Posts Tagged ‘HSOG Archives’

By Kathy Arlt, contributing writer  @Blogfinger

In 2011 it’s not uncommon to see Ocean Grove visitors (and residents) walking to the beach in their bathing suits, but this was completely unacceptable behavior in the 1800s—even though an 1800’s bathing suit covered one’s body from head to toe. So Victorian beach-goers must have been thrilled to read this announcement in the May 12, 1877 issue of the Ocean Grove Record:

The builder and operator of these bathing houses was Theodore W. Lillagore of Philadelphia, through a lease agreement with the Camp Meeting Association. (Another entrepreneur, Joseph Ross, was awarded the same concession for the North End beach. More about this in my next post.) This 1878 Woolman and Rose engraving shows the finished product:

It’s difficult to say how long the bathing grounds looked like this. Year after year, winter storms took their toll on every structure built near the beach. But that fact only seemed to stoke a desire to rebuild even bigger and better. In fact, in 1904, when the second “Auditorium” (the Great Auditorium we know today is actually the third Auditorium) was torn down, many of its elements were incorporated into a grand “Lillagore’s Pavilion” at the South End beach. Sadly, however, in 1915, the pavilion fell victim to the Grove’s other nemesis: fire.

Despite this tragedy, when visitors arrived in 1916, they were greeted by this new South End Pavilion.

This grand structure, too, fell victim to the ravages of Mother Nature. I’m thinking it was destroyed in the Great Hurricane of 1944…but if anyone out there has better information, please share it with a comment.

(Note: Kathy Arlt is no longer associated with Blogfinger.)



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