Posts Tagged ‘Founders Park in Ocean Grove’

Founders’ Park Fitzgerald Memorial  Fountain. Morning.  Sept. 14, 2020. For Ted Bell who made it all possible.    Paul Goldfinger portrait. ©. Blogfinger.net.  Click to enlarge.


SIR EDWARD ELGAR:   “Chanson de Matin.”   (Morning Song). By the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

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Founders Park, Ocean Grove, NJ. August, 2014. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Founders Park, Ocean Grove, NJ. August, 2014.
Paul Goldfinger photo ©


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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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Asbury Park as seen from Ocean Grove. Paul Goldfinger photo

Asbury Park as seen from Founders Park in Ocean Grove.   Paul Goldfinger photo © click to enlarge.


Darlene Love

Darlene Love

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November 3, 2013. By Paul Goldfinger ©

November 3, 2013. By Paul Goldfinger ©  

CITY OF PRAGUE PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA: “Octapussy” from  the album of music from the James Bond movies. This is the theme from the 13th Bond film.  The music is by John Barry.

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Joshua Reinhart (top), Darrell Dufresne (left) and Andrew Nolan preparing to install a drain pipe in the bowl. Reinhart and Nolan are from Ocean Grove Hardware. Photo by Mary Walton

By Mary Walton

Long plagued with drainage problems, Ocean Grove’s oldest and largest historical urn is undergoing much-needed repairs that include a new drainage system.

Ted Bell and Darrell Dufresne, volunteering their efforts for the Historical Society of Ocean Grove, have supervised the work. The cost is being underwritten by a $1,225 matching grant from the Monmouth County Historical Council, based on a proposal written by Bell and Rose Myers.

When town fathers erected the urn in 1875 on the southeast corner of Founders Park, they apparently gave little thought to what would happen when it filled with water. There was no drainage system, said Ted Bell, “as far as we can tell.”

That was corrected in 1995, when interior piping was installed and the urn was refurbished. The solution turned out to be only temporary. The urn filled with water that froze in cold weather, cracking the bowl and ruining the piping. The drainage failure became apparent when the Ocean Grove Beautification Project planted the urn with flowers.  They drowned.

In the new system designed by Dufresne, flexible PEK piping will run from a hole drilled in the bowl of the urn down through the hollow base and out one side. Holes drilled on either side of the crack have halted its spread, and will be invisible when the urn receives a fresh coat of green paint.

To prepare the urn, Dufresne said, it was necessary to remove dead plants, many pounds of dirt and so many marble chips they filled a barrel. The interior  has been scraped free of rust and dirt and painted. Much of the work has been carried out by Ocean Grove Hardware. When the side panel was removed, Bell and Dufresne found two time capsules — red metal boxes — placed there when the urn was rededicated in 1996 following the restoration. They will be returned to the base until some future generation decides it’s time to open them, Bell said. “I’m not going to be around.”

On the scene Monday, Dufresne said that a lot of Grovers had stopped by to offer input. As an engineer by profession, he has often been in the position of receiving friendly advice. That offered by Grovers has been typical. “Most have told me why this wouldn’t work!”

The Historical Society welcomes donations toward Ocean Grove’s share of the matching funds.

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Founders Fountain in its glory days. Photo courtesy of Historical Society of Ocean Grove

By Mary Walton

What was once a handsome four-tier fountain, the centerpiece of Founder’s Park, today is a forlorn structure half its original size, surrounded by ugly orange plastic netting.

Constructed in 1907 by the J.W. Fiske Iron Works of New York, the fountain was already in disrepair when a vandal threw soap into it in the 1970s, clogging its plumbing forever. Gone are the top three tiers, the four urns that perched on its water-filled base and the pipe railing that surrounded it. The design on its pedestal featuring scallop shells, drills and tulips is barely visible, and the pedestal itself is deeply cracked and corroded. A ragged fringe of cannas and pink vinca encircle what’s left, representing a valiant attempt by Ocean Grove Beautification to improve its appearance. Grass sprouts from the top basin.

The netting was put in place lest the fountain topple over onto children who play in the park and might be tempted to climb it. Truth to tell, says Ocean Grove historian Ted Bell, the fountain sits in a solid cement base. “Two of us could not even budge it.”

But help for the fountain, says Bell, may be on the way.

Ted Bell at the fountain he hopes can be restored. Photo by Mary Walton

In his research, Bell discovered that a company in Alabama called Robinson Ironworks had purchased Fiske. From Luke Robinson, of the iron works, he learned that the company still had the original molds used to cast the fountain. And on Wednesday Robinson is arriving in Ocean Grove to evaluate the fountain for possible restoration. Under Bell’s leadership a committee of the Historical Society of Ocean Grove plans to explore the availability of federal, state and county funds. The other committee members are Society president Gail Shaffer, Liz Ogden, Phillis Keutgen, Darrell Dufresne and Rose Myers.

Founder’s Park is the most historic site in Ocean Grove, the very place where Methodist elders gathered in 1869 and decided to establish a religious community. Several trees that shaded that august gathering still cast their shadows over the lawn.

Fountains are in short supply in this corner of New Jersey. In a voice filled with optimism, Bell says the one in Founder’s Park is “the only soon-to-be-working fountain in Monmouth County.”

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