Asbury Park and Ocean Grove, NJ   2007-04-17


Last Saturday, before the storm hit, the Appalachian Mountain Club had a early spring hike along the central Jersey Shore that started in Spring Lake and went north about 8 miles through Belmar, Bradley Beach, Ocean Grove, Asbury Park, Allenhurst.


One highlight was the town of Ocean Grove, still primarily run by the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association (, a Methodist organization that founded the community in the late 19th century.   To this day it is still a 'dry' (alcohol-free) community.


Many historic Victorian buildings exist .....



The main street running perpindicular to the shore is rather quaint and has this old-fashioned ice cream parlour (Nagle's), which originated as a pharmacy.   It was quite common in generations past to have the pharmacy also have an ice cream and soda counter.



Also in the community is a wonderful original Victorian auditorium dating from 1894 still used for concerts and religious services.



As the name of the organization implies, the 'camp meeting association' was originally sort of a summer retreat with tents; to this day tents can be rented for the summer.   These few have already been put up for the season.



Immediately next to Ocean Grove is Asbury Park; having been run down for many years, it is now undergoing a major gentrification.


Below: The Stone Pony, where Bruce Springsteen got his start.



On the boardwalk, facing north, is the convention center from 1930.    In 1934, an ocean liner, the Morro Castle, caught fire at sea and beached itself a few feet to the east of this building.





Other view sof the convention center, with a 1960's Howard Johnson's structure that has managed to survive and now is being renovated into a public space.




Some elements of the 'old' Asbury Park ....






On the south end of the boardwalk is the 'Casino' building that has a long way to go...



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