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Posts Tagged ‘Historical Article by Kathy Arlt’

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

The moment I saw this photograph in the archives I was intrigued. It was in a folder marked “Lawrence House,” and the address given was 28 Main Avenue.

Maybe that street address doesn’t pinpoint a location you can visualize while you’re reading this, but if I said that this was where The Sampler Inn once stood, you’d know exactly where 28 Main Avenue is, and exactly what a “today” photograph would show. And that was exactly where I thought this story was going.

But there was just one problem. When I got home and compared this photograph to another early photo of The Sampler Inn (when it was a hotel called The Aldine), it was obvious they were different buildings. So where was the Lawrence House? This advertisement in the June 22, 1878 edition of Ocean Grove Record doesn’t give a precise address:

Nor does this July 25, 1903, Ocean Grove Times report of a fire at the Lawrence House:

Or even this July 20, 1903, New York Times report on the same fire:

As far as I can determine, the Lawrence House never reopened after this fire. Instead it appears that the owners took over The Aldine in 1904, renamed it The Lawrence, and turned it over to the Lawrence House proprietress at the time of the fire, Miss Maggie White. So, given the similarity of the hotels’ names and the fact that The Lawrence was a Sampler Inn precursor, the mystery of how the Lawrence House photograph was previously misidentified is solved.

As for solving the mystery of where, exactly, the Lawrence House was so that I can show you what’s there now…well, that turned out to be much easier. The Historical Society has compiled a “hotel book,” which provides the name and address of every property that was ever a hotel or boarding house. The Lawrence House was located at 43 Main Avenue. And here’s what’s there today:

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By Kathy Arlt, Contributing Writer  @Blogfinger

It’s impossible for me, in 2011, to improve on the Ocean Grove Times account of the North End Hotel’s opening in 1911, so most of this post will be a reprint from that newspaper. But first, a photo of the north side of the completed hotel, with Wesley Lake in the foreground:

And here is the front-page headline that announced the opening:

Sadly (for all the foodies reading this), the Times didn’t record any specifics about the elaborate menu the 150 invited guests enjoyed, but it was reported that there were nine courses which “embraced about all that was needed to please the palates of the banquetters.” Vocal and instrumental “quartettes” entertained the diners, who were not subjected to “speechmaking.” I imagine the guests also examined the hotel’s rooms and facilities, which were described in detail.

At 10 p.m. the festivities were over, and the grand opening guests departed “with a feeling that they had spent a most pleasant evening enjoying to the full the hospitality of the North End Hotel Company, and wishing for that body unlimited prosperity in their new enterprise.”

The Times account ends by listing the first two guests to register at the hotel: Mrs. Matilda Applegate and Miss Dorothy Applegate. They didn’t travel far to experience the luxurious surroundings of the North End Hotel; they came from Asbury Park.

Next time: It Wasn’t Just a Hotel

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