Archive for the ‘Ocean Grove 150th Anniversary’ Category

Illumination Night. Ocean Grove. July 22, 2017. Paul Goldfinger, Blogfinger.net ©  Click to enlarge


Illumination Night. Ocean Grove 2016. Paul Goldfinger photo ©


Ted David originally wrote this piece in the summer of 2019, which was when the 150th Ocean Grove  birthday was celebrated.   Blogfinger ran it again in January 2020 because Ted did such a great job tackling the tough assignment of putting our unique town into perspective.

As he always does, he sees the town in a positive and personal way, noticing how the people here find satisfaction and joy.

Very soon we will be announcing the publication of the third book in his OG trilogy called Encore Ocean Grove.

So below we again post that birthday piece which Ted wrote for us.  Those who care about the Grove will enjoy it.  If  you already read it, read it again.   By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor Blogfinger.net  Feb. 16, 2022.


Ted David:


I attended the re-dedication of the FitzGerald Fountain in Founder’s Park on Victorian Day July 27, 2019. I was only one of at least two hundred people. The choir sang fitting hymns, and preachers and politicians alike spoke eloquently about this gem of a hamlet called Ocean Grove on its 150th anniversary celebration.

The preacher referred to God’s living waters and on cue a grandson and great-grandson of Ted Bell, one of the primary instigators for the restoration of the fountain, threw the switch…..and nothing happened. Cameras and phones were raised to get shots of the first dribble from the four tiered Victorian structure. But no water was to be seen. All perhaps wondered whether or not some glitch in the system would ruin the dedication! Some people stared at the heavens questioning what had happened.

Within a few minutes, which seemed like hours, the fountain came alive. The assembled crowd cheered. Pictures were snapped. A group portrait was taken just like the original in 1907.

Once again God had not forsaken Ocean Grove. Founded shortly after the Civil War and enduring the fortunes of a growing country, Elwood Stokes the first president of the Camp Meeting Association once declared that Ocean Grove was “a religion as well as a town.”

Needless to say times have changed. At one time the all-powerful Camp Meeting Association controlled most everything. Time and the courts have changed a great deal of that, but the essence of the Grove remains. It is in fact a community, maybe not as utopian as the religious founders had in mind, but a community nonetheless.

They could not have possibly imagined the rise of Asbury Park and the entertainments it provides. But they did most likely envision that Ocean Grove would become a Mecca of sorts for tourists and pilgrims from all over the country, if not the world. It has been a special place in these last 150 years. Nothing at all like its neighbors in New Jersey.

People who do come here whether it’s for the day, a week, a month, a season or a lifetime most often say that it is in fact special, different, curious, interesting and a place to which they will always return. Whether it be for religious or spiritual purposes or simply for a stroll on Main Avenue or a dip in the ocean, the one thing people all share is that they want to be happy.

Whether the Grove will survive another 150 years remains to be seen, but the fact that people want to be happy will never change. I believe that Ocean Grove will do its best to provide that happiness…..just like the Founders planned.

SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK:  “This Little Light of Mine.”



Ted David is the author of Forgotten Ocean Grove and The Other Side of Ocean Grove.” His next book (2022), soon to arrive, is “Encore Ocean Grove”

To warm you up for book #3, here is a 2018  link to a piece about Ted when he re-published his first book The Other Side of Ocean Grove (2002)

Ted David, OG author, will be republishing his book “The Other Side of Ocean Grove” and announcing two more Grover books on the threshold.



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Bonfire on the OG beach. 150th birthday of this historic town. Paul Goldfinger © 2019.


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Paul Goldfinger. Ocean Grove boardwalk.  August, 2019. OG 150th anniversary event. © Click to enlarge.



TEDDY THOMPSON.   From the Leonard Cohen movie I’m Your Man.


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Boardwalk Pavilion.  Paul Goldfinger photograph. Ocean Grove, NJ.  8/10/19 ©  Click to enlarge.


KEVIN SPACEY   from  Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

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The original Ocean Grove.  No North End Hotel and no Skill-ball.  c.1869


The Ross Bathing Houses, 1878. North End, Ocean Grove Beach. From the Atlas of the Jersey Coast. Previously posted on Blogfinger.  Do you see any historic condominiums there?


Ocean Avenue, Ocean Grove, NJ, summer 1918. Courtesy of Rich Amole  © Blogfinger staff.


This is not a comprehensive list. Most CMA religious events are not listed here.   Consult the CMA web site for more information:   www.oceangrove.org


July 4 Thursday:  The New Jersey Wind Symphony.   7:30-8:30  AUD

July 5  Friday:  Navy Band Pop Rock concert  7 pm  AUD

July 6 Saturday is Community Day

10:30 am – 12:30 pm:     Independence Day Parade

1-5 pm: Town  Celebration.  Along Pilgrim Pathway and Auditorium Square Park.

9 pm  Fireworks

July 7  Sunday:  3:30 to 4:30   The Quartet:  “America Sings”  TABERNACLE     Don’t miss!



July 27 Saturday  is Victorian Day

10 am – 4 pm:  Mrs. Joseph Thornley’s prayer tent in Founders Park

10 am – 3 pm: History of OG video shown continually in the Great Auditorium

11 am-11:30:  Dedication of the Fountain    (DO NOT MISS THIS)    and Re-enactment of Bishop Fitzgerald by Rev. Dr. Tom Tewell.  Founders Park

Note: from Cindy Bell: “the restored fountain is back in town, and Robinson Iron anticipates the final installation on Tuesday July 9th. Landscaping and final touches will be put in place the week of July 15th.  Dedication ceremony:  Saturday July 27th at 11:00 am. Community members are invited to stop by the park to watch the action.”


12-4 pm Horse and carriage tour

Afternoon tours of Great Auditorium, tours of Historical Society Museum,and walking tours of Ocean Grove


There will be more events on August 10 for Ocean Grove Forever Day.




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Note:  The Trolley tour will be hosted by Ted David, author of two OG history books.  Each passenger is invited to participate in the 150th Anniversary Photo Booth.  Light refreshments will be served.   The trolley is covered and has climate control.

To read about Ted David, do a Blogfinger search at the top right of this home page.

The price per person is $25.00, and tours will run every half hour from 1-4:30 pm.


JUDY GARLAND: 1944, from the film Meet Me in St. Louis.


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