Archive for the ‘Ocean Grove history by Rich Amole’ Category

Grove Air.  Submitted by Rich Amole, Blogfinger staff.

Air Grove. Submitted by Rich Amole, Blogfinger staff.


Judging by the looks of the airplane used, it predates the Wright brothers 1903 plane, placing the photograph in the late 1890’s or so.  “I’m looking for you in Ocean Grove NJ” is typed in across the top of the photo.  An interesting find referencing the town for whatever the reason.

The moon looks like one of those right out of a silent movie.


GLENN MILLER and his orchestra with “Moonlight Serenade.”  This is from the soundtrack of Woody Allen’s Stardust Memories, filmed in Ocean Grove.

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Ocean Grove 1912.  Submitted by Rich Amole, Blogfinger staff.©

Ocean Grove 1912. Submitted by Rich Amole, Blogfinger staff.

Hi Paul:

This photo is from 1912 at the corner or Main and Ocean Avenues looking west.  Many pictures have been taken at this location, but this is an excellent black and white showing what appears to be a parade with youngsters & folks strolling up the sidewalk.

Flags can be seen, folks with umbrellas, as this may be a quite warm 4th of July parade; a policeman is in center of picture and onlookers with their bikes.

Main Avenue does not appear to be paved.  Two hotels still present today at the corner is the Ocean Front Hotel and the Stratford that is the Belleview Stratford today, four structures down on Main.

This is life in the Grove a long time ago.

Rich    (Amole, Blogfinger staff.)                              source: ebay

Imagine this parade if ROBERT PRESTON had been there with his boys band, in uniform,  from The Music Man.

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Bookstore at the Ross Pavilion, North End, Boardwalk. Ocean Grove, New Jersey 1907. Submitted by Rich Amole, Blogfinger historian and reporter.

Bookstore at the Ross Pavilion, North End, Boardwalk. Ocean Grove, New Jersey 1907. Submitted by Rich Amole, Blogfinger historian and reporter. Click to enlarge.

Hi Paul:

This wonderful image at the northern end of Ocean Grove is from a post card taken at the Ross Pavilion in 1907 showing a number of ladies gathered in front of the bookstore in their Victorian Dresses.  Close inspection of the reading material shows a few shelves with hard back covers, and perhaps the shop owner, noticeable on the left side of the scene, peers out over pamphlets and other soft covered reading material with prices ranging from two indian head pennies to one Morgan Dollar and change.

In addition to a few shops there was a pavilion that would assist residents and visitors with their bathing needs and access to the beach.  There also was an open air auditorium with a bandstand for live music.


Source:  Ebay

Back in 1907, here’s a Springsteen song , “Old Dan Tucker,” which they may have played over at  the Ross Pavilion.


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Broadway, 1915.  Submitted by Rich Amole, Blogfinger reporter and historian.

Ocean Grove, Broadway, 1915. Submitted by Rich Amole, Blogfinger reporter and historian.  (see our “about” page above to read about Rich.)

Hi Paul:

This post card image is post marked 1915 and shows Broadway (looking west)  at  Ocean Avenue (or ? Beach Ave.)  There appears to be a poster sign on the sidewalk with an image of an ice cream cone, and beside it, could be part of  the Lillagore pavilion shops that extended off the boards to Broadway. The Lillagore Hotel owner built a bathing pavilion at the south end of Ocean Grove for his guests.  That is not to be confused with the Lillagaard Hotel on Abbott which was built in 1919.

The remainder of the scene on Broadway shows the shuffle board courts, the traffic coming up Broadway and all the pedestrians gathered at this timeless turn in the road in Ocean Grove.  The car may be a Model T Ford (“The Tin Lizzie”) first made in 1908 and manufactured by the millions.


Editor’s Note:  Rich Amole is the author of the definitive history of the Shawmont Hotel at 17 Ocean Avenue.  The OG Chamber of Commerce will be having another wonderful Victorian Holiday Festival and House Tour on December. 13 and 14.    Rich will be the tour guide for the Shawmont.  He has prepared a souvenir handout for that tour which includes photographs.  Rich wants the Shawmont visitors to “take a piece of history with them.”  His original project is available for viewing at the Hotel. It is comprehensive at 78 pages long.

In 1925, Paul Robeson appeared in the Great Auditorium. It was one of the most important events in the history of Ocean Grove.  Gospel music was very big in the Grove back in the early 20th century.  Here is a link to that article.

Robeson in the GA link

PAUL ROBESON  “Go Down Moses.”

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Submitted by Rich Amole, Blogfinger historian and reporter.

Submitted by Rich Amole, Blogfinger historian and reporter.  Source: eBay



An interesting bit of history once again came to light on the World Wide Web.   A simple item but important one that a group of Ocean Grove Civil Defense folks wore during World War II is a badge to identify all involved.  These “Minute Men” were simply to patrol the ocean front and guard against every infiltrator that might come ashore.  There were real concerns offshore, especially with enemy submarines.

This upcoming year 2015 will mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II,  and you still have to wonder:  war, what is it good for?   I do not want an answer!



VERA LYNN  from her album  Memories of WWII

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Ocean Grove boardwalk, c. 1920's-1930's. Submitted by Rich Amole, Blogfinger reporter and historian.  Click to enlarge

Ocean Grove boardwalk, c. 1920’s-1930’s. Submitted by Rich Amole, Blogfinger reporter and historian.  Click to enlarge



What we are focusing on in this wonderful scene,  perhaps from the 1920’s or 1930’s,  are those vehicles parked on Ocean Ave., that yellow push cart with some riders enjoying the salt air, and some folks sitting on not so wide wooden benches. We see a lady with an orange dress and gold colored heels, lamp posts on the boards and in the those grass strips,  and the North End Hotel in the distance.  And there is that white building where the current Pavilion sits. It says “Auditorium” See postcard below for more details on that structure.

A post card reflecting the time. Imagine that  someone in 2114 is counting on us to take a picture or two of our times on and off the boards. So let’s have a great big smile for them to see!




It may not be Atlantic City, but so what…..here is MARQUIS  with some acapella vocalizing “down on the ol’  New Jersey shore.”



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Grove Excursion



Shown here is an old advertisement of an annual train excursion held by the Union Transportation Company to Ocean Grove in August 1908.

This ad is 20 x 7 inches long and highlights this “A Full Day by the Sea”.    A Round trip of $1.50 for the Pemberton & Hightstown Railroad ride will get you to and from this seaside community.

“When we get there, can we stop at Days Ice Cream first daddy before we go to the beach?”

An ice cream cone, two buffalo nickels, great make it vanilla!


Rich  (Rich Amole is the staff historian @Blogfinger)


Pardon me boys……..Julia West Howard, a Broadway star in the '20's, lived at 113 Mt. Hermon Way from 1937-1848. (now it is Blogfinger headquarters)

“Pardon me boys……..”    Julia West Howard, a Broadway star in the ’20’s, lived at 113 Mt. Hermon Way from 1937-1948. (now it is Blogfinger headquarters)



In 1875, the closest train ended at Long Branch, so anyone wanting to go south to Ocean Grove had to take a stage coach or carriage.  The Camp Meeting Association wanted to promote tourism, so they invested in a local railroad,the Farmingdale and New Egypt Line, and in August 1875, two trains arrived in the Grove from New York City.  There was a “depot” in the Grove outside the gates, and soon after, there were connections to Philadelphia. In 1879, 300,000 visitors arrived by train that summer.

There was one problem. The CMA would not allow trains to stop at OG on Sundays.  In 1910, the State Legislature overruled that blue law.


–Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.

Ref:  The Story of Ocean Grove…1869-1919.  By Morris Daniels   (1919)



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Submitted by Rich Amole. Blogfinger reporter and historian.

Submitted by Rich Amole. Blogfinger reporter and historian.

Editor’s Note:  Felix Mendelssohn was born into a famous Jewish-German family.  His father converted to become a Lutheran, so Felix, the composer, was raised as a Christian.  This oratorio, composed in 1846, was  performed in Ocean Grove’s Great Auditorium in August, on a Saturday night in 1914,  just a few weeks after the start of World War I and nearly 100 years ago today.  “Elijah,” which is in two parts and takes about two hours to perform, is based on the story of the prophet Elijah as told in the Old Testament.

But this was not the first time that “Elijah” had been performed in the GA.   Ted Aanensen sent us a page from a Philadelphia music newspaper which speaks of a performance  in the GA dated 1905.

The program above does not mention the Hope-Jones organ which had been built and installed in 1907, but it probably  was used in this 1914 concert.  Since it was only 7 years old, perhaps programs back then did not highlight “the famous Hope-Jones organ” as they do today.

I can’t tell who was conducting this performance, but it was probably  Tali Esen Morgan, the renowned music director in OG, who had that post from 1901-1918.

—-Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger


Here is a small portion of Mendelssohn’s Elijah by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra recorded in Temple Square:  “He, watching over Israel, slumbers not.”





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Herne Bay. Postcard submitted by Rich Amole, Blogfinger staff historian.

Herne Bay. Postcard submitted by Rich Amole, Blogfinger staff historian.


Since the Fishing Pier is more or less in limbo hopefully OG can get on and repair what is really important in that town and I’m sure those who really desire to fish will find the closest shoreline or marina to do so. This ATTACHMENT is a post card from those Victorian Days of Great Britain with this location about 60 miles southeast of London.   Not much on the description other that what we see.  There appears to be a pair of rails going down the center perhaps for a service vehicle or touring carriage of the time.   Do you think Ralph would like a new home like that?



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Ocean Grove North End. c.1908.  Postcard.

Ocean Grove North End. c.1908. Postcard.




Submitted by Rich Amole, Blogfinger staff reporter/historian


From those Ocean Grove boardwalk days at the North End Pavilion entertainment center, the Skee-Ball game is where you roll a baseball size wooden ball  up a fourteen foot lane and try to drop it into the high scoring holes.  Scoring well would deliver tickets from the machine that could be traded in for small toys, stuffed animals, free games and various souvenirs of a visit to the shore.

The attachment is a token that you dropped into the machine’s slot which would start the game by delivering the player a number of balls to roll.  Skee-ball was invented in 1909 and continues to be a great source of amusement 105 years later.



DANNY KAYE     “Roller bowl a ball a penny a pitch”

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