Asbury Park, New Jersey: A Brief History

Overview

The seaside bustle of the boardwalk comes to life in this fascinating saga of a Jersey Shore resort town.

The history of Asbury Park is a veritable roller coaster of challenge, triumph and change. In 1871, there was nothing but marshes and sand dunes between the sinful city of Long Branch and the holy haven of Ocean Grove, but for devout Methodist James Bradley, the deserted beachfront was a new Promised Land. Thus, the resort community Asbury Park was born as a wholesome ...

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Overview

The seaside bustle of the boardwalk comes to life in this fascinating saga of a Jersey Shore resort town.

The history of Asbury Park is a veritable roller coaster of challenge, triumph and change. In 1871, there was nothing but marshes and sand dunes between the sinful city of Long Branch and the holy haven of Ocean Grove, but for devout Methodist James Bradley, the deserted beachfront was a new Promised Land. Thus, the resort community Asbury Park was born as a wholesome entertainment and relaxation center for middle-class, white Protestant America. From bicycles and baby parades to brawlers and bootleggers, Bilby and Ziegler trace Asbury Park's cycles of transformation from peaceful resort to raucous amusement park, from empty boardwalk to modern, bustling center of business.

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Editorial Reviews

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If you're old enough to remember pre-Disney Empire days, you might recall summers when Asbury Park, New Jersey, seemed like the far extremity of your childhood universe; a time of sand in your shoes walks on the boardwalk, miniature golf, arcade games, and blistering sunburn in those carefree days before "ozone" was a word. Joseph Bilby and Harry Ziegler's brief history shows how this small seaside community transformed itself from a residential resort into a vacation haven; then, after economic decline and intense urban unrest, somehow managed to rescue itself and flourish again. A fascinating piece of living history.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596296046
  • Publisher: History Press, The
  • Publication date: 5/15/2009
  • Pages: 125
  • Sales rank: 1,404,830
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface 9

Acknowledgements 11

Chapter 1 James A. Bradley, The Founder

A Man of His Times 13

Bradley on Crusade 21

Racism in the Promised Land 26

Rise of the Wheelmen 33

Babies on Parade 38

End of an Era 42

Chapter 2 The Hetrick Years

A New Man in Town 53

The Ku Klux Attempt a Coup 62

The Mayor Falls From Grace 73

Disaster Comes Ashore 79

Hetrick Redux 83

War and Peace 87

Chapter 3 The Fall and the Rise

The Merchant Kingdom 93

Postwar Comeback 100

The Downfall 105

Steps Forward, Then Back 110

The Road Up 115

Notes 119

Bibliographical Notes 127

About the Authors 128

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