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 January 13th, 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)
Full moon tonight.
Still wanting rain.
January is flying by.
Skating last week end.
A little snow on Sunday.
Legislature met on Tuesday.
Tuesday was bank election day.
All kinds of weather in one week.
The Township Committee, at its session last Friday fixed the salary of collector Bills at $1500 a year [$25,000 in 2022 dollars].
A number of our young women teachers in our public school have a Saturday afternoon hiking club.
And now they say that a new law takes from the township the power to license taxis and passenger cars.
Sun rises tomorrow at 7.23 and sets at 4.56, a gain of two minutes of daylight in the morning and twenty-four minutes in the afternoon.
The new school house question is coming to the fore, and must be met soon. The present school is entirely unequal to the present demands. What will we do about it?
Saturday afternoon a grass and rubbish fire near the James R. Hensler Lumber Yard was seen by the engineer at the Electric Light Company plant, who blew an alarm, calling out the firemen. Luckily there was nothing for them to do.
A snow began at dusk on Sunday and lasted about three hours.
Bert Dorsett says he is going back to boat building, since there has been a demand for new boats once more, and folks who want boats built have just pestered him till there was nothing else to do. Paul Cranmer will continue to run the Berkeley laundry when Bert gives his time to boats.
Tuesday was a bright and warm spring-like day.
The Hagaman house on Water Street has been repainted.
George Morgan, of Island Heights, is building a house on Dayton Avenue, just east of that in which Harold Chamberlain has just moved.
H.E. Dunton has moved from Indian Hill to the Hydes house, at Park and Messenger Streets. Mr. Dunton is trucking in the eggs for the poultrymen to the shipping plant at this point and is also doing general trucking in between trips.
Frank J. Perry, of Beachwood, on Saturday night, ran his car into a trench at West Water Street and Irons Streets, where the Water Company had dug up to repair the leaking joint, and on which no red lantern had been placed, so Frank says.
Edward Crabbe has bought the famous yacht Gem, long the champion of Barnegat Bay, and of all New Jersey, in fact, of all catboats of her class. Crabbe got the Gem from Capt. Joe Hulse, and will rig her up this summer to see how she compares with later model yachts.
Today is Friday, the thirteenth—a double hoodoo. What?
Poultrymen are getting their incubators in shape for the hatching season.
J.N. Lane and his son Leslie have bought the Wyckoff bogs, between here and Lakehurst.
Last Saturday was one of the biggest shipment of eggs so far from the local packing plant—94 crates.
Indications point to enough work in this neighborhood this winter and spring to keep carpenter and builders busy.
Over at Double Trouble the Polands, from Bradley Beach, are moving a store building for the Double Trouble Co. The cranberry house is also being enlarged.
Thomas B. Irons has about made up his mind to quit business and offers his business and stock for sale. Tom is around again after an illness of a fortnight.
Walter Johnson, who recently sold out his market on Main Street, has taken the S.J. Van Note store on Washington Street, and opened with dry goods and shoes.
The Marion Inn has a new manager, Louis Perrin, who comes here from Atlantic City, where he has had experience in the resort hotel line. Mr. Perrin gave a venison and game dinner on Sunday at the Inn to start off the new regime.
THE OUTLOOK FOR 1922 AT TOMS RIVER
The last three years have been the best business years that Toms River village ever had. Go back to the time before the war and there were there classes of business places in Toms River. There were a few, perhaps ten per cent, of the whole that were making a little money above what they cost to run. Perhaps another ten per cent were steadily slipping backward a little, borrowing a bit from year to year to square up, or else accumulating debts with the wholesalers and jobbers. The bulk of the business places were just about making a living and paying their bills, that was all.
Then came the war in 1917. The winter of 1917-18 was one of the worst since the Cleveland panic in the middle nineties. Everybody and everything seemed slipping backwards. But 1918 brought a turn for the better. Money began to trickle home from the shipyards, ammunition factories and camps where people from this section were working for high wages—the Proving Ground, and then, Camp Kendrick began to give work at high wages right at home, and to bring other workers here to live from other sections. But it was after the war, when the big hangar was started at Lakehurst that the boom really came. That, coupled with the big summers this section has had, with its dozens or so small resorts that center about Toms River, put the place on the business map.
The town has now had three good years in which every business place has made money, or ought to have done so. Many have paid off debts and are now with bank balances and investments, who were four years ago facing the other way, and seeing nothing but disaster ahead. The prosperous ones are more prosperous. Rents have doubled and trebled, and real estate values in the business part of town have doubled, trebled and in some instances have quadrupled. Just now property is bringing more in rents and as sale prices than it did in the boom after the Civil War, in 1869 and 1870, which had been record prices for real estate in all this section. Will the boom last?
Some say it will because it is founded on real merit. Let business keep good and our summer resorts will continue to flourish, and as they flourish Toms River will also do business. Another feature that in the past year has added greatly to the business of this section is the poultry industry. There are probably, in a radius of ten miles of Toms River, four times as many laying hens today as there were a year ago. Farm after farm has been turned into chicken farms, and chicken houses have gone up in all directions. The location of the egg-packing depot here by the State Poultry Producers' Association, has added much to fame of this locality for a poultry center. It looks now as if the poultry business and the summer resorts keep growing, Toms River ought to be able to maintain its present business pace and keep on growing, even if the Naval Air Station shuts down.
The state agricultural authorities are also calling attention all the time to the possibilities of this section as a sweet potato growing section; the idea is being gotten into the heads of the landowners in this locality, and it is likely that, once it is seen to pay, it will spread. New blood is coming in, and new businesses are springing up. What the community wants is more of its money invested here at home instead of being sent to New York or elsewhere for investment. Money invested here in productive enterprises, such as poultry, sweet potatoes, cranberry bogs, etc., and watched and worked by the investor, is the kind of investments that this section needs.
There is another possibility that may work to the betterment of Toms River. It is predicted by some folks that the opening of the Bay Head-Manasquan River canal, in the near future, will cause a current to run up the bay and through the canal under certain conditions, sufficient to make the upper bay again salt enough for the growth of oyster seed. If that be true, here will be another little Klondike at our doors, and Toms River will become an oyster shipping station.
These are bright dreams, but they all have something back of them. Energy, courage, work, enthusiasm, will make them come true. They can be worked out, but it is for the people here to work them out. The future of any locality depends upon its citizens.
The three good years that Toms River has had made the foundation for a long period of prosperity, barring financial crashes, if our people can see and grasp their opportunity.
There are other sides to the situation. In the past year the town has borrowed and spent $100,000 [$1.7 million in 2022 dollars] to put in a sewer plant. In the coming year the county expects to spend something like $75,000 putting a concrete road through the town. The electric plant has been rebuilt, the gas plant is coming in for a better outfit, and the water system also. We are facing the building of a new school, which cannot be delayed much longer, and which will mean spending $100,000, or perhaps twice that amount, depending upon how much the people of the township want to put in a school building. The firemen are asking for and will get some new apparatus. All these things show that the town has increased in size, in wealth and is still growing. Last year showed us a new hotel and a new theatre, both large structures.
There is another form of wealth beside material wealth. Unfortunately we are not doing so well from the intellectual or spiritual side as we are from the side of material prosperity. We have our school, our churches and Chautauqua [a traveling, annual institution that provided popular adult education courses and entertainment in the late 19th and early 20th centuries]. The churches are far from being well attended. School, of course, is for children, and we have no fault to find with the way Chautauqua is attended. But in a town of this size there ought surely to be more intellectual and spiritual life and growth than is evident here. We seem content with the making and spending of a few dollars, and forgetful of the finer and wider things of life.
1922 should be dedicated, not only to material progress, but to some means of broadening our mental viewpoint and waking our spiritual ideas.
WOULD BOOST TOMS RIVER AS POULTRY FARM CENTER
Articles of incorporation were filed on Wednesday with County Clerk Ernst, the object of which is to boost Toms River as a poultry producing center. In order to do this, it is planned to build poultry farms complete, stock them with birds and sell them to practical poultrymen who wish to locate in this section.
The company has been incorporated with an authorized capital stock of $125,000 [$2 million in 2022 dollars], of which 7000 shares, at $10 each [$166 in 2022], will be preferred stock, and 5000 shares also at $10 each, will be common stock. The preferred stock will bear cumulative six per cent interest. At present no stock is on the market.
The company has bargained for the tract just south of the Pennsylvania Railroad track, at the depot, [where today is part of South Toms River Borough's Center Homes development, various housing to the south of Dover Road, and the Garden State Parkway] and also for the B.C. Mayo estate holdings, adjoining this tract, and running over the hill and reaching to Jakes Branch in the valley beyond [within Beachwood and today more Garden State Parkway area plus part of today's Jakes Branch County Park]. The incorporators are: Frank W. Sutton, Jr., David C. Brewer, Charles N. Warner, Jesse P. Evernham, Samuel Kaufman, Edward Crabbe and William H. Fischer. The men who are back of this plan hope to be able to build several plants complete this spring and summer. For some time past there have been many inquiries for poultry farms at this place, and the location of the egg-packing and shipping house here has added to this demand. In nearly every instance the inquirer wants a plant already running, so that he will lose no time in getting returns on his investment. This plan was evolved to meet this very need. Each poultry farm would contain about ten acres.
The company has been formed with Charles N. Warner, president; Samuel Kaufman, Vice-President; Frank W. Sutton, Secretary and Treasurer. There are 206 acres in the two tracts, most of it suitable for poultry, being on high land, with gravely and sandy soil, and fine drainage. The purpose of this venture is not so much to make gains for the company as it is to locate more poultry farms at Toms River, and increase the growth of this section. The poultry farms will all be laid out in the latest and most approved plans, advised by the New Jersey State Experiment Station. Each will have a six-room house, with bath, electric lights, and there will be running water on each farm, if the present plans can be worked out.
BIG CRANBERRY BOG SALE
George H. Holman, of Toms River, has sold his cranberry bogs on Jakes Branch, known as the Aumack bogs (because for a long time they were owned by the late John Aumack, president of the First National Bank) to his nephew, James Downey Holman, Jr., of Whiteville. Last spring Mr. Holman sold his big Paqua bogs, above Lakehurst, to the same buyer, and this fall the crop repaid at least half the purchase price. If young Mr. Holman keeps on buying bogs at this rate, he will regain the title of “Cranberry King,” held for years by his grandfather, the late Charles L. Holman.
NEW BUSINESS BUILDINGS
The demand for stores and apartments in Toms River, and the rents people are willing to pay to get them, is leading to a number of new buildings. J.P. Evernham is getting alone well with the store and apartment he is building next door to the Toms River Supply Co., on lower Main Street, just opposite The Courier Building. Dr. George T. Crook broke ground on Tuesday for a building on Main St., between the Bailey and Hallock dwellings, just north of Snyder Street, where he will have a dental office on the lower floor and apartments on the second story. George H. Alsheimer has resumed work on the three-stores, two-apartments building which he will have on the east side of Main Street, next north of the Mrs. Doloro Potter homestead. It is understood that Chas. M. Shull, of Ambler, Pa., who bought half of the Union house property from George G. Worstall, will remodel his front into one store. The Novins boys are planning to use their 130 foot front on West Water Street, which they bought recently, probably for a garage and feed store. Carl Priest, of Princeton, and his brother, Daniel S. Priest, of this place, are planning, as soon as things break right, perhaps soon, perhaps later, to rebuild the northeast corner of Main and Washington Sts., with a handsome and suitable building for that prominent corner. There is also talk that W. Burtis Havens has plans in reserve for possible changes in his block at Washington and Hyers Streets. From this it can be seen that 1922 is apt to make almost as many changes in the physical appearance and in the business conveniences of Toms River's business section as was made in 1921.
$90,000 HARBOR MONEY FOR TOMS RIVER AN ERROR
A short time ago The Courier reprinted a Washington dispatch, which said the War Department had recommended to Congress an appropriation of $90,000 [$1.5 million in 2022 dollars] for the maintenance of Toms River dredging project. At that time The Courier stated the amount named was presumably a mistake. A letter from Congressman Appleby confirms this conjecture. He says the report recommended $90,000 for a number of harbors all under the supervision of the engineers located in Wilmington, Del., known as Group B, and including beside Toms River, Cold Spring Inlet, Absecon Inlet and Creek and Tuckerton Creek. Of this $90,000 there is specifically recommended that $10,000 be spent for Tuckerton Creek, but as for the balance, the recommendations leave it for the engineers to parcel out as needed among the various harbors.
NEWBURY CO. GIVES $850 TO FIRE CO. FOR ITS AID
A Christmas gift in the form of a check for $850 [$14,106 in 2022 dollars] was received by the Toms River Fire Company, at its session on Friday night last, from the A.B. Newbury Co., as an expression of gratitude on the part of the Newbury Co. for the work done by the Fire Company in fighting the big fire at the Newbury lumber yard last summer. In addition to this the Newbury Company sent a remembrance of $25 [$415 in 2022 dollars] to each of the six other companies that came from the Naval Air Station, Lakewood, Ocean Gate, Seaside Heights, etc., to aid the local firemen, making $1000 in all. The only Fire company that was not rewarded by the Newbury Co. was that from Spring Lake, which sent a bill to the Fire Commissioners for their service here, on that occasion, and were paid by the Commissioners the sum of $100 [$1,660 in 2022 dollars].
The local firemen have agreed that the $850 shall go into the fund for the purchase of a motor pumping engine.
WIRELESS PHONES PUT ON COAST GUARD LIFE BOATS
Washington, Jan. 6.—Life boats of the coast guard are to be equipped with wireless telephone sets, which will keep them in constant communication with shore stations while engaged in rescue work at sea.
Wireless phone for the boats were successfully demonstrated during the recent Coast Guard meeting in Atlantic City. They were invented and perfected by the Bureau of Standards which developed the wireless telephones used by American submarines during the war.
At the Atlantic City demonstration thirty-six foot power driven life-boats communicated easily with the shore while five miles out at sea. Such communication was made possible by the use of a loop or rolled antenna. An aerial antenna is impossible on lifeboats used off the coast because everything above decks must be clear for line throwing and because of the heavy weather encountered.
STATE WON'T HELP TOWN TO WIDEN CONCRETE ROAD
When the Freeholders decided to build concrete pavements through Point Pleasant, Toms River, Tuckerton, Barnegat and on the outskirts of Lakewood, on Route 4, State Highway, to be late reimbursed by the state, the question of widening this twenty foot of concrete so as to make it run from curb to curb was taken up. Toms river people thought it would be fine if Main Street, in the village proper could be widened, and it was suggested that perhaps the State Highway Commission would reimburse the Township Committee in three or four years' time, if the township went ahead and completed this road from curb to curb, outside the twenty-foot center.
Judge W. H. Jeffrey, as a Township Solicitor, took this matter up with the Highway Commissioner, and received a reply that under the present law, this could not be done; but that it was possible some proposed legislation at this session would allow it. However, as the Republican majority leaders have expressed their intention of repealing the law under which counties can now build highways and be reimbursed by the state, this is rather an unlikely contingency.
NEWS FROM YOUR HOME
Some folks say, “Why do you not print the news about my family?” Probably for the same reason poor little Jack did not eat his supper—because we hadn't it. You send in the news from your family or about your friends. We will try to take care of the rest. When anything happens in your family, that you would want to know about, if it happened in the family of a friend, let us know.
Mrs. Clifford M. Elwell and son Harold, left this week for Pittsburgh, Pa., to join Captain Elwell, who is stationed there as instructor in the University of Pittsburgh.
Mrs. Helen Widmaier, of Newark, spent the week end at Toms River. Mrs. Widmaier is one of our summer visitors, owning the Sunset farm, on Hooper Avenue.
Frank W. Sutton, Jr., cashier of the First National Bank, begins a two weeks' vacation on Monday next.
DOVER TOWNSHIP SCHOOL NOTES
On Friday, to-day, at 3:00 an unusually interesting picture will be screened at the opera house. The title is “A Mouth Full of Wisdom,” and all stages of tooth growth and decay, and how the latter may be avoided, are pictured. Every person who has a tooth left, or who has a child who has one, will be interested in this picture. No admission fee will be charged.
The Kitchen Club continues to be filled to capacity each noon. The squad for this week including Mamie Irons, Dorothy Flake, Edna Irons, Jeannette Corrigan and Dorothy King. These girls, as well as all the others, work without any compensation and, even so, it takes keen management to keep the club on a self-supporting basis. Under these circumstances it would seem impossible that any person, man or child, could be small enough to break into the supply closet and steal such things as mustard, chipped beef, vanilla and peaches. This has, however, happened on two occasions. Shame on someone!
The Home and School Association wishes to thank all who helped to make the appearance of “Rip Van Winkle” in Toms River such a success. About seventy dollars was realized and about eight hundred persons had a very enjoyable evening.
The Chamber of Commerce has offered a prize of five dollars for the best essay on the history of Toms River. The contest is open to students of the school in grade six or higher. Papers are limited to one thousand words. Each contestant will be given a number which will appear on his paper in lieu of his name. All papers must be handed to the Secretary of the Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Fred Bunnell, on or before Friday, February 10. A committee from the Chamber of Commerce will judge the papers.
The storm on Wednesday interfered greatly with school work, the various departments of the school being so scattered that it is necessary to go out in the weather to get from one to another.
FISH AND GAME
New Gunning Club
J.B. Kinsey, of High Point, has sold Big and Little Sandy Islands, in Barnegat Bay, to Thomas Harrison, of near Hightstown. It is understood that Harrison will organize a gunning club, which in turn will put in gunning blinds and boxes on the points and build a club house on the island.
FLASH FORWARD: SANDY ISLAND GUN CLUB: FOWL WEATHER FRIENDS, 1991
Old Time Barnegat Bay Decoy & Gunning Show (Newsletter)
by Maria Scandale
Ducking the World On Sandy Island
The more miserable the weather, the better the duck hunting, insist those who know of blustery afternoons crouched in the meadows that surround the Sandy Island Gun Club.
Their sights on the slate-grey skies, one flap ahead of their target on the wing—if they're accurate and lucky—the sportsmen somehow relish the feel of the elements, even if wet and cold is what the elements feel.
Van Campen Heilner, noted wildlife author and one of the club's founding members, once wrote, “If you were forced to do it for punishment, you would probably die right there and then.”
The call of the wildfowl brought them there, and still does, out where it's skill against instinct. Even though ducks can be fooled, it takes some savvy. There is also the call to get away from a more hectic world.
Three-fourths of a mile and years of forgotten traditions away from the rest of the world lies the gunner's paradise.
It's a place that knows no time constraints and no telephone, but, as its members see fit, boasts a standing rib roast or lobster dinner, and “the best liquor and cigars money can buy.”
Best approached in a very small boat, or by hydroplaning a la James Bond over a canal maybe a foot deep, your goal has been reached when you come to the wooden shack at the end and you run out of water.
The marsh gas gurgles a sulfery hello; the signs says, “Duck Hunters Only”; this is the place.
Sandy Island, 70 acres of marsh grass, bayberry and elder laced with ponds and canals, is one of the last gun clubs on Barnegat Bay that can be spoken of in the present tense. Owner Dick Shackleton, a Long Beach Island attorney, bought the backwater ticket away from it all in 1965 with realtor Bill Inman, who died this year.
Though their beloved partner died in April at 62 from complications of diabetes, the members will undoubtedly shoot a few in his memory when the club opens again this fall.
The things that guide Marv Inman could teach, or brother Bill if he were alive, or their father, Joe, a bayman running so strong in the family's blood that he still clams (“I'm a good shot, too,”) at age 84...
...Things that testify to the satisfaction of living off one's surroundings, being good friends, good sports, using efficiently what nature offers. And have they had fun doing it!
An old logbook shows records that the gunning club did better after the new owners bought it than the number of bags during the earlier segment of the century when the island was owned by a railroad man Douglas Fisher, who relished more its getaway appeal.
“They were better hunters, avid duck hunters,” surmised friend and fellow hunter Mike Hill, by profession a successful broker of exclusive Long Beach Island properties. “Billy knew about it because it was in his blood.”
Bill Inman was such a good shot, recalls Hill, that national champion trap shooters who visited Sandy Island “couldn't touch” the skill of him or Howard Baum, a Harvey Cedars gas station owner. Other guests have included Charles Ritz of the famed Parisian restaurant and Dick Taggart of driving school fame.
Being that “better hunter” Bill alluded to meant known things a man could know only if he'd practiced them most of his life, or if he'd learned them as Bill did, from a grandfather who earned a living as a market hunter. Market hunters filled the orders of the exquisite restaurants of the cities.
To bag a duck, you didn't just aim your 12-gauge up at the Atlantic Flyway, shoot, and hope one came tumbling down.
You knew how to lay out 60 wooden decoys on the pond so the mallards and the widgeons would come in close enough (ducks are social creatures); you knew how to hide the sneakboxes the men sometimes hunted out of; how to call a wild goose; how to anticipate, or lead, a bird's path; and how to factor in the wind, for starters.
“Sometimes you'd wait all day; sometimes they never showed,” Bill Cranmer, 74, of Spray Beach, recalled. “Other times, you'd limit out early in the morning.”
“There's never two days the same out there hunting,” summed up Marv.
In Joe Inman's father's case, you hired a goose to help out.
“We had one goose we called Old Kate,” related Joe, kin to the Inmans of the king's land grant in Surf City; he now lives in Tuckerton. “My dad used to take her to the bay, and we'd put her in the sneakbox. You didn't have to tie her; she was tame. She would honk and honk and honk for the wild geese and they would come in. When my dad would come in to land, Old Kate, she would jump off the boat and fly home, right in the pen,” he said.
The men claim that foul weather is fowl weather. It's really a matter of following the target.
“You like bad weather, because it makes the ducks fly,” Shackleton said. “If you get a bluebird day, they just go somewhere and sit. And if it's nice and warm, they don't have to eat much to keep their body temperature up. But if it's cold, they're looking for food, and looking for places where there are other ducks.”
Recalled Marv, a guide for 23 years and counting, “We've been out there when it was so bad that I couldn't gather the ducks they killed, and we just had to quit.” The downed fowl would float on northwest wind-borne currents over to Long Beach Island and out of reach of Marv's boat.
“It would have been a waste of time hunting, if you can't gather them, don't kill them.”
There are varying philosophies to the sport of gunning, Hill observed. Bill Inman saw Barnegat Bay and its ducks as “something to harvest,” that he had an inherent right to do. On the other hand, he and his cohorts also appreciated the beauty of the ducks, and of the place year 'round. To Hill, who moved here as a boy, duck hunting was learning something that the locals did.
Hill acknowledged that “there is a macho thing about” hunting. But as he described the feeling, it seemed as if that thing was well earned. “There was the feeling of surviving a day on Barnegat Bay, shooting a bird on the wing—broadbills are particularly hard to hit; they're very fast. I'd been hunting black ducks and puddle ducks for 22 years, when I came to Sandy Island to hunt broadbills, I might as well have started yesterday.”
The older guys like Joe have handed down their skills. Besides teaching his kids lifelong values like “if you want anything, don't go to strangers, come and ask me first,” he taught specific skills.
Gunning, as he described it, was an inheritance you could come into.
“One time, we was gunning up in a pond, up on the meadow, and there was two ducks come by, and I said, 'Billy, watch me kill that last one,' and I did, and he said, 'Pop, I wish I could do that.' I said, 'Well, Billy, if you keep on shooting the way I tell you to shoot, you could do that.' My dad learnt me, and I learnt Billy.”
The End of a Season?
Gunning clubs on Barnegat Bay were most numerous in the 1930s to the early 1950s, when between Barnegat Inlet and the causeway there were six to eight clubs, according to Hill. Sandy Island is the sole remainder of those; many others were burned by the federal government when it bought the lands in the 1960s.
The duck population on Barnegat Bay is down some from the last generation, Shackleton sees, and game laws have made the hunting situation such that Sandy Island is on the market for sale.
“The game laws used to be too liberal back in the '20s, but back in the period when Bill and I were really active, you could kill 10 broadbills a day, and the season ran from before Thanksgiving to after Christmas. Now they've got it so you can only kill three or four ducks.” The season runs one week in November, then comes in again for three weeks beginning in mid-December.
Duck hunters of late do less to deplete the population than development of wetlands has, Hill asserted, crediting the 1971 Wetlands Act with saving remaining stopping grounds.
“There was a period of time in this country, around the 1930s, when the duck population was seriously depleted,” Hill said. “There were no game laws or bag limits.” That was also before organizations like Ducks Unlimited were formed to purchase more wetlands and preserve breeding grounds.
Before the shack on Sandy Island existed as a gun club, it lived another life as an ice barge on the Hudson River. Designed for storing blocks of ice for New York City's restaurants, the scow was heavily insulated, thus serving well for its later rain-soaked duck hunter inhabitants. It was floated to Sandy Island on a flood tide in 1923.
As hunting clubs go, it is described as “very comfortable,” according to the hunters. That means it has a freshwater well and a 10-kilowatt generator powered by a 100-gallon capacity diesel engine. Seeing to convenience wherever possible, the new owners installed hot showers, a gas refrigerator, wall-to-wall carpeting and a picture window. The view of the sedges and natural salt ponds had already been provided.
But there is no television, and only a two-way radio for emergency linkage to the outside world.
“Out there you can go to bed at night and you don't hear the automobiles, and there's no telephone to ring,” to Joe Inman's satisfaction.
Shackleton and Bill Inman ran duck hunting parties in the early years to help cover costs, then suspended that to make Sandy Island a private club.
Visitors in late October are a few geese, and on the ponds, blue winged teal, green winged teal, mallards and black widgeon. Broadbills show up the third week of November, “out on the point.”
Wives have rarely visited; Rita Inman, Bill's wife, recalls with a little guilt that she “was over there once,” but “it smelled so dirty and musty, and you would slip on the dirt outside left by the seagulls.”
Oh, well, even paradise is subjective.
Remembering the Island's Co-Owner
Bill Inman had no perceptions that in his lifetime he would be able to own the place he was invited to by his cousin, Douglas Fisher's guide Ken Hausel, when the owner was away, according to Hill. Inman was the first one in his family to have a white collar job, when he was hired into the real estate business in 1956 by Hill's father. At the time, he had just gotten out of the Navy and was working as a clammer. Years later, through his hard work and astute business sense by others, his opulent Loveladies home would have vaulted ceilings and a 40-foot indoor pool. He would travel the world, but value the company of his friends and family. He and Shackleton were invited to become club members by Stockton Fisher, son of the owner.
Inman “was an interesting bridge between an old way of life and a new way of life. He crossed both territories in the course of his life,” Hill observed.
“He had all of the skills that the bayman had, but the bayman still respected him after he became a white-collar guy. That's very unusual. There's a whole different culture out there. And when we live in a summer resort like this, it's 180 degrees from what their lives were. Their lives were spent harvesting the bay.”
Hill added that Inman “had an instinct for what was right, and lived by it.”
“He was one of the most charitable people I've ever known in my life,” Hill said. “You don't know that, because he did it all anonymously. He would never let the recipient know where it all came from. I found this out not from him, but through other sources. He was very conscious of people who were less fortunate than himself.”
Turning the pages of a scrapbook of Sandy Island of not so long ago, Rita Inman takes some comfort in seeing the happy faces of “a good man,” a devoted husband of 36 years, and his friends, proudly posed in front of a line of inert, wet, upside-down ducks.
Put his father, “I miss him, oh, terrible. 'Cause he was my right hand.”
And from Marv, “He wasn't only my brother, he was my best friend.”
And the guys know, when you're sitting in a 5-by-5-by-3-foot subterranean “box” in the meadow for an entire winter day, it's only a very good friend you'd want there with you.
And now, back to 1922...
121 Bucks Killed in County
According to reports received by game wardens there were 121 deer killed in Ocean County during the four days of the open season last December. In the state there were 771 bucks killed, only 63 behind the ten-day season of 1920, when 834 were slain. Burlington County led the list with 249 bucks reported; Atlantic was second, with 174; Ocean, 121; Cumberland, 74; Cape May, 10; Camden, 9; Gloucester and Monmouth each 2; Mercer, 1. In north Jersey there were 19 killed in Passaic; 18 in Morris; 16 in Bergen; 33 in Sussex; 44 in Warren. Old hunters figure that this means fifty tons of venison. There were also 36 does found by wardens unlawfully killed...
Two weeks and three days more for wild fowl gunning, and then no more. The wild fowl, though the weather has been fairly cold, have many of them stayed in our bays instead of going south.
The Courier hears frequently of various wild sea birds, gulls, ducks, etc., being found dead, with their feathers gummed up with the heavy oil from ocean-going steamers. The bird that once gets in this oil seems to be doomed.
Great schools of cod are found off the beaches this winter, and hand-line men catch them by the hundreds. The Newark Call, however, says that the Fish Trust in New York only allows the hand-line men a cent a pound for their catch, while the retail price is way up.
J.J. Conklin and Fred Miller, of Newark, were on Barnegat Bay after wild fowl last week.
Coveys of quail are seen again now that the season is over. One man who lives on the edge of town told me of a flock of ten that feed with his chickens in Toms River village.
James W. Moore
James W. Moore, a well-known resident of Jackson Township, and for the past twenty-five years a court officer at Ocean County Courts, dropped dead at his home, in Harmony, on Thursday of last week, about noon. Dr. Frank Brouwer, of Toms River, was called as Coroner, and gave a death certificate from apoplexy [cerebral hemorrhage or stroke]. “Jim” Moore had been a Republican worker in Jackson Township for a quarter century, and also a constable most of the time. He formerly lived at Van Hiseville, and had a small farm, and was a maker of ladders by trade, making them from oak timber and selling them all through the countryside for twenty-five miles around. The day of his death he had been cutting up a hog. He was alone in the house when taken, and pitched forward on the floor, his face striking the rungs of a chair. In his death struggle he had gnawed the chair rung with his teeth. The body was discovered by his daughter, Mrs. Voorhees. He leaves three daughters...
The infant of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Perrine died last Saturday night. The funeral services were conducted by Rev. M.J. Wyngarden, Monday afternoon, at 2 o'clock, at their home. Internment at Masonic Cemetery.
About twelve new cottages are being constructed at Bay Head just now, several of them being already enclosed. Also a large number of houses are being repaired, altered or enlarged. Joseph Stillwell, the contractor, is rebuilding the Bay Head Yacht Club docks, and when completed they will be the equal of any in this part of the bay.
The Bay Head Fire Company boys are having lots of fun just now in their pool tournament. It looks now as if Otis Strickland, son of our former mayor, would win out; but they say that Andy and Budd will run him a close second if they can hold their present stride.
Serenaders surprised Mr. and Mrs. Harrison Herbert on the night of January 4. After having made a big noise they all came in the house and spent a pleasant evening playing games, and then refreshments were served.
Elbert Wilbert, P.R.R. track foreman, at Bay Head, has been awarded the prize of $50 [$830 in 2022 dollars] for the best foreman's sub-division under Supervisor S.A. Hart, of Mt. Holly.
Bay Head Fire Company has bought a new ton and a half truck to be equipped as a ladder truck and eventually with chemical tanks.
There was a car driven through town the other day, that looked as if the driver was afraid of running out of gas—it had a sail attached to the rear for emergencies.
From the sound of things around this part of the bay the gunners must be bringing down the ducks and geese; one might suppose from the racket at times that artillery practice was going on.
The Engleside Hotel is making preparations for next season's business. Running water is being installed in a number of rooms, and other improvements made. Mr. Engle, the manager, does not believe in waiting until the last minute. By having the plumbers there now, they will not be around in the way of the spring house-cleaning.
Mr. Aarons, the Philadelphia druggist, who has served our needs in drug and allied lines from the Engleside Pharmacy for several seasons, announces to his patrons here that he will also occupy the Baldwin Pharmacy, running both stores next season.
The first winter meeting of the Beachwood Woman's Club was held at the Hotel Astor, New York, on Thursday afternoon of last week. Mrs. Geo. Siffert, president, addressed the club, and in closing urged all members to take an active interest in the coming election for Borough Commissioners by making every effort to be in Beachwood next May on election day, and cast her vote...
The Borough Commission held their January meeting on Saturday evening last, Messrs. Haring and Nickerson being present. The tax ordinance for 1922 was passed, and will be found in this issue of The Courier. On January 27 it will come up for final passage, and any taxpayer may then have his say for or against any of its provisions.
Also last week the Commissioners put through its final passage the ordinance for the purchase from the estate of the late B.C. Mayo, lots 51 to 56, inclusive, in block B 28, plat BB, map 7; also a small triangular next to lot 56. The price to be paid is $360 [$6,000 in 2022 dollars].
Large chicken houses have been added at Hollywood farm.
The many friends of James Forrester will be sorry to hear that he has had quite a bad accident at home, in West Philadelphia, falling down the cellar steps, breaking a rib, cutting his head and bruising himself badly.
The sympathy of our little community is with Mr. and Mrs. J. Hampton Moore in the loss of their son, Mark, who was well known to all on the Heights [J. Hampton Moore was the mayor of Philadelphia twice, from 1920 to 24, then again from 1932 to 1936, apart from other terms in Congress. He was also a homeowner and summer resident of Island Heights. Their son, Mark, 26, was fifth of eight children, and died after an illness, in California].
Charles Thomson sails this week for his old home in Christiana, Norway. He expects to bring his mother with him when he returns.
The engagement is announced of Miss Elizabeth Mason, of this place, to Mr. Arthur Brill, of Jersey City. The young woman is telephone operator in Lakehurst, and the young man is employed on the Central Railroad. No date has been set for the wedding.
Mr. Oriole is making some improvements to his property by clearing of the lowland between Main and Pine Streets.
Capt. Jones Bunnell has been cutting timber for his house frame and will commence his home soon as possible.
Charles Hankins and his bride have returned from their honeymoon and will reside at their cottage on President Avenue.
Councilman Arthur Applegate and Nelson Fisher have had good luck in the past week with their nets, bringing in some fine perch.
Otto Peterson has his ice house filled for summer use.
Harry Crane is building a garage and workshop on his property.
Fred Lumbreyer, of West Creek, expects to open a candy store in the Earl Cranmer property on Bay Avenue.
W.B. Paul met with a painful accident last week by having a box of fish fall on him at the Beach Haven Cold Storage Plant, where he is employed.
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Bell, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Bell, of Columbus, attended the hog killing of Robert Bell, Jr., of near Archertown.
Salome Worth, the four-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Worth, who had scarlentina, is able to be out of bed. We are glad to say the case was a very light one, and hope the precautions that are being taken there will be no further outbreak of this disease.
Theodore Ivins, while skating on Oakford Lake, had quite a serious accident. Mr. Ivins slipped and fell on the ice, striking his face against Edward Tantum's skates, cutting his face so badly he had to have medical attention.
Harry W. Ellis has started work on an up-to-date six-room bungalow on Lakewood Avenue, opposite the station.
John Church and son were recent visitors here, looking over their new home on the river front now under construction by Contractor Black.
The town was without gas one day last week on account of a break in the main on the State road. Quote some inconvenience in several homes here during the short while it was turned off (hate to be without it for a long while).
Moore and Steel, contractors, have started work on another bungalow, on Narragansett Avenue.
First monthly meeting of the Fire Company at the Fire House, on Monday evening last. New officers taking office are: Otto Page, president; Alvin Black, vice-president; Fred Heitzman, secretary; Chris Angerer, treasurer; Raymond Keisel, financial secretary.
The ladies of the Ocean Gate M.E. Church are planning a foot social, to be held in the church on the evening of January 20. Some say, what is a foot social? Well, we have tried hard enough to find out what it is, but the only answer we can receive is to come and find out. So, don't forget to be on hand.
Mrs. Holub lost a valuable cow this week; while running, it fell and broke its neck.
Dr. Edgar Ill has quite a stock farm—sheep, cows, pigs and horses.
Roads are bad enough.
Report says that Owen J. Mellee, of Red Bank, who was at work on Prof. Lewis Haupt's jetty, on the south point of Manasquan Inlet, has been stopped by the federal authorities, on the ground that no permission had been obtained from the government at Washington to undertake the work. According to Point Pleasant Leader, the inhabitants on the south shore want the work to proceed, and those on the Monmouth County, or north shore, are opposed to it.
The Borough of Point Pleasant Beach has an entire gravity system sewer with an outfall into the ocean, and including salary paid to the superintendent, its upkeep last year was about $500 [$8300 in 2022 dollars].
The Seaside Heights Fire Company have installed in the fire house a hot water heating system that is giving satisfaction in every way. It was bought by Edgar Hart, the local dealer, who, with the help of the firemen, installed it free of charge.
While returning from Lavallette, where he had gone after gasoline last Sunday night with his Ford sedan, A.W. Driver, of this place, had the misfortune to have his car strike a rut in the road near Ortley which caused the car to leave the road and tip over, causing to catch fire and burn up. W. Houser, who was with Mr. Driver, and Mr. Driver, escaped without injury.
The Lakewood and Coast Electric Company, who are furnishing the Heights with electric current, have removed their wires on the east side of the boulevard and have placed them on the west side, thereby eliminating the double row of poles that were on the boulevard for several blocks.
Mr. and Mrs. Ben Ellis were Toms River visitors last Saturday, taking in the movies at the Traco.
Frank Hewitt and Andrew Wickham made a trip to Surf City last week, returning with ducks and geese galore.
C.W. Mathis is building a bungalow on the boulevard in the upper part of the borough.
Miss Louise Parker is back at the telephone exchange, after several weeks of sickness and under the doctor's care.
Dr. L.L. Righter has been here this past week looking after patients who seem to be troubled with the popular cold that's going the rounds.
F.W. Gregor has purchased a piano for his daughter, Dorothy.
Young Horace Lippincott, we hope some day, will master his new violin received on Christmas.
The stock, wagons, hay, corn and farming implements of the late Watson Irons were sold at public auction on Tuesday of this week. William Mason, of Lakewood, was the auctioneer.
The State Highway Commission are rebuilding the two bridges on the Main Shore road in this town. Steel girders are used to hold the plank deck. The bridges will be much strengthened. Formerly they were posted to carry four tons weight.
John D. Van Horn has bought the lot adjoining his property and is rebuilding the ice house and barns and making other improvements.
Amos Ridgway of Coastguard station 112, spent his liberty day at home.
Mrs. Rhoda Brown is visiting in Bayonne. Mrs. Robert Aspinwall of Forked River is teaching the village school in her absence.
Curt Fenimore is still keeping up his record as a game hunter. He and Clarence Parker, killed over eighty geese and ducks last week. Curt's aim is sure... but he can't trap opossums.
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