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Archive for the ‘Ocean Grove history’ Category

 

 

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Founders Park fountain. Paul Goldfinger photo © 12/3/17

We have heard from Cindy Bell:

”  Hi Blogfinger. Just an update: The Historical Society has raised over $50,000 for the renovation of the FitzGerald Memorial Fountain in Founders Park. We anticipate that in the next month, the dirt in the large basin will be removed, and we hope with an end-of-the-year fund-raising push, that we can raised another $20,000 and ship the fountain to Alabama.
Please contact my Dad Ted Bell for more information 732-775-5642.  

Or contact the HSOG.

Editor’s Note:  This is a true OG community project which will significantly enhance our historic credentials and be a focal point for town events such as historic reenactments, picnics, lectures, concerts and art shows.

I would point out that historic tourism is what should be enhanced in the Grove–tugging us away from the endless giant flea markets, car shows and other tourist oriented projects that just congest and detract from the spirit and lifestyles of a historic and family oriented town.   —Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.

TED BELL tells us that it’s been  a long, long time since this fountain worked.     Here’s June Christy with a song from Ted’s era–the 1940’s:

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Wesley Lake postcard.   Undated. Click these postcards for more detail.

Notice how rural the Asbury side appears. There are many trees there which are mostly all gone now.     There are boats at both shores, but especially on the Ocean Grove side.  Lake Avenue appears to be a boardwalk , and clearly it was not intended to be a street. There is no bulkhead back then.

 

From Ted Bell:

In the early 1800’s there were seven coastal bodies of water from Avon to Long Branch draining into the Atlantic Ocean. By size Deal Lake was the largest with Long Pond (later, Wesley Lake) as the smallest. Years passed, and Wesley Lake became more of a recreational area with over 300 boats available for pleasure and transfer of people from and to the camp meeting grounds of Ocean Grove.

Eventually bridges were built connecting Ocean Grove to Asbury Park.  Tolls were collected and shared by the two communities, until the cost of the bridge was paid from the tolls collected.

As a coastal lake Wesley Lake had a natural opening to the ocean. Tides occurred every 12 hours as there was no natural barrier to the flow of sea water into and out of the Lake. Early pictures show a debris line along with some vegetation along the lake shore with a band of sand/silt further up on the sides.  This is an indication of tidal action.

Several dams were constructed at the ocean end, turning the Lake into a fresh water lake. The tidal line disappeared. The Lake, over the years, became a silt basin with occasional overflows from heavy rain storms. The question of  State Riparian Rights is not addressed in the Annual Reports of the Camp Meeting.  The are around Fairly Island was also filled.

At some time the Lake was bulk-headed. The two level terraces from Pilgrim Pathway to the ocean were filled , and a cement wall was constructed (? PA project.)  The rest of the lake was bulk-headed.   The bulkhead eliminated most of the pleasure boats due to docking problems of the passengers embarking/disembarking from the boats.

 

ANNIE LENNOX  from her album Nostalgia:

 

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Submitted by Ocean Grover Vincent Cannavo. Special to Blogfinger. Click to see more  (or Seymour.)

Vincent Cannavo found a number of Wesley Lake photographs on line which carry a copyright date of 1903, although the photos may have been taken earlier.  In this image  you are standing on the OG side  of the Lake. We can see boats for hire as well as the A. Park amusements. Vincent points out how different Asbury looked back then, although the OG side (we will show more of these images) looks unchanged.

That’s not surprising because the OG side managed to be a planned town, and the Victorian houses were somehow preserved even though there was no zoning, HPC or historical designations.

We could use some insight from those of you whose families are multi-generational in the Grove.

What else do our readers see in this photo?   Thanks to Vincent for these images.

 

ANDY FARBER AND HIS ORCHESTRA  WITH JOHN HENDRICKSON AND TERRY DONGIAN

 

 

 

 

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Paul Goldfinger © Thornley Chapel. Pilgrim Pathway.  Ocean Grove.  October 6, 2017.  Click to enlarge.

 

ENNIO MORRICONE  IN CONCERT.  “Deborah’s Theme.”  From the film Once Upon a Time in America. 1984

 

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Undated photograph submitted by Paulie D.

It’s the North End, and the consensus is the hurricane of 1944. Some more information would be helpful. Click on comments below. 

SAM AND DAVE:

 

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Camp Ground c. 1870. Rev. Stokes is in black. Rev. Cookman is in white. Why is no street named after Stokes? Photo courtesy of W. T. Bell*

Camp Ground c. 1870. Rev. Stokes is in black. Rev. Cookman is in white. Why is no street named after Stokes?    Photo courtesy of W. T. Bell*   Reposted from June, 2013 on Blogfinger.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

In an article in the New York Times, published on July 12, 1873, their “special correspondent” said,” On the eastern coast of New Jersey, from Sandy Hook to Cape May, there is not a more lovely spot, nor one better adapted for a Summer’s resort than Ocean Grove. The grove proper is situated six miles south of Long Branch, and contains 300 acres of forest land, bounded on the north by Wesley Lake, on the south by Fletcher Lake, on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, and on the west by the turnpike road to Long Branch.”

Even though Ocean Grove was only four years old then, there were already 300 cottages built or under construction. That week of July 11, 1873, there was a beehive of activity getting ready for the week long “Union Seaside Convention” which was being held for the dedication of the Tabernacle, which was a “monmouth tent” open on the sides and able to seat thousands. The event was not only for Methodists. It was clearly for Christians, but a variety of sects were welcomed and were in attendance including Presbyterians, Baptists, Congregationalists, Episcopalians, Friends and Methodists.

“Crowds” were pouring into the Grove from Philadelphia and New York by train. “By noon the place was fairly overrun.” The tourists had to be resourceful in finding a place to stay. There were to be 250 tents erected, and workmen were rushing about trying to get them finished.

The article mentioned that 1,500 people lived in OG for the summer season, and 600 of those lived in tents. The tents were set up all over town—there were no special tent places. It was noted that there was a “bare strip of grassland” running near the beach, and many tents were erected there. Setting up was a family affair, and the process was considered great “fun” as people were moving furnishings and supplies around all over town.

In the Grove were a few boarding houses and “several very good hotels.” You could stay for a week in an “excellent” place for $10.00. The “season” extended from June through September, but the huge camp meeting week was held in August. People would come from the train and go to the post office to find out where they could get a room.

The Times observed that “there is no hurry about anything. Everybody takes his time.” No intoxicating beverages could be sold in the Grove or for 3 miles around. The main activities were “boating, bathing and fishing.” Some of the “boys” played baseball. Others played croquet, although it’s not clear if girls could join in.

Most visitors and townies showed up for the dedication of the Tabernacle where there were prayers and speeches. Note that the Bishop Janes Tabernacle was constructed in 1877.

A couple of interesting items were mentioned in the article. One stated that homeowners received a 99 year lease, but at the end of that term, the family heirs could “buy the lot unconditionally.” That sounds like something to look into.

Finally, a very special event was to happen that week. Rev. Osborn, the founder of OG, was to be presented with a $3,000.00 cottage on Wesley Lake.

It sounds like Ocean Grove became quite famous very quickly after the Founders first got together in a park over by Long Pond (later, Wesley Lake) in 1869.

JOAN MORRIS:

CREDIT: Photo from Images of America: Ocean Grove.* Thanks for permission from Wayne T. Bell, author.

See the Blogfinger article about the birth of Ocean Grove: ” Who’s Your Daddy?”   The true story of the founding of Ocean Grove. (Scroll down a short distance)    link:

Who’s Your Daddy?

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This 19th century OG home is getting gutted within and a historic look without. Blogfinger photo 8/23/17.    Restoration by Sawbucks. © Click for enlargement.

Close-up of siding. Blogfinger photo. © 8/23/17. Click for details

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.

Grovers like to find out about the history of their homes.  The most interesting houses are those that were built from the time of the founding (1869) up to the turn of the last century.  When work is done on an old house in town, some fascinating findings can turn up.

When we gutted our 1880  kitchen, we found a hidden winding staircase.  It seems that the way to get to the second floor was to climb that staircase which began in the kitchen.   Then that part of the stair case was buried when the home was turned into a duplex, and the front door was relocated. You can still see a turning portion of the stairs if you look up while walking down to the basement. As most of you know, the HPC has no interest in the interior of our homes  (thank goodness.)

One of the most common findings relates to the siding. The original siding was wood shingles or clapboard which was later often covered over with asbestos shingles or, even later, with vinyl or aluminum.  Evidently, some of that wood siding was in good condition, and it was buried, much like the treasures in Tut’s Tomb.

Now, as new owners  seek to  restore an authentic historic look, there is great interest in the original siding as it is unveiled by workmen.  The HPC encourages that sort of archeology, and sometimes the old siding is still very beautiful and useful.

Today, some workmen showed up from New Egypt.  They are specialists in asbestos removal.    I asked the foreman about his long commute to work from Africa, but evidently there is a NJ town with that name near Fort Dix.   They worked very carefully to remove the asbestos-laden shingles. The workers spread large black plastic sheets all over and they wore special suits and ventilator masks.  He said that the most worrisome aspect of the removal process is not the shingle removal, but the dust under the shingles.  The crew was very careful because they understand the risks and the historic significance of protecting the wood underneath.

We shut the windows adjacent to the alley and front walls where they were working and we decided to use the back door exclusively for now. This process should take a few days.  They did not recommend any respiratory protection for us, because the asbestos is trapped within the shingles which they remove in one piece as much as possible.  The foreman said that only about 15% of the shingle material is actually asbestos.

One of the workmen was smoking a cigarette while taking a break.  Asbestos and cigarettes are a lethal combination.

I can remember Mt. Sinai Hospital, New York City  during my medical residency in the late “60’s where I met Dr. Irving Selikoff whose pioneering work on the health risks of asbestos helped turn the tide of that material’s use in construction.  He used to show us chest xray’s of asbestos workers who had heavy exposures, for example in ship yards.  Asbestos is a carcinogen, and the biggest risk is for lung cancer (mesothelioma.) Many law suits ensued over the years after that discovery.  Below is a quote from the Mt. Sinai  web site:

“Because of its hazards to human health, virtually all new use of asbestos has ceased in the United States. A combination of government regulation and market pressures brought about the end of asbestos. These actions stemmed in large part from the landmark studies on asbestos conducted at Icahn School of Medicine   (Mt. Sinai)  by the late Dr. Irving J. Selikoff and his colleagues.”

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Asbestos.com

LORETTA LYNN:

 

 

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Founders' Park by Jack Bredin. Oil on canvas. 30x40. Painted in 2014.

Founders’ Park by Jack Bredin. Oil on canvas. 30×40. Painted in 2014.  Click on image to enlarge.  Reposted from April, 2015.

“Shortly after nine in the evening on 31 July 1869, a few families erected ten tents in a clearing in what is now Founders’ Park in Ocean Grove. They had gathered there to consider establishing a holiness camp meeting. Although some of the group had preferred to watch the moon rise over the ocean, Mrs. Thornley pressed them to  hold a prayer meeting, so twenty-two people huddled by candlelight in the Thornley’s  tent for the first religious service of Ocean Grove. By all accounts, the service was a success, and the assembly consecrated the land as a permanent retreat for weary urban clergy.” *

The oil painting above is by Ocean Grove’s Jack Bredin, who has been working in oil for nearly 30 years and often does paintings of Ocean Grove.     This painting of Founders’ Park depicts a scene circa 1900 of a typical Sunday afternoon.  The young lad with the boat was nabbed for fishing on Sunday.

Jack says that he hopes that the fountain can be restored.  The Historical Society of Ocean Grove has a fund for that purpose, and they accept contributions.

Jack Bredin’s oils are on exhibit and for sale at the Ocean Park Gallery on Cookman Avenue in Asbury Park where they currently have 8 of his original oils plus some prints for sale. Jack’s OG paintings always sell out.  He spends over a month on each.

He also has works on display in the Grove at the CMA offices, Grove Hall, Richard Hogan’s law office and the Blogfinger Command Center.  —Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.

*This quote from the Ocean Grove Record, 7 July 1883,  was obtained from Troy Messenger’s 1999 book (University of Minnesota Press) called Holy Leisure—-Recreation and Religion in God’s Square Mile.

DAVE’S TRUE STORY     from the movie “Jack Goes Boating.”

Editor’s note  7/26/17:  The Historical Society of Ocean Grove is now resurrecting a fund drive to restore the fountain in Founders Park.  Details to be posted today on Blogfinger.

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colors

Intricate use of multiple colors can be difficult. Click to enlarge.

Home on Pennsylvania Avenue in Ocean Grove , just painted,  used new historic red and bright yellow from Benjamin Moore, also historic.   Blogfinger photo ©

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @blogfinger

Major paint manufacturers offer color charts that are called “historic Victorian.”  The HPC in Ocean Grove seems to pay heed mostly to the Benjamin Moore company. Choices from the historic charts of other companies might get rejected at the HPC. Perhaps you have wondered about the purple house as you enter the Grove.   That was an approved color, but evidently the HPC later said that it was a mistake.

Those of you who have wrestled with color decisions for your OG home know that there are a wide array of choices, but perhaps you don’t know that the paint companies are always adding new colors.

A lot of the paint company decisions are based on archeological information. The chemical makeup of historic home colors used in the 19th century  resulted in a limited choice, but now you can get many approved colors available in latex paints.

Some homeowners use 14 or more different colors. Of course that sort of paint job can be expensive.

Delicate painting of decorative trim requires a steady hand and a bucket loader. 113 Mt. Hermon Way. Blogfinger photo .  Joan  Corbo painter. Click to enlarge.

Some people think of the San Francisco “painted ladies” when they think of Victorian colors, but, as Ocean Grove designer J. Cortese has said, the “new  look” are darker hues. And we have learned that the “painted ladies”  pastels would not be approved in the Grove.

33 Main Avenue design by J. Cortese. Blogfinger photo ©

The quote below is from a 2015 Blogfinger post. 

“This purple house (above) is at 33 Main Avenue.   Some people love the colors while others hate them.  We spoke to J. Cortese about this restoration project which he designed, color consulted and construction managed. J. uses historic colors, but he also enjoys the unexpected, changing over recently to darker “rich” colors in the Grove.  He says that all his colors are approved and chosen from historic color charts. He thinks that darker colors are “more historic.” 

Yellow seems to be more popular recently.  Some of you are familial with the spectacular restoration at the Founders Park end of Seaview Avenue  (26 Lake Avenue, a yellow Bersheeba Award winner).  Link below:

BF post on spectacular yellow home

And then there are colors which most people in town don’t like, but either they were done that way without permission, or the HPC made a mistake. Do you think that the Mary’s’ Place blue color  (see below) ought to be considered historic?  Is a blue roof historic?  Does the HPC practice favoritism?

And do you recall the orange house on Mt. Hermon Way?  That owner went ahead with it even though that orange is not historic. The owner argued that 19th century homeowners were allowed to pick any colors they wanted —–the palette was very limited;—-all the colors then were dreary. So the orange house owner said that our modern choices should also be whatever we want. And, she argued, that the  orange house would make her happy, so how about the “pursuit of happiness” promised  in our Declaration of Independence–definitely some colorful patriotic reasoning.

Mary’s Place. 12/15.   Main Avenue Ocean Grove. Blogfinger photo. Is the blue roof OK? The other blue on the siding  looks darker now.  Blogfinger photo 12/15. ©

KEITH URBAN with a song about the color blue—“Blue Ain’t Your Color”  (This song was nominated for two 2017 Grammy awards.)

 

 

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