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Submitted by Rich Amole, Blogfinger reporter and staff historian. ©

Submitted by Rich Amole, Blogfinger reporter and staff historian. ©

This post is from August 4, 2014 on Blogfinger:

Paul:

So many voices over the years have performed at the Great Auditorium.   On August 12, 1908, Ocean Grove welcomed a performance of an American operatic contralto star named Louise Homer.  She had an active international career in concert halls and opera houses from 1895 until her retirement in 1932.  She was also a member of the Metropolitan Opera in the years 1900-1919.  I put together the attachment above that has a photo of her plus various priced tickets.

Wonder if she sung a short tune at Days afterwards?

From Rich Amole, Blogfinger staff.

Editor’s note: During the years of Ocean Grove’s famed music director Tali  Esen Morgan, many great names appeared in the Great Auditorium.  He built a grand house on Abbott Avenue in 1906,  and around 1910, he entertained Enrico Caruso who put on a bit of a concert in Morgan’s front parlor. We wrote about that house and about that impromptu concert.  Here is the link:

Caruso in the Grove

It’s interesting that Rich Amole sent us these tickets which provide for seating in the gallery and the main floor.  Curiously, the brochure above refers to the “Grand Auditorium.”   That must have been a goofy misunderstanding, because the Auditorium, which was built in 1894, was just called the “Auditorium” at first and for many years.     Then a big sign on the roof said “Ocean Grove Auditorium,” and it remained up there until it was falling apart and was removed, but not replaced, in 1979.

According to Wayne T. Bell, Jr, Cindy L. Bell, and Darrell A. Dufresne, authors of  The Great Auditorium—Ocean Grove’s Architectural Treasure  (2012,)  “It took awhile” for the name “Great Auditorium” to take hold.  The authors  reviewed many sources dating back over 100 years to find out that it was in recent times, perhaps the 1970’s, that the name “Great Auditorium” became official, especially after the PR people got hold of it.

As for Louise Homer, she was a huge star in the opera world, making her debut at the Met. in 1900, performing in Aida.  For 19 consecutive seasons she played the “Met” opposite Caruso and other greats of the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

Here is an old recording of Louise Homer singing with Enrico Caruso and Marcel Journet in the opera Samson et Dalila.  The year was around 1920.  They are singing in French about celebrating a victory. I hope it’s not the scene where she cuts off his hair—–so sad;  I hate that part.    Rich Amole owns these tickets now, having acquired them on Ebay from some Grovers, but if he thinks he can go to the concert, sorry Rich, but you are a little late.    —-Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.

 

 

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Photo by Rich Amole @Blogfinger.

Photo by Rich Amole @Blogfinger.  2014

By Rich Amole, Blogfinger history reporter/researcher.

Paul:

“The best type of snow is the one that doesn’t need to be shoveled.  Above  is a real cool Snow Globe with the Great Auditorium inside.  Snow Globes were designed to be paper weights but ended up being more of a collectible item of places visited.

Originally of European origin, they crossed the Atlantic in the 1920’s with the first patented one in the late 1920’s in the USA.  Some of these marvelous items have music boxes attached.   I could venture a guess on when this one was manufactured, but perhaps a reader may fill us in or even own one.

CINCINNATI POPS:   “Lara’s Theme” from Dr. Zhivago.

 

 

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Joy Adase in 2014 when she joined the garden tour. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

 

Since Christmas is such a happy holiday, we decided to re-post this article from August, 2018, in Ocean Grove.  Ultimately, for those of us who live here, the main focus becomes our homes and life-styles in this historic town.

Here is a story of a Heck Avenue family showing off the home of their dreams.–Paul  @Blogfinger.net

 

Four years ago (2014), Joy and Mike Adase found their OG home on Heck Avenue.  They sold their 5 bedroom house in Howell, downsized their stuff, and moved into a historic  (1885)  two-story, 2 bedroom,  1200 square foot Ocean Grove cottage at #97  What-the-Heck Avenue.

Here is a link to an article we posted about the Adases in 2014 when they were newcomers:

New Grover in town. What the Heck.

Since they have been here full time, they have been  “in love” with the town of Ocean Grove and with their unique home.

So this year, the Adases decided to join the house tour, sponsored by the Historical Society of OG, which was held on Friday, August 3, 2018.  During the tour, Mike and Joy got out of the way and visited one of their favorite spots:  New Hope, Pa.

Joy said that it was a lot of work to get her home just right for the tour, but she is happy to “share”  her  home with visitors;  the more, the merrier.  “I feel blessed to live in this beautiful town and in this home,” said Joy. Now that it’s over, she says, “I’m glad we did it.”

Docent Joanne greets visitors on the porch. Note the original metal awning. 8/3/18.  All photographs by Paul Goldfinger, Blogfinger.net.

There were 8 homes on the tour, and many visitors, mostly women in groups of 2-4, were happily making the rounds.

The house was on display with five docents providing a lively tour.  Joanne, a neighbor, was greeting visitors on the porch. She pointed out the original metal awning overhead, which is rare in the Grove. The original doorbell is rung by twisting a knob.

Docent Mike explains the front parlor. Blogfinger photos © 8/3/18

Inside was another neighbor Mike who says he loves to chat, so being a docent is right up his alley, and this is the third year he is doing it.  He used the joke-of-the-day with every visitor, pointing out the “one butt staircase” heading to the master bedroom.

Visiting the living room. Blogfinger is seen in the mirror photographing.

On the second floor was Colleen, another neighbor.  She repeated the butt joke.  (awright awready with the butt jokes!)

Docent Colleen at the top of the staircase (room enough for one tush at a time)

Having neighbors conduct the tour offered an extra dimension of enthusiasm  as Colleen allowed visitors to poke their heads into the bathroom.

Of course, the whole house was lovely and spotless.  We met some visitors from out of town including: Pennsylvania, Ramsey and Midland Park.  Visitors to the Grove are well familiar with the exteriors of our homes, but to tour the interiors is quite a special experience especially for house voyeurs.

Docent Marty in the Serenity Garden. Blogfinger photo 8/3/18 ©

Outside was Marty who was enjoying showing the Serenity Garden.  This is another of those OG gardens that are quite special in small spaces.  She pointed out the grape vines growing on the side fence and the popcorn plant along the edge of the house.  Pick a piece and smell it to experience the Jersey Shore popcorn aroma.

The next day Joy relaxed on her porch, sipping from her Christmas cup,  happily reviewing the tour with Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net. 8/4/18

MARIA MULDAUR:

 

 

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Version 2

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

This article from 2017 is being re-posted because it not only addresses the issue of placing a drug rehab center in the Grove, but it also is about the risks of forgetting our historic designations and about the importance of vigilance by the citizens of OG.

The agreement between the owner of the Laingdon Hotel on Ocean Avenue and the Sprout Health Co. was evidently decided upon last summer.  The plan was to open a drug rehabilitation facility in that historic hotel after getting a use-variance from the Neptune Board of Adjustment. Essential to those best laid plans was the need  to close the hotel to the public and to use it to house addicted individuals who would stay there for up to 30 days while undergoing treatment at the Sprout clinic in Eatontown.

Most Grovers who weighed in on Blogfinger were opposed for a variety of reasons. An intelligent discussion ensued, and there were no personal attacks–just identification of the issues.   No one disparaged those unfortunate patients who would have been candidates to stay in the OG facility. No one got to attack the owner for wanting to make a profit on his investment or the company whose business is to help others.

It’s just that the people of Ocean Grove did not believe that such a project would be suitable in our town for a variety of well considered reasons.

This was not a blind case of “not in our backyard.”  Not every town is appropriate for setting up shelters for the unfortunate.   I doubt you would find a drug rehab facility in Colonial Williamsburg, but that doesn’t mean that one shouldn’t be located in a town nearby.      The citizens of  Ocean Grove would likely  be supportive of such a project in a neighboring town where the fit would be more sensible.

Importantly, the discussion of the Laingdon did allow the consideration of a bigger picture:    Ocean Grove is vulnerable to the conversion of historic buildings into uses that do not fit our Master Plan or the designation of our town on the National and State Historic Registers.  It’s work to keep those designations, and  “if you don’t use it, you will lose it.”  If the Laingdon idea had been implemented, then a dangerous precedent would have given permission to approve all sorts of decidedly non-historic projects that would change our town forever.  Now perhaps such projects would be discouraged.

The Laingdon opposition is only one piece of a town-wide effort which will be required to avoid more condominiums and commercialization while pushing for continued development as a single family residential/historic community.

There is a need for a group of citizens to dedicate themselves to be watchdogs on behalf of the town of Ocean Grove.  It will require standing up to Neptune Township politicians, developers, and to the derelict  HOA to beat back the anti- RSIS crowd.

Vigilance is the key word in the future,  because other mice and men with big plans will try to nibble away at this very special town, turning it into Asbury Park south or Bradley-Beach-By-the Sea.  Even Sprout might show up again with a renewed application.

Just because the Laingdon plan has caved, doesn’t mean that we should not keep watching and discussing how to protect the Grove.  After all, it all depends on you.

FRANK SINATRA from The Columbia Years.

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Tourism of the historical kind---the kind to be encouraged in our historic town. Paul Goldfinger photo @ Blogfinger .net.

Tourism of the historical kind—the kind to be encouraged in our 19th century historic town. Paul Goldfinger photo @ Blogfinger.net.

 

HUGH JACKMAN.  “Don’t throw your past away; you might need it some rainy day.”    From The Boy From Oz:

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Postcard. Gates were opened permanently in 1980.

Postcard. Gates were opened permanently in 1980.

This sign hangs in the Historical Society museum on Pitman Ave.

This sign hangs in the Historical Society museum on Pitman Ave.  Blogfinger photo.

A ruling by the NJ Supreme Court in 1979 declared this and other blue laws to be unconstitutional as administered by the Camp Meeting Association.  The official governance turnover to Neptune Township took place in 1980 after the US Supreme Court refused to hear the case.

As you can see, the “gates” were not actually gates.   There was a chain.  The police officer was an Ocean Grove policeman.  Now you can even get a bus in OG  on Sunday into New York City.

HARRY NILSSON:

 

Paul Goldfinger, Editor  @Blogfinger.   (this post is from 2014, but history is always timely, and the comments with this post are very stimulating.)   If you have any comments now, please send them by email or by using the comments button below.

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Windows at the top reaches of the Tabernacle. All photos by Paul Goldfinger ©

Windows at the top reaches of the Tabernacle. All photos by Paul Goldfinger © Click on all photographs to enlarge them.

By Paul Goldfinger MD, Editor @Blogfinger.net   Re-posted from June, 2014.

The Bishop Janes Tabernacle is the oldest permanent structure in Ocean Grove, build in 1877.  It is an airy, open building consisting basically of one room and  a center section on top where  a sweep of windows allows light to stream in from above  and illuminate the seating below–symbolic perhaps, or very practical, or both.

Light and breezes come inside. ©

Light and breezes come inside. ©

Ted Bell, Ocean Grove historian and author, showed us the 19th century ventilation system which keeps the place cool.  Downstairs there is a ring of large doors and windows.   The latter open in a curious way, but there is a purpose to the design. The window aims the warm breezes upward where they can stream through the top  row of windows.

Ted Bell shows how the lower level windows open. ©

Ted Bell shows how the lower level windows open. ©

Outside, the light trickles and flows through the trees to hit the Tabernacle and creates moving patterns on its outside walls and illumination for the prayer books inside.

outside one

 

BACH:  Double concerto in D minor for 2 violins and strings.  With Yehudi Menuhin, Alberto Lysy, and Camerata Lysy Gstaad.

 

—- Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

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Ted Bell giving a historic tour in Ocean Grove. Here he demonstrates the size of a finial. Paul Goldfinger photo

 

Ted Bell, an author, a naturalist, and an Ocean Grove historian died this past week.   An obituary can be found in the Coaster.  Ted will be missed in the Grove.

At Blogfinger we will especially remember his willingness to help us with authoritative information about OG history.  And, at a personal level, we will miss his wonderfully  good-natured sense of humor.

Most recently Ted left his mark by championing the restoration of the historic Fitzgerald Fountain in Founders Park. Many of us saw him there for the dedication.

 

Here is a link to a Blogfinger article about a Ted Tour from 2015:

Link to Ted talk.

 

PAUL ROBESON  once performed in the Great Auditorium.  Here is a tribute to Ted: a re-post of our 2016 article about Paul Robeson in the Great Auditorium and a recording of one of the great spirituals that he was famous for.

Paul Robeson in the Great Auditorium

 

 

—-Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

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Civil War re-enactment near Founders Park. Nov. 2003. Paul Goldfinger photo ©  click on all these photos to enlarge them.

 

Founders’ Park. Paul Goldfinger photo 2003.

 

OG reenactment on the beach. of the Ft. Wagner battle.  2003. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

 

They used to have wonderful Civil War reenactments in the Grove. The camp set-ups would be at the Ocean Pathway, but they would have African-American soldiers replay the “Glory” battle on the beach.  That battle was about the all black 54th Massachusetts Regiment who heroically attacked the  Confederate Army holed up at Ft. Wagner in Charleston, South Carolina. The movie “Glory” was about that.

“Glory” battle:

/www.history.com/news/glory-regiment-attacks-fort-wagner-150-years-ago

 

JACQUELINE SCHWAB  “Battle Cry of  Freedom.”

 

 

 

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“This public property……”   Read the bottom sign!  Blogfinger photo at Fireman’s Park. August 2018. Today is a re-post from one year ago because of our discovery of the fountain photograph shown below.

 

So why is this “public property” locked in the center and surrounded by iron spikes and brambles with sharp needles?  Where are the barbed wire and the guard dogs?  The symbolism is horrible.

 

By Paul Goldfinger, MD.  Editor@Blogfinger.net

This park is historic. It used to be Woodlawn Park.  There were stables nearby, and folks could walk through while watching horse drawn carriages roll by.

And then it was Alday Park, dedicated to Dr. John Alday in 1915, an important CMA figure at the time of Stokes, who lived across the street, and there was a beautiful bronze fountain placed  there in his honor. It was to be the first important site seen by visitors after coming through the “gates.”

The fountain was not locked in—-anyone could go up to the fountain and dunk their hands or feet into the cool water.  The water was said to be “clear and pure.”

Whatever happened to that fountain and why was it never restored as has occurred this year in Founders’ Park?  Wasn’t historic preservation important during that early phase of  CMA history?

John H. Alday, MD. Memorial Fountain erected in 1915 in Woodlawn Park (now Fireman’s Park)    This photograph  is from the earliest history book of Ocean Grove  (1869-1919.)*  The photo was taken between 1915-1919.

 

In 1959  it became Firemen’s Park.  Why was a public park shut down in the center?   Why has it become less public than before?

The result is a barricaded bell in honor of deceased firemen.  But why is the center closed to the public?  There are benches inside. Why can’t the public sit down there?  Is it not “public property?”  Why can’t the kids come in, run around, and touch the bell?  Why are those dangerous shrubs and iron spikes allowed to remain?   Is this the North End version of the private place that used to be  at the end of the pier?

BF article about this subject June, 2018

This is not a criticism of firemen, whose heroism and sacrifice in this town has saved lives and property; it is about the unfair misuse of a public park.

The Township Committee should reevaluate the dedication to firemen.  After all, the park is poorly kept.  Go check out the miserable plantings, the uncared-for trees and the toxic “grass.”  Give the park back to the people and appoint a citizen’s commission to take care of it and put it to better use.   How about this  park being  dedicated to all of America’s heroes, including firemen, and have events there such as poetry readings, art shows, military bands, small concerts, picnics for kids, nighttime gatherings in the summer, Wiffle ball tournaments, and dog shows—for example.

This park is on the new Christian Walking Tour of Ocean Grove.  What will those walkers think about the entombed bell in the middle?

Why are the Grovarian park names so confusing?  Here is a link:

OG Park Names

 

ELLA FITZGERALD:   by Cole Porter:

*Story of Ocean Grove…1869-1919 by Morris D. Daniels

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