Posts Tagged ‘What happened to the Hotel Osborne?’

By Kathy Arlt, Contributing Editor   @Blogfinger

Remember this place? It’s the Osborn House, circa 1875.

Around 1882, its name was changed to the Osborne House, and, as I wrote here on Blogfinger on June 30, 2011, it remained a hotel well into the twentieth century. By then it looked like this:

So far so good. The mistake I made was in showing what’s there now. I showed you this:

And I was wrong. But before I show you what really is there now, let me tell you how the mistake was made.

In Ocean Grove’s early days, numerical street addresses weren’t always used. Instead, hotels often gave their location as “On the Ocean,” “Near the Auditorium” or at the intersection of two avenues. As this 1906 advertisement shows, this was also true for the Osborne House.

Well, the Hotel Allenhurst was also on the corner of Pitman and Central Avenues, which is probably how that recent photo of the Allenhurst apartments wound up in the same folder as the original photo of the Osborn House. But, as I continued cataloguing the Historical Society’s collection of hotel photos and other memorabilia, I soon discovered what really replaced the Osborne House. It’s this structure, built by the Camp Meeting Association in 1958.

What happened to the Osborne House remains a mystery. As far as I can tell, it went out of business around 1940, and the lots it occupied were reported to be vacant when the Camp Meeting Association announced its plan to build the Ocean Grove Motor Inn—that is what it was named—in 1957. Was there a fire? Severe storm damage? Did the building go unmaintained for so long that demolition was the only option? I’ve scoured many back issues of the Ocean Grove Times looking for the answer, but turned up nothing. So, if anyone knows, please enlighten me with a comment.

Next time: Moving Day

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