Welcome to another era in the Toms River area's past, one century ago this week!
Let your mind wander as you consider life around February 17th, 1922, courtesy the New Jersey Courier weekly newspaper and Ocean County Library archives, and peppered with items of maritime interest (around a 15 minute read).
BREVITIES AND EDITORIALS
(written by NJ Courier editor, William H. Fischer, as he sat at his desk above Main Street near Washington Street; it was much like a collection of online social media updates seen today)
February's on the run.
Rather muddy last week end.
That li'l ol' groun' hog's no fool, is he?
George Alsheimer's block of three stores on Main Street is going up rapidly now.
Ice has been in and out of the bay several times this winter, but did no harm to the bridges.
Sun rises tomorrow at 6:51 and sets at 5:38, making the day ten hours and forty-seven minutes long.
Enlargements to the Toms River Yacht Club house will be started soon. The plans have been drawn by P.P. Elkinton.
A number of other local men have decided they want to join in the local poultry farm development plan which appears to offer big opportunities to this neighborhood.
Shooting match at Beachwood [on] Lincoln's Birthday.
Skip Cowdrick is again employed at the Naval Air Station.
Pine Beach has had an epidemic of bad colds, almost every winter resident there having an attack.
Mrs. Widmaier of Brooklyn, has had P.P. Elkinton prepare plans for a new bungalow in Beachwood, her second venture in building in that resort. The plans are being bid on by L.J. Hutchinson of Pine Beach and Herman Fuhr of Toms River.
In the old days the first order of business after a heavy snow fall was to clear the gutters, so that when a thaw came the snow could run off without flooding the streets. Now the state highway workers scrape all the snow into the gutters. Every change is not for the better.
FIRST SNEAKBOX RACING FLEET FEATURED BY PERRINE IN NEW YORK
POLYHUE YACHT CLUB (BEACHWOOD) LEADS THE WAY
One of the 15-foot sail boats made so conspicuous by the Polyhue Yacht Club, of Beachwood, will be exhibited by the builder, J. Howard Perrine, of Barnegat, a the seventeenth annual motor-boat ship and engine show, at the Grand Central Palace, New York, February 17 to 25.
Mr. Perrine will also show a picture of the Beachwood fleet.
HOWLAND TO BUILD JETTY TO SAVE BARNEGAT LIGHT
According to an interview in the Asbury Park Press last Saturday with Jesse A. Howland, the Sea Bright jetty and bulkhead builder, the Lighthouse Bureau engineers, at Washington, have come to an agreement with B.F. Cresson, Jr., chief engineer of the New Jersey Board of Commerce and Navigation, and with Howland, as to the type and size of stone jetties that are to be built around the point of land at Barnegat City on which Barnegat Light is holding its precarious tenure. At a meeting with Commissioner Putnam, of the Bureau; Congressman Appleby, Engineer Cresson and Contractor Howland, last summer, it was arranged that Howland was to meet with Cresson and the bureau engineers, and that Cresson was to combine his own plans for a jetty with Howland's and the bureau's plan for a sea wall. This, from Howland's interview in the Press, has apparently been done, and it is now up to the federal government's O.K. In the form of an appropriation.
Howland says the plan is to build a massive wall of heavy stone, starting at the point of land north of the light, and circling around to the southeast, running a considerable distance to the south of the light, but off from the shore at an angle. This is the old sea wall, put in two summers ago by the government engineers, but in exactly the opposite direction; that had the southeast end tied to shore and the northwest end was the flying or loose end. It is now proposed, according to statements of Howland, to put a short jetty out from the sea wall in an easterly direction at each end of the wall.
Howland has built some effective bulkheads of stone at Sea Bright, and is considering one at Asbury Park for that city.
OCEAN COUNTY DINNER IN PHILADELPHIA
If you were one of the two hundred or so Ocean Countians and former Ocean Countians at the dinner given by the recently formed Ocean County Society of Philadelphia, you are jolly well glad that you went, to use the expression that is charged up to our English cousins; and if you were not there, to copy this time from the American boy, you don't know what you missed. For it was a big affair for the society and for those Ocean County folk, not actually members, who were among those invited to the affair. There were people present from the north end, the middle end and the south end of the county—though, as the society was begun by former residents of old Stafford, the bulk of guests were from Barnegat, Manahawkin, Cedar Run, West Creek, Tuckerton and Beach Haven.
The dinner was given in the gold banquet room of the Adelphia Hotel... The menu had most folks, except those who had helped get it up, puzzled till the dishes came. On the front page was a handsome picture of Barnegat Light, and the bill of fare followed on the second page. Read it and see what you make of it:
LAKEWOOD RAINMAKER ASKS APPROPRIATION FROM STATE
Claiming that it was his efforts that broke the disastrous drought of last summer, and also his efforts that furnished the plentiful rains of the summer of 1920, Charles F. Rath, of Massachusetts Avenue and Locust Streets, Lakewood, has asked Alva Agee, of the State Board of Agriculture, for an appropriation to enable him to make rain as needed the coming summer, and thus save the farm crops of the state from destruction by drought. He has also called on Senator Hagaman and Assemblyman Parker to aid him in getting financial help for his rainmaking operations.
Rath says that for the coming summer he will produce rainfall during the months of June or July at the rate of $1000 per inch of rainfall [$16,735 in 2022 dollars], but would make a lump sum price of $10,000 for those two months [$167,350 in 2022 dollars]; or a lump sum of $15,000 for the four months of May, June, July and August, to make doubly sure of good crops in 1922. Rath predicts that this coming summer there will be less rain than last year. He says scientists have it figured out that this is a drought period and this scarcity of rains will last for a long number of years. He says he has experimented in rain-making for ten years past, and at his own expense in that length of time has put millions of dollars in the pockets of Jersey farmers. In order to demonstrate to the Board of Agriculture, what he could do, he brought down the copious showers in the summer of 1920, which made an enormous potato crop. Last year he says he was in communication with the State Board, and hoped to get some aid from them. The correspondence took up so much time that the drought had got in its bad work for several weeks; then, taking another chance on the generosity of the state, Rath got busy and produced the rains in midsummer that broke the drought, according to his statements.
Trenton folk, as usual, are rather skeptical of Rath's claims, and suggest that he must give the state authorities a demonstration before the legislature puts up the money.
MORE HONORED FOLK OF 90 AND MORE IN COUNTY
...Mrs. Mary J. McKaig, than whom there is no more esteemed resident of Island Heights, was born January 17, 1827, at New Egypt, and is now 95 years of age. She has lived at Island Heights since that resort was started a little more than forty years ago.
60 ACRES SEED SWEET POTATOES (Certified) PLEDGED HERE
Sixty acres of sweet potatoes, to be grown under conditions so that they can be certified by the State Department of Agriculture as disease free seed, was pledged at a meeting held at the Court House on Thursday, February 7. The growers pledging these sixty acres are all from Toms River and vicinity, though Jackson Township and other neighborhoods are now ready to come into the plan. It carries with it the necessity of finding a storage house capable of holding 10,000 bushels of sweet potatoes next winter. This is one of the activities of County Agent Waite, who has, by calling attention to the fact that the soil of Ocean County is so far free from sweet potato diseases, and that it will grow sweet potatoes with any other county in the state, created a big demand for Ocean County grown sweets for seed purposes. The recent farmers' week show at Trenton, where Ocean County carried off the first prize for sweet potatoes, the potatoes afterward being sent to President Harding, has advertised the Ocean County sweet potato all over the sweet potato growing area of the east and south, and the department at Trenton seem to think that any quantity of seed can be sold, provided our people raise it under conditions that keep it free from disease as at present...
Sweet potatoes are one of the most profitable crops in South Jersey, and it is readily seen that a seed crop will be more profitable than a food crop if it can be developed. Right now there is a big demand for Ocean County sweets for seed, which cannot be filled, as the tubers grown last fall recently were sold for food, there being no storage house here. It is considered probable that if the farmers of this section will go into sweet potato growing as a business that the business men of Toms River, who stood ready to back the egg-packing plant here with their money, will also back the sweet potato storage house.
At 6:30 on Saturday evening, February 4, in the Lakewood Presbyterian church, Miss May Woerner, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Woerner, became the bride of Mr. Eugene Hecht of the Cox Cro Poultry Farm, Toms River. The ceremony was performed by Rev. Courtlandt P. Butler. The bride was attired in a beautiful white satin gown. After the wedding, a buffet luncheon was held at the Princeton hotel at 10 o'clock. The couple are spending a few weeks on a honeymoon trip to Florida after which they will reside at the home of the groom on River Avenue.
FISH AND GAME
M.J. Gilroy, of Bayonne, and Charlie Long, of Jersey City, have purchased a piece of ground at Lavallette, on which they will build a cabin, as they intend to do their future fishing on Barnegat Bay. Quite a few Newark fishermen are locating down that way, among them, Joe Roller, of Wilson Avenue.
At least a dozen well-organized bodies are working to put a stop to the pollution that is rapidly ruining fishing in New Jersey waters. Pound net men, anglers, officials of municipalities and menhaden fishermen are for once united in the fight. The condition has become so rank, that ling, caught in deep water, miles from the coast, are tainted. Ling are bottom feeders and traces of oil in them shows fishermen were forced to abandon the inshore grounds for the same reason, which of course adds to the consumer's bill—Newark Call.
From the Newark Call: “Newarkers and other Jerseymen who have been in Miami or other Florida resorts where fishing is one of the major attractions, this winter have found a number of Barnegat Bay boatmen on the job. Mutual recognitions have resulted in many pleasant fishing and boating parties, some of them in nature of reunions of old friends and sportsmen. The fishermen have found that the Barnegat Bay man is at home on whatever water he sails and that the location of fishing grounds and fish and determination of the best times and places to go comes as natural to them in the South as it does in Jersey's famous bay and surf fishing resort...
Capt. Mark A. Carr, of the Sandy Hook Pilots' Association, well known at Forked River, and all along shore, was caught in a storm recently and could not leave the steamer he had piloted outside the Hook, resulting in a trip to the tropics for him.
Parkinson, the classy shortstop and hard hitter of the Toms River nine in 1920, has again signed up with the Phillies for 1922, so that he and “Wid” Conroy will be together. The Phillies will soon have a real team, if they keep on taking Toms River players, eh—what?
Mrs. Charles N. Warner has been critically ill at her home in Berkeley. Tuesday she was taken to a Philadelphia hospital. She was operated upon at once and has since been in a critical condition.
FRIENDS OF YOURS and MINE
Rev. Dr. and Mrs. Martin Luther Stimson, of Beachwood, after spending the winter at Miami, Fla., have lately found the hot weather too depressing and not so very interesting to them, as they had long lived in the tropics, so they are now at Tyron, N.C. He says this is warm enough to suit them, piney and hilly, with more hills than Beachwood, but without Beachwood's incomparable river and beach and river sports. Dr. Stimson says that while in Miami he met Dr. Chas. B. Austin, of Toms River, and he appeared to be very well. He adds that he looks forward to the coming of The Courier with interest weekly as there is much of interest in it beside their own town news.
“Wid” Conroy, for several years the guiding spirit in Toms River's conquering team of baseball players, has gone with the Phillies of Philadelphia as coach and trainer this summer. He is an old-time big league player, and plays with his head as well as his body. The management of the Phillies put out a statement that they thought they had made a good move and were fortunate to get “Wid.” He has been manager of the New York Shipyard team, Camden, for several years.
Word from Aberdeen, Md., says that a daughter was born recently to Mr. and Mrs. Victor Williams, formerly of Barnegat City. Mr. Williams is in the aviation service there, joining it during the war. Mrs. Williams was at one time postmaster at Barnegat City, and is the daughter of the late Chas. Elmer Smith. Her mother, Mrs. Smith, is spending the winter at Aberdeen.
Clifford J. Butler, formerly of Bayville, writes from Los Angeles, Cal., that they wait the coming of The Courier eagerly each week, and that “everything is blooming out here.” Clifford and his family went out to the land of sunshine last fall, and if they like it, they will stay. He has a year's furlough from the Coast Guard service, and, should he stay in California, may ask a transfer to the Pacific coast.
Mrs. John K. Green
Mrs. John K. Green, well known at Toms River and Island Heights, died Sunday, February 12, from an acute attack of the heart, at her home, in Moorestown... [she] had been ill but a few days. Mr. Green is thus left alone, as their only daughter died while still a young woman. Mr. and Mrs. Green first came to Toms River in the early eighties, soon after the Pennsylvania Railroad was opened up through this town, and he was a conductor on the road. Later he conducted the hotel at Forked River, now owned by Fred B. Gowdy. Of late years they have lived either at Toms River or Island Heights, leaving here this fall to spend the winter in Moorestown. Captain Green's many friends here will sympathize with him in his grief.
Some time ago we read an article about the service and resignation of Allen Ridgway, conductor on the C.R.R. of N.J. There are several facts that were not brought out in regards to his popularity with the traveling public, and the high esteem in which he was held by the officials of the road. He first started railroading in 1879, and in a short time his ability as a railroader was seen by those in charge of the department in which he was employed. His interest in the affairs of the company soon won him promotion and he was often called in consultation with the officials as to best policies in changing and operating certain trains. He was always looking out for the welfare of the employees and at the same time did not neglect nor forget the rights of the company, nor fail to give them his best services, which gained him the respect and confidence of the higher officials. No man on the line was better known or more popular with the traveling public than “Al.”
His obliging and accommodating way made Al's train one to be sought by all. Among his many friends was George Gould, who often came here on gunning trips with him. It was through Al that Mr. Gould bought the great gunning place, the “Clam Islands,” and put it in his charge. This has made a great gunning point for many of our people through Al's generosity in allowing them to use it. He frequently had fishing and gunning parties here, New York people, who were spending some time at Lakewood; the many presents he received from his passengers, showed the feeling they had for him. After forty-three years of faithful service the company saw fit to retire him with a competent sum, showing their appreciation of his interest in their behalf. He is a man who loves fishing and gunning, gardening and quiet home life and we heartily wish him several years more to enjoy life in his own way. As to his successor, Harry Van Note, “nuff sed,” as it would be a repetition of what we have just related.
Capt. Elmer Bennett's home, on East Bay Street, commands a good view of the bay and ocean. During the recent gale and high tide Mrs. Bennett was looking out over the storm-lashed waters of the bay, watching lest some storm-tossed mariner would meet an untimely end in the waters with no one to give aid, when through the mist there appeared what on close observation was a large house boat, tossing from wave to wave, seemingly abandoned or unmanageable, as it was coming before the gale, swinging to all points of the compass. Mrs. Bennett quickly gave the alarm, and Captain Bennett, with his two boys, at once donned oilskins and prepared to face the cutting blasts in an effort to rescue the poor souls from a watery grave. Mrs. Bennett made preparations to receive the survivors with dry clothing, etc. When Mr. Bennett was ready he called his wife to show him the derelict, that was being swiftly borne to destruction on the cruel rocks, and shading her eyes from the beating rain with her hand, she pointed across the broad expanse of raging water, and said, “There she is, go do your duty.” Mr. Bennett, after taking a second look, exclaimed, “Lord, Lide, that's a haystack, over on Humock Knoll.”
Ambrose Cox has returned from Deland, Fla., after disposing of his oranges and grape fruit. His mother, Mrs. Ezra Parker, and son, Willits, will remain for some indefinite time.
BARNEGAT CITY (today Borough of Barnegat Light)
The roads are being scraped and it is hoped will be easier running.
Some of our citizens are proposing a general clean-up week, and every one lend a hand to clearing our streets of the wood and unsightly rubbish washed there by the past storm.
Reuben Potter had two valuable dogs run over on Friday morning by the train going south.
Coast Guard George Worth, from Station 110, visited his family this week.
The borough is having bulkheads put in east of Atlantic Avenue, at the low places where the ocean came through in the recent storm.
It is estimated that the proposed electric lighting plant, to be owned by the borough, will cost about $65,000 [$1.087 million in 2022 dollars], and will send its wires out into Long Beach Township if other resorts on the beach wish to take lights.
The new inlet below Beach Haven seems intent on becoming a big inlet. It is eating away the sand, especially on its north shore, and has gained greatly in size this winter. [This new inlet had opened during a nor'easter on Feb. 4, 1920, and would eventually take Tucker's Island, including its lighthouse, entirely by later this decade and into the next]
Three commissioners are to be elected for a four-year term in May, and the one receiving the highest vote will be Mayor of Beachwood. Mayor J.H. Senior, who has been a good and faithful official, has positively declined to consider another term and it is expected that commissioner Chas. H. Haring will succeed him. There has already been considerable talk concerning candidates for the other two commissioners. It is conceded that one of these should be selected from the voter of Beachwood Heights [a short-lived nickname for the area of the borough south of the railroad lines, today the Garden State Parkway access road/Route 9 and Railroad Avenue].
Never in its history have the streets of Beachwood been in as bad condition. So-called packing gravel, put on last fall, is all soft mud.
The Riverside Hotel is being painted and got ready for the 1922 season.
F.W. Briggs is painting and decorating the Greyhound for the coming season.
Some of our folks attended a hog-killing at Seaside Park, the porker weighing 500 pounds.
Joe Smires, Jr., and Lloyd Smires were at Coast Guard Station 112 for a few days last week.
Adolph Vaughn is now 81 years of age. He and his brother Ben were both ship carpenters at a federal post in Newbern, N.C., and were captured and put in Andersonville prison by the Confederates, being barely alive when exchanged.
Mrs. Theodore Forrester went to Philadelphia last week to attend the Ocean County banquet. She returned home on Monday evening.
Mrs. McCauley presented the public library with seventy-five books.
Ed Dilley and a party of friends visited Stokes' boatyard Saturday.
The street lights were turned on Wednesday of last week for the first time, to the great satisfaction of the borough folks.
The Lakehurst Fire Company has bought a hook and ladder truck with full equipment, from Lakewood Fire Company.
Lakewood S.P.C.A. Is after hotel guests who ill use pony carts at that place. Louis Murray was fined $30; Edward Kershonbau, and Barnard Frank, all of New York, each $5 for racing, beating or overloading hired-out ponies.
Building is all the talk here this winter and spring. Lots sell readily and if there was any way to borrow money, there would be a new city spring up here, so many want to build. As it is there will be a goodly number of new summer homes erected this spring.
Gus Helmuth is getting ready to move into his ice cream parlor and lunch room on the corner of Grand and Reese Avenue.
There was some excitement here on Sunday afternoon, when a cat was seen with its head in a tin can. Several persons tried to get the cat to take it off, but failed. We hope some one will be able to relieve the poor cat of its suffering.
The fishermen are getting ready to fish in the bay for perch. There has been too much ice in the bay to set their nets.
The committee on boardwalk is looking around for some piling to replace the ones the storm washed out.
The river has been frozen over the greater part of the time since Christmas. A few pedestrians went from Pine Beach to Money Island on the ice. Also several people skated over.
The youngest person to cross on the ice was Emma Jane Sacrey, who was a little more than two years old. She, however, did not walk, but was drawn on a sled. Needless to say she enjoyed the trip immensely. On Tuesday afternoon, January 3, 1922, O.S. Haines, with his two hundred pounds of avoirdupois [a system of weights totaling 200 lbs.] walked a safe distance ahead to test the strength of the ice, followed by Mrs. Haines, Mrs. L.J. Sacrey, Virginia and Emma Jane Sacrey. The ice was about one foot thick.
Rumor says we are to have a new [train] station this summer. What do you know about it?
F.A. Lanahan, the owner of the Shady Nook, visited here on Monday.
The summer residents will perhaps be glad to learn that Pine Beach has a good milk man, who served milk regularly all winter. In spite of cold weather and storms he has never missed a trip.
John Mergenthaler is making more improvements to his home on Springfield Avenue.
The Board of Trade wants Council to give them an appropriation to advertise the borough as a summer resort.
Seaside Heights Yacht Club is now planning for its festivities during the summer of 1922. A Fourth of July celebration will be the opening event.
Herman Bennett, manager of Ship Bottom Fishery, has gone to Florida.
Calvin Falkinburg, keeper of the Coast Guard Station, spent a few days this week in Tuckerton with his family.
We are very sorry to hear of the death of Jesse B. Westcott, 7957 Medary Street, Philadelphia, Pa., who came down here Saturday night on the train and was dead before 12 o'clock midnight. It is said acute indigestion caused his death.
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