table, and somewhere to wash up? With all the hotel dining rooms and cafeterias in town, you might not need a kitchen, but what if you wanted one of those, too?

In that case, a Camp Meeting Association tent was what you’d go for, because you could rent not just a tent, but almost every other accouterment you’d need or want. Here’s an 1878 CMA price list:

Portable kitchens were introduced in 1877, and came in two sizes: 7×8 feet at a rental price of $7.00 for the season, or 8×10 feet at a rental price of $10.00 for the season. The first season kitchens were offered demand was so great the CMA ran out of them. But the 1878 price list declared that “enough kitchens have now been provided” to make one available for every tenter that desired one.

Other factors also influenced tent prices. There was a $5.00 surcharge for tents in the front circle at the Great Auditorium, and a $3.00 surcharge for tents on Pilgrim or Lake Pathways. A series of discounts were applied if the tent was rented for longer than six weeks, eight weeks, ten weeks, or for the whole twelve-week season. In some years, tent rental prices during Camp Meeting Weeks were increased. In fact, during the earliest years of Ocean Grove’s history, charts listing all the surcharges and discounts that applied to tent rentals were so complicated you’d need a calculator to figure them out.

But of course the calculator hadn’t been invented yet….

Next time: Pictures—I promise—of tents on the north and south ends of town

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By Kathy Arlt, contributing writer  @Blogfinger

Captain W.T. Sweet operated the first bathing facilities in Ocean Grove; he also held a patent on the system of ropes that bathers used to keep from drowning in the ocean. But in 1876 the Camp Meeting Association purchased both Captain Sweet’s buildings and his “life-line” patents, and gave a lease for the operation of the North End bathing facilities to George W. Evans, who subsequently transferred this lease to Joseph Ross. And so this announcement greeted readers of the Ocean Grove Record on May 12, 1877:

This arrangement continued for many years, and Joseph Ross did indeed enlarge the North End facilities: he built a two-story pavilion that could accommodate between 1,800 and 2,000 people. In 1906, Ross’s pavilion looked like this:

After looking at this picture, I’ve vowed never to complain about how crowded the beach is on the weekends. That pavilion is packed! But an even more interesting view of turn-of-the-century Ocean Grove is in the picture below. Notice the tents along Wesley Lake, and, at the upper left-hand corner of the photo, the steeple of the Great Auditorium.

Next time: The North End gets a hotel.

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Wayne ("Ted") Bell (left), Cindy Bell, and Darrell Dufresne. Blogfinger photo.

By Paul Goldfinger

A delicate balance was precariously achieved today at History Day during a presentation sponsored by the Historical Society of Ocean Grove about the Great Auditorium.  The three authors of a soon-to-be published book about that extraordinary building discussed a variety of fascinating facts that are not widely known about the GA, but they didn’t want to reveal too much; after all, they need to retain some secrets in order to tantalize those who would buy the book, perhaps in September.  The tentative title of the long-awaited book—3 years in the preparation— is “The Great Auditorium:  Ocean Grove’s Architectural Treasure.”
Cindy Bell, Darrell Dufresne and Wayne (“Ted”) Bell offered a lecture-slide show in the Community Room, and then Mr. Bell took the group over to the Great Auditorium to check out some of the structural and engineering features that are so interesting and mysterious.

Cindy told us about the fund raising efforts by Rev. Stokes and his associates that went right to the wire as far as paying off the building in time.  No deficit spending for those 19th century Methodists. Darrell talked about strange features like the huge wooden pipes underground and the primitive and nonfunctional air conditioning system  found under the floor. He shared the secret of how the ceiling light bulbs are changed and he discussed how that massive roof is supported.

Ted Bell conducts walking tour in the Great Auditorium. Photo by Eileen Goldfinger

During Ted’s GA tour, he was able to point out some fascinating facts about the installation of that huge Hope Jones organ  (the 3rd largest organ in the northeast after Atlantic City and West Point.)  One fact that leaked out has to do with the false impression that the GA is made totally of wood. The truth is that there is a steel framework that maintains the strength and rigidity of the building.

Steel buttresses and posts reinforce the GA to help support the roof. The pipes carry water in case of fire. P Goldfinger photo.

We all hope that Ted and his colleagues complete the book before the CMA decides to build a bigger tabernacle.

Read Full Post »

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