Posts Tagged ‘NY Times history of Ocean Grove’

2007. The earth shifted under OG this year, and the North End Plan reared its ugly head. Paul Goldfinger ©  OG Tabernacle.


2007 Nick Maat fishing on the pier which would be destroyed in 2012. BF photo.


Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @Blogfinger.net

It is interesting to look back on some NY Times coverage of OG.  Today we have snagged some out-of-context quotes from the “gray lady,” and some of them, between 1979 and 2005 are eyebrow raisers.

The Times quotes are shown with quotation marks.  Items that say Editor are my comments regarding the Times quotes:

1979:   Recall that this is when governance of the town was taken away from the CMA by the NJ Supreme court:

” Ocean Grove’s  permanent population of 7,000 is often swelled by a summer influx that brings the seasonal population to 20,000.”  (Editor:  Our census population now from the 2000 census is about 3,000.)

   ” Rev. Harold Flood   {CMA Pres.}  said that the court ruling did not upset Ocean Grove’s right to pick and choose who should live there and that he would continue to screen those who sought homes. There are Methodists, other Protestants, Catholics and Jews in Ocean Grove,” he said.

He continued, “The only thing we require is that people obey the laws and are dedicated to our peaceful way of life.”



This was a review of OG history:   “It wasn’t until 1979 that the existence of a religious community with its own laws was declared unconstitutional, and Ocean Grove officially became part of Neptune. But it remains a separate community with its own traditions.”

Editor:  Does the CMA still consider itself as a “separate community?”   Mr. Badger often uses the word “community” but he never defines the word.

“The Camp Meeting Association bought the land and sold lots for $250.”

“The Camp Meeting Association owned the land and still does.”

Editor:  All the histories of OG say that Stokes “sold lots,” and then later that lots were leased.   What happened to those “sold” lots; what happened to the deeds?  And how did the business model result in the CMA acquiring all those lots subsequently? It remains a mystery and should be cleared up without confusion if any more ground rent and tax issues were to develop.  Where is the Historical Society when questions like this pop up?



Ray Huizenga, realtor in OG:  “When they stopped chaining off the entrances on Sundays, people with money started buying houses and fixing them up,” he said. “We’ve gone from a run-down town of Chevrolets and peeling paint to a town of Victorian gems with BMW’s out front.”

“When I moved in 21 years ago, people were not eager to rent to two guys,” said Mr. (Len) Steen, who is gay. “Then they saw gay people installing recessed lighting and ceiling fans and restoring houses and suddenly it became a very tolerant town.”

Great Auditorium:   “The building is used for political, cultural and religious events.”

Editor:  “political events?”  In the past, US Presidents did speak there, but no political programs in recent times.

“Within three years  (of the founding,)  the tent colony evolved into a town, as the Association bought more land and sold off development rights to 1,000 building lots.

Editor:  development rights?–Do such “rights” still exist and what happened to them?

Mayor Catley said,  “Now, I’m afraid that rising property values might drive our seniors out.”

Editor:  I’m not sure, but the retiree residential population may have grown since 2005.

Times:   “Ocean Grove is a quirky, calm oasis a stone’s throw from the action of Asbury Park and Bradley Beach. Although its summer population triples to about 15,000, the town still has enough permanent residents to keep its business district functioning year-round.”

Editor:  Do the businesses downtown agree with this “year-round” assessment?—There were more businesses in 2005 that were geared to residents such as  cleaners, grocery with butcher, video store, barber, doctor, general store, etc.

Times:   “What We’d Change:

“With virtually no driveways or garages, and many beachgoers arriving daily, residents and visitors fight for street parking. The town desperately needs a parking garage.

2007  The Times was active covering the Pavilion issue.  We will bring some Times quotes from that year another time.


GUY LOMBARDO   “the  Band Played On”


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