Memories of Seaside Heights, New Jersey
This page serves as a jumping off place for personal recollections and memories of times spent in Seaside Heights. Things are evolving here and I will post more pages whenever I receive new entries. It would be great too to be able to post pictures too, if anyone has some of those to contribute.
If you have a story or a short anecdote to send in please let us know. You can find out about how to submit content here.
Summer of 1986. Midway rental bungalow on 14th Ave and 1st street - 6 houses from the shore or about 150 feet from the sand. Tiny one way street, no parking to be found, house sleeps 6 we fit 12, and the weekends maybe 16 some boys will sleep on the roof and love it. continued....
I've been thinking about my own personal Motown history quite a bit lately. It started when I was in grammar school. I remember being at Seaside Heights on the Jersey Shore with my family, and winning a little Japanese transistor radio at one of the wheels of chance on the boardwalk. continued....
On August 9th, 1900 the Sewell Cup was won by the Bouquet, which at the time was owned by William G. Hartrauft. The boat was later owned by Leopold F. Zwarg - also known as “Pappy” or “Leo” Zwarg - in the 1940s and early 50s. continued....
My memories of Seaside Heights and Seaside Park are so tightly woven with those of my Dad’s that I can’t seem to separate them. My times spent on the beach and boardwalk were infused with a deeper sense of enjoyment and respect because of the love that both my parents had for the area. My Mom grew up in Paterson and my Dad was born and raised in Little Falls, NJ. My Dad’s parents naturally vacationed in Seaside as did most of his neighbors and friends from North Jersey.continued....
You can see more lovely paintings of the Jersey shore at dianehutchinson.com
When I was a child I spent my summers in Ortley Beach. My family owned a house that was a stone's throw from the Surf Club. In those days the houses were not all three stories high. Most were still small bungalows. Our house had a sundeck coming off of the second floor dormer and from there we could sit and watch the weekly Seaside Heights fireworks show. continued....
The Wooden Bridge and Funtown Pier carousel.
submitted by Patricia Small
My earliest memory of Seaside Heights was the terrifying ride across the rickety old wooden bridge of Rt 37. It was so close to the water. My first feathered Cupey Doll on the boardwalk and ride on the merry go round made it worth the trip. I enclosed a photo (click on the photo to enlarge) of my favorite carousel, the OLD one on the Funtown Pier, which had beautiful artwork of ocean scenes above, and the horses had real horsehair tails (more about the boardwalk and Seaside heights carousels). I took the photo in 1985 and the boy on the horse on the right facing my camera is my son Jeff Clifford. Later this carousel was dismantled and sold when the elderly lady who owned the Pier died. She was wonderful having saved that carousel all those years. I was disappointed to see the photo of a NEW carousel on the Funtown Pier website and people commenting in error that this is one of the oldest carousels in the country. Thank you for the memories.
Seaside Heights 40's & 50's
submitted by J. Eric Bishop
Every summer up through about 1967 our family (my parents and my siblings and I) rented a cabin on Marlin Drive, Seaside Heights ($50 for the week!), and we spent every day at Ortley Beach (now Vision Beach Club, or something like that), walking over to the beach past "Flo's Bat 'Em Out," and usually parking ourselves close to the fence that separated us from the others who were at Seaside Heights. I enjoyed lying on the beach and watching the activity up on the Casino Pier. I eventually worked up the nerve to ride on the Divebombers there one night! My father could invariably be found at the Raw Bar eating clams.
The A&P or ACME across the way from our cluster of beaches bungalows....... Waiting for the ice cream man to drive though the sandy lane, his bell audible long before his truck was in sight......buying a "Sky Blue" popsicle....
Soooooo many memories......
Years later we would take family day trips to Island Beach State Park.
Seaside Heights 40's & 50's
submitted by Lois Stern
My aunt lived on Hiering Ave.There were no buildings at all from her house to the beach (one block). She picked wild beach plums and made jelly. I spent many weeks every summer there. The mayor was Patrick Tunney. Does anyone remember Augie Hoffmann's bar on the main blvd. The big banner outside said "hammond organ". Many a good time there.
An expanded page about Lois, her family and times in Seaside Heights - with some great old pictures - can be found here.
Bait in the Bay
circa mid 70's, submitted by Tom
When you I was in my early teens I was looking for ways to make some extra money to play the pin ball machines on the boardwalk. My grandfather offered to take me fishing for spearing with his dragnets so I could sell them. We’d wake up early and set out for Pelican Island with our nets, buckets, baggies and some bread for bait, and within an hour or so we’d have a full bucket of active little silver fish. I’d put a handful in each baggie and we’d make the rounds of the local bait stores in Seaside and sell them for one dollar a bag. Business was always brisk and it was a fun way to make money, and especially learning from my grandfather how to be a better fisherman, just like him.
Keeping Track on the Boardwalk
circa early 70's, submitted by Pat
Keeping track of my four little sons was always a challenge on the busy Seaside boardwalk. Everyone wanted to do everything: go on every ride, try every pizza stand, play every arcade game. I would dress them in bright clothes so they’d be easy to spot and I would constantly count heads to myself: one, two, three, four, one two three, four….. Only once did I lose one for more than a minute, and that was when I learned where the lost and found booth was.
Feel free to send us your own stories or add a comment about your memories of Seaside Heights.