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By Kathy Arlt, Contributing Writer  @Blogfinger   (2011.  Re-posted 2018)

Okay, I’ll admit it: I’ve been in Ocean Grove for so long that I can remember when The Sampler Inn cafeteria was still serving up three meals a day. I often took my houseguests there for breakfast, not just for the oatmeal and baked apples, but also for the samplers on the dining room walls.

I wonder what happened to all those samplers…but I know what happened to The Sampler Inn. It was demolished.

Of course, it didn’t look like this when the decision was made to tear it down. By then it had broken windows and holes in the porch floor; the flower boxes were long gone; the awnings, railings and signage had been stripped away. Surprisingly, however, it also didn’t look like this when it was built. In fact, it looked very different. There was no fourth floor or single-story side extension, and the roof wasn’t flat. The windows had shutters, the porch railings were wood, and there was lots of gingerbread. Then it was a hotel called The Aldine, and here’s what it looked like:

The Aldine wasn’t open very long before the owners of Lawrence House took it over, renamed it The Lawrence and started remodeling. Based on advertisements in the 1916 editions of the Ocean Grove Times, we know we can definitely thank them (or not) for the side extension, and perhaps for the addition of a fourth floor, too. But maybe this was the change the owners of The Sampler Inn boasted about in this 1923 ad:

 

LAWRENCE LEBO AND HER LITTLE BIG BAND:  From her album “Don’t Call Me Larry.”   (music added 2018)

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