Township of Ocean Historical Museum
Copyright 2017 (C) Township of Ocean Historical Museum
Township of Ocean Historical Museum
Address: 703 Deal Road, Ocean, NJ 07712
Mailing: P.O. Box 516, Oakhurst, NJ 07755-0516
Sunset Avenue looking west at Vina Street in the late 1800's.
Deal Lake was not bridged at Sunset Avenue until the 1920's (left photo). That bridge was replaced by the George W. Rosenstiel Bridge, which currently spans Deal Lake at Sunset Avenue.
Logan Road in 1917 was a dirt road and well traveled. It was originally called Logantown Road because it was the only route to the section of Neptune then called Logantown. State Highway #35 had not yet been built.
Colonel George McClellan Harvey, built the residence that once stood on the corner of Roseld Avenue and Wickapecko Drive in 1903. Col. Harvey was born in Vermont in 1864. He served as managing editor of the New York World, editor of the Washington Post, and finally President of Harper Brothers Publishing. Under President Warren G. Harding, he was made Ambasssador to Great Britian. The home was later owned by Senator Richard Stout. The house was torn down in 2010.
“Ivy Hedge” on Wickapecko Drive in Wanamassa was built by M.H. Harper, one of the Harper Brothers, who owned the Harper Brothers Publishing Company. It was later owned by James B. Regan, the owner of the Knickerbocker Hotel in New York City. In 1923, the property was sold to J. Lyle Kinmouth, editor and publisher of the Asbury Park Press. In the 1960’s, the property was converted to a school, and today is owned and operated by the Search Day Program School.
Jimmy De Forest was a professional boxing promoter and trainer who set up his training camp in West Allenhurst on the south side of Corlies Avenue,from 1900 to 1930. He trained such legendary boxers as Stanley Ketchel and Jack Dempsey. DeForest also trained: James J. Jeffries; Joe Gans; George Dixon; Joe Walcott; Kid McCoy; Tommy Ryan; Philadelphia Pal Moore; Jack Sharkey; and, Luis Angel Firpo. He also promoted the Harry Greb vs. Mickey Walker bout. DeForest also had an extensive collection of boxing memorabilia, much of which was lost in a house fire.
This image of the Wanamassa Park Hotel is taken from a post card dated August 1, 1907. The Hotel was located on the west side of Wickapecko Drive , at Ballard Drive. It later became locally famous as Wanamassa Gardens, a night club/bar/restaurant. It was demolished in 1966 and replaced by what is now an office building.
The Hotel West New York was located on Wanamassa Point Road at the intersection of Laurel Avenue on Deal Lake.
According to an 1889 map, this rustic setting on the banks of Deal Lake in Wanamassa was the location of a restaurant known as The Farm. In 1898, it was bought by the well known vaudevillian comedy team of Charlie Ross and Mabel Fenton and turned into a popular nightspot called the Ross Fenton Farm, which featured the biggest name in entertainment. In 1902, the comedy team resumed their career on the stage and leased the property. After the death of Ross in 1918, Mabel Fenton returned to run the business until her death in 1931. From 1931 until it burned in 1950, it had several owner.
During the club's heyday, the railroad put on extra car to bring patrons to Deal Lake. Motor launches brought guest from the landing in Interlaken up the lake to the restaurant's dock. Notables like Sophie Tucker, Helen Morgan, Lillian Russell, and John McCormack appeared at the Wanamassa nightclub. Local residents tell of sitting in their canoes on the lake listening to the music as it drifted down the lakefront.
One of the first landowners in the Township of Ocean was Scotsman Gawen (Gavin) Drummond, who purchased 500 acres within the branches of "Great Pond" (Deal Lake) in 1687. The land embraced what is now West Allenhurst, Wanamassa, Interlaken, and Colonial Terrace. Drummond purchased the land for "one gun, five matchcoats, one kettle, and two pound weight of powder" from three Native American chiefs named Wanamassa, Waywinotunce, and Wallammassekem. This is a 1904 photograph of the Drummond Homestead that was located along Wickapecko Drive near Darlene Avenue. The original part of the house was built about 1703 with additional rooms added as the family and resources increased. The Drummond farmhouse was destroyed by fire on Halloween in 1933.
The N. Montgomery Woods House (also known as the "Mushroom House" was constructed by well know architect Neander Montgomery Woods, Jr. (1876-1956) as a summer home. Mr. Woods, who "may have been one of the most inventive architect of the first quarter of the 20th century," is well known for homes he designed in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, as well as Memphis, Tennessee. The modern "thatched roof shingle" design was typical of many of Mr. Woods designs.
The Drummond family originally built a saw mill on the branch of Deal Lake known as "Hog Swamp Creek" The mill was owned by G.A. Tifors & Co. in 1851. By the time these photos were made in the early 1900's, the property was part of Col. George Harvey's Estate. The mill was gone, but the spillway and the pond were retained. The spillway still stands north of Roseld Avenue on property owned by the Hollywood Country Club.
The estate known as "The Orchards" was built in 1909 on Wickapecko Drive in Wanamassa, just north of the Asbury Park Womans Club. It was the estate of prominent New York Judge Joseph Ryan from 1909 to 1951. In the 1980s it was sold to developers. The house was demolished and the land was subdivided to build large luxury homes on Woods End and Donna Court.
This 1800 farmhouse sits back off Logan Road diagonally across from Park Boulevard. The farmland of this house extended west of the road. Highway 35 originally ended at Deal Road. Logan Road was the route south to Neptune (then called Logantown). This house at one time served as a tavern, providing refreshment to traveler and local residents. A farm stand selling homegrown produce was a fixture for many years. Route 35 was continued south in the 1930's. Logan Road went from being a busy highway to a quite local street. The farms property was also cut off by the new highway. The property has been a private residence since the 1940's.