Posts Tagged ‘Dr. John Alday in Ocean Grove’

“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

Read Full Post »

The Victorian house at 115 Main Avenue  (at Delaware)  was built by Dr John Alday.  The current owners tell us that Dr. Alday had a smaller house on the property until this one was built in 1896. The waiting room was in the rear of the current house.  Mr. Ted Bell, Ocean Grove historian,  has kindly provided us with the following  profile of the doctor:

The John Alday house.

The John Alday house. 2010 Blogfinger photo

“He was born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1828. A practicing physician until 1851 when he became a minister in the Methodist church in1851.  In 1874
he became a Trustee of the OCGMA and  contnued until his death, in his Ocean Grove home,  in 1911 at the age of 83.

“A bronze  fountain was placed in Woodlawn Park in his memory in graceful tribute for his work in Ocean Grove. The park was known as “Alday Park” until 1959 when the Fireman’s Memorial bell was place in the center of the park—the park is now known as “Fireman’s  Park. “

Editors note:  We have no information regarding the whereabouts of the fountain, but there are old postcards of  Woodlawn Park that show a beautiful bronze figure of a woman.  Gibbons’  History of Ocean Grove says that the  fountain was called “the John H. Alday Memorial Fountain” and that it was “erected” in 1915 and placed in Woodlawn Park.  It’s not clear when the park’s name was officially changed to “Alday Park,” but it seems likely to have occurred when the statue was placed there.

—Paul Goldfinger, MD, Editor @Blogfinger

Civil War era surgical instruments

Medical history:  Nineteenth century physicians had to contend with diphtheria, whooping cough, rheumatic fever, TB, polio, chicken pox, cholera, rabies, tetanus, maybe a rare  case of malaria or yellow fever in travelers,  and typhoid.   Dr. Alday did get to see the discovery of  XRAYS  in 1895, the germ theory of Pasteur and Koch in 1870, and  the development of sterile technique by Lister in 1867.   He saw vaccines appear in 1879 for cholera, 1882 for rabies, and in 1890 for  tetanus and diphtheria.  Dr. Alday saw aspirin invented in 1899 and blood typing in 1901.

He never saw the development of penicillin, Vitamin D for rickets, or insulin,  but he probably knew about the first blood transfusion in 1907.

He probably did not have an early ECG machine, because  the earliest models, around 1900,  were the size of a small house.  His main tools were his stethoscope (probably a monaural model)  and some crude surgical instruments. He probably made housecalls in a horse and buggy  and he would have dispensed his own medications, what few existed at that time.   He was a religious man, and his faith and compassion were likely very useful to him in the practice of medicine back then.    –Paul Goldfinger, MD.  Editor@Blogfinger

Editor’s Note:  In the four years since we posted this article, Blogfinger has acquired many new readers, and some of our articles are timeless.  So we will be re-posting some of these. We hope that even those who once read it will enjoy it again.   It’s like a Lucy re-run, only not as funny.—-Paul

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: