Two Centuries of History on Long Beach Islandby John Bailey Lloyd
Chapters include: Summer People; Long Beach Islanders; the Lucy Evelyn at Christmas;
The third in John Bailey Lloyd's Long Beach Island pictorial books reveals more about the resort island's architecture, names, shipwrecks, storms, and the mainland too. It also includes a more personal focus of the people who have left their imprint on this sandy shore.
Chapters include: Summer People; Long Beach Islanders; the Lucy Evelyn at Christmas; Lifeguarding; Fishing; Fever at the Oceanic, and the Signal House; the yacht San Souci; Beach Haven Houses -- Parry House and Coral Street, Curlew Cottage, Onion Domes; Beach Haven Merchants; Engleside Baby Dairy; Purkey's Pond; Tucker's Light; the Tuckerton Wireless; Pinelands Plains, Cedar Bogs; and the story of the Hawkin' Bear.
- Down The Shore Publishing
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 8.70(w) x 11.40(h) x 0.80(d)
Read an Excerpt
from Beach Haven Houses: Parry & The Nearsea
When Charles Thomas Parry died in July 1887 at his Beach Haven summer home on Coral Street, his life had, by every standard been a remarkable success. Born in Philadelphia in 1821, he went to work at the age of fifteen as an apprentice in the pattern shops of Matthias Baldwin who had, only a few years earlier, constructed for the Philadelphia & Germantown Railroad one of the first American locomotives engines to be actually employed in transportation. Parry became a skilled draftsman and designer advancing through every level of mechanical labor until, in 1855 at the age of 34; he was appointed general superintendent in charge of locomotive construction.
The firm prospered in the Civil War and with the opening of western railroads the Baldwin locomotive became a symbol of excellence. Baldwin died in 1866 and by 1873 the firm took on, in alphabetical order, the names of its three principals, Burnham, Parry and Williams. All three men, when they were not traveling and selling locomotives all over the world vacationed in Beach Haven -- which Parry more than anyone else was responsible for developing when he opened his splendid Parry House hotel on Centre Street in 1874.
When the fully occupied 100 room hotel burned to the ground, on the night of August 11,1881, Parry, Burnham and Williams began building homes of their own on Coral Street. Parry's own place, All Breeze, was on the oceanfront at the southwest corner of Coral and Atlantic. Partner George Burnham's huge cottage stood opposite it on the northwest corner. At his death in 1900 it became the Edith Wharton Baby Hospital until it was destroyed in theHurricane of 1944. Dr. Edward H. Williams' cottage at Marine and Atlantic, still standing today is an impressive structure capped with a great onion dome. It has a twin a block to the south called the Converse Cottage built for John Converse another officer in the Baldwin Locomotive Company. Both places once had spacious, wrap-around porches that have long since been enclosed.
Charles Parry generously provided for each of his three married children. For his daughter Adelaide, he built #127 Coral that she named "Florence" for her daughter. It was until recently the summer residence of his descendants the Barclays. Parry's son William T. got #135 on the northeast corner of Beach Avenue and Coral, one of the four on that street to be designed by Philadelphia architect John Wilson. It is now the home of Samuel Lyon Jr. Across the street from it on the southeast corner, Parry built, in 1884, for his daughter Ellie the splendid "Nearsea." Ellie who was Mrs James Baird was the mother of Parry's favorite grandchild, Mercer the rather spoiled little boy who would one day become mayor of Beach Haven and who would bring his father's hotel, the Baldwin to bankruptcy with his extravagant spending and his libertine life style.
Over the years "Nearsea" became the home of some remarkable figures in Beach Haven history. In 1907 James Baird's good friend, Philadelphia engraver Charles Beck who summered four years there until he bought the old Sherborne estate on Liberty Avenue and created the fabulous "Beck Farm," an island showplace, bought it. His grandson, Charles Edgar Nash the author of "The Lure of Long Beach" in 1936 summered at Nearsea as a boy and described it in the opening chapters of his wonderfully nostalgic piece called "The Farm." written as a thirteen part series for the Beach Haven Times in the 1970s.
The next owner of Nearsea was Frederick Ostendorff who bought it from Beck in 1911. Ostendorff, a highly successful Philadelphia restaurateur owned the popular German Kitchen at 12th and Market Streets. It was always called "Philadelphia's answer to Luchows," New York's own celebrated German restaurant. Ostendorff came to Beach Haven to build, on the eve of the opening of the automobile causeway across the bay in 1914, a big brick and steel garage at Pearl Street and Bay Avenue. It would hold 125 cars and was equipped with every modern mechanical device including an elevator to take cars to a machine shop on the second floor.
© 2005 John Bailey Lloyd and Down The Shore Publishing Corp. All rights reserved.
Meet the Author
John Bailey Lloyd was an author, librarian, newspaper columnist, speaker, and historian on Long Beach Island, at the New Jersey Shore. He died in 2003 at age 71.
Frequently referred to as "Long Beach Island's historian," although no such official position existed, he was employed as a reference librarian in the Ocean County Library System. His passion was for local history, however, and as an engaging speaker, he gave weekly talks on shore history at standing-room-only programs in his hometown of Beach Haven for two decades. He wrote a widely-read column and historical features for the Island's newspapers, which were equally popular with residents and summer visitors on the resort island.
Mr. Lloyd authored three best-selling books, including Six Miles At Sea and Eighteen Miles of History. The books focused on Long Beach Island, but captured much of the history of the entire New Jersey Shore. He also wrote two biographical introductions to other books, including The Tides of Barnegat, by F. Hopkinson Smith, and a short story included in Shore Stories, a literary anthology. He provided material and the basis for three historical videos, including programs about the Barnegat Lighthouse and the Lost Resort of Sea Haven: Tucker's Island.
Born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, in 1932, he had been on Long Beach Island since he was ten years old -- in time to see old landmarks like the Beach Haven boardwalk, the Engleside Hotel and the vast emptiness of the Island as it once was. With time out for service in the Coast Guard, graduate school and some travel, he spent nearly every summer on the Island.
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