Posts Tagged ‘From the archives of the HSOG’

By Kathy Arlt, Contributing Writer   @Blogfinger

The 114 tents that exist in Ocean Grove today are only about 25% of the tents that existed at the turn of the 20th century. Then there were four Camp Meeting Association tent grounds; now there are just two. Here are two photos I took showing what tent ground #4 looks like today:

In case you can’t identify the locations: the first picture is Stockton Street at New York Avenue, the second is the intersection of Inskip and New York Avenues; both are facing east. And here are two photographs—the first one very old—taken from roughly the same vantage points as mine, but many, many years ago:

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a photo of tent ground #4 that includes Fletcher Lake, which these tents faced. And, also unfortunately, these two photos above aren’t dated. (Please, everyone, for the sake of future historians: put dates on your photos!) But the photograph below, showing tent ground #1, was dated, and the date is 1903.

Of course you know where this is: it’s the North End. Wesley Lake takes up most of the frame, and look at all those tents facing it. (Given the great view, it’s no wonder that tents on Lake Pathway commanded a surcharge.) The structure on the right is Ross’s Pavilion. At the far left of the photograph, above the tents, is the steeple of the Great Auditorium.

Next time: Still more tenting.

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By Kathy Arlt, Contributing Writer  @Blogfinger

Way back in September of 2011, I showed you this photograph of the almost-finished North End Hotel. The photo came from an album compiled by the construction foreman Alfred Clark.

This time though, instead of focusing on the hotel, look at the little building in front of it with the curved roof. Mr. Clark noticed that building, too, and one of the captions in his album was a question: What happened to it?

Well, here’s the answer. It was moved. It now resides at 47 Heck Ave., where it’s become a cottage.

Next time: Correcting a Big Mistake

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By Kathy Arlt, Contributing Writer @Blogfinger

This was the headline in the March 11, 1938 issue of The Ocean Grove Times:

The hotel was closed at the time, and all the utilities had been cut off, so a cause for the fire could not be determined. Unlike the 1925 fire, this fire struck at the very heart of the North End Hotel complex, and much of the original 1912 building was destroyed. After the fire, many rumors circulated claiming that the hotel wouldn’t be rebuilt. But, as we all know, it was rebuilt…and guests continued to check in until 1976. Then the hotel was closed for good, and plans were made for a new complex at the North End: a “life care” facility for senior citizens called “Aldersgate.”

And so, in 1978, the North End Hotel was demolished.

And what happened to Aldersgate? Well, the planned 272 studio and one-bedroom unit complex was never built. There just wasn’t enough interest from the senior citizen community to support construction.

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By Kathy Arlt, contributing writer  @Blogfinger

Captain W.T. Sweet operated the first bathing facilities in Ocean Grove; he also held a patent on the system of ropes that bathers used to keep from drowning in the ocean. But in 1876 the Camp Meeting Association purchased both Captain Sweet’s buildings and his “life-line” patents, and gave a lease for the operation of the North End bathing facilities to George W. Evans, who subsequently transferred this lease to Joseph Ross. And so this announcement greeted readers of the Ocean Grove Record on May 12, 1877:

This arrangement continued for many years, and Joseph Ross did indeed enlarge the North End facilities: he built a two-story pavilion that could accommodate between 1,800 and 2,000 people. In 1906, Ross’s pavilion looked like this:

After looking at this picture, I’ve vowed never to complain about how crowded the beach is on the weekends. That pavilion is packed! But an even more interesting view of turn-of-the-century Ocean Grove is in the picture below. Notice the tents along Wesley Lake, and, at the upper left-hand corner of the photo, the steeple of the Great Auditorium.

Next time: The North End gets a hotel.

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By Kathy Arlt,  contributing writer    @Blogfinger

Here, in all its glory, is the Osborn House, most likely after William Jimeson moved the building to its location at the corner of Pitman and Central Avenues.

Imagine running a hotel this size, with a restaurant that served three meals a day AND a general store. It’s no wonder that William Jimeson was “prostrated from over-work” halfway through the 1875 summer season. So perhaps Mr. Jimeson had a change of heart before the 1876 season began and didn’t re-open the Osborn House—or perhaps it had developed such a loyal clientele during its first year of operation that it didn’t need to advertise—because the Ocean Grove Record doesn’t show a listing for the hotel again until 1882.

Notice the subtle name change from Osborn to Osborne? This wasn’t an attempt to artificially age the name, like changing “old” to “olde” or “shop” to “shoppe.” The 1875 Osborn House was named for William Osborn, one of the founders of Ocean Grove; the 1882 Osborne House was named for John A. Osborne, who may have owned it at some point between 1875 and 1882. (John Osborne, it’s worth noting, provided the money for the Great Auditorium’s cornerstone.)

Over the years, the hotel’s owners and proprietors changed many times. In 1883, for example, Charles Hornor was out, and the new proprietor was J.H. Goodwin. Yet it remained a hotel well into the 20th century.

But 20th century guests began demanding 20th century accommodations, like en suite bathrooms, closets and air conditioning. So the Osborne House went the way of so many other grand hotels in Ocean Grove, and the corner of Pitman and Central is now the site of the Allenhurst apartments.

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