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 27th, 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)
New moon today.
The bay is closed again with ice.
Only four days left in January.
Wildfowl season closes next Tuesday.
Sun rises tomorrow at 7:14 and sets at 5:12, a gain of 11 minutes in the morning and 40 minutes in the afternoon.
George Wolf is now working as electrician at the Naval Air Station for the navy, instead of with the contractors, as before. Some of the other lads who lost their jobs when the contractors finished up, have been promised direct government jobs.
Local men seem to care little about filling ice houses with natural ice this winter. Years ago, ice gathering was a big event.
Real estate men in this locality are getting ready their spring lists of farms and homes for sale, expecting a big turn over in real property this spring.
One of the most popular institutions in town this winter has been the public library. A new pay shelf will be put in as soon as books can be obtained. New shelves are to be built to house the accumulating books.
Jack McClary is figuring on a new style of building material, called Duntile fireproof, and expects to put in a plant for making it here. Jack says it will be something different from the ordinary cement block, made by a new process.
Harold W. Lyle of Toms River, is chairman of a committee to thrash out problems that have arisen in the workings of the co-operative poultry selling agency, and make recommendations to the directors. A meeting was held at the court house on Tuesday for this purpose.
County Agent Waite has been showing a three-legged chicken that he had picked up in his travels.
Mrs. Schmolze has started work on a new store adjoining her property on Washington Street on the east. The American Constructing Co. are doing the work. It is understood that it is to be a two story building and she will occupy it herself, lessing her larger store to Meyer Williams, the shoe dealer.
State engineers have been at work measuring up, down and across Main Street this week.
Flocks of starling increase in number as the winter goes by. The colder the weather, the more starling, seems to be the rule.
Building Inspector McDermott of the State Department of Education, was here Tuesday, going over the plans of the proposed new school house.
The Fire Company has put up a small building in the rear of the Town Hall, to house some of the older hose carts and make room for that hoped for motor pumping engine. The company is about to expand its membership from 30 to 35 or perhaps 40. The Township Committee has provided in the budget to increase the firemen's pay from $10 to $25 a year [$165 to $414 in 2022 dollars].
Thursday of next week will be Ground Hog day, or Candlemas day. Watch out for the Ground Hog's shadow to tell you whether or not winter is over.
Many cranberry growers fear their vines, which are still uncovered with water, except on the lower stretches of the bogs, near the dams, may be winter killed by the cold. There is not even snow to protect the vines this winter.
The new building on Main street, for Dr. Crook, shows what it will be. It has the frame sheathed and is going up rapidly.
The Toms River Yacht Club is working on plans for a larger clubhouse.
The Main Shore Road from Toms River south, has been kept in good condition all winter. Many of the other roads have gone bad, being cut up into irregular ruts during thaws, the ruts freezing with each cold snap, and making travel better for the liver than for the nerves.
With two houses in Montray Park, who will be the next? Once that place gets started, it's apt to go ahead, for it is really well located [today a full housing development south of Route 37, east of Main Street].
E.S. Fritz, receiver for the Ocean County Electric Company, asserts that the Toms River dam project is still very much alive, not dead at all, as some folks fear.
The private pay for the night watchman has been discontinued, the police being paid by the Township Committee and responsible to that body.
The upper bay has been frozen so often this winter that net fishermen could do little at their trade, being forbidden by law to fish under the ice.
The bluebirds, robins and cardinals are scarce this winter. Do the starlings crowd them away?
It's easier to see the longer afternoon, and you can just begin to note the earlier sunrise.
Point Pleasant Borough will extend its beach boardwalk 1000 feet this spring and summer.
TO BUILD MAMMOTH AIRSHIP AT LAKEHURST, YEAR'S WORK
The huge dirigible airship for the United States Navy, ZR-1, is to be built at the Naval Air Station Hangar, the work beginning April 1, next, and it will take about a year to put the craft together. This information is direct from Commander R.D. Weyerbacher, U.S.N., who is to have charge of the construction of this mammoth flier. The work will keep 350 men busy, says the commander, mostly skilled mechanics and high-priced labor, and will mean the paying out of considerable sums of money in this section for the coming year.
Want to Live at Toms River
The statement of Commander Weyerbacher was made in a letter to the Toms River Chamber of Commerce, in which he urged that body to aid the Navy Department in getting a train service between Toms River and Lakehurst, so that many of the civilian employees on the new airship could live at Toms River and travel back and forth by train. In this letter, Commander Weyerbacher said there were now about sixty men working at the Air Station and living at Toms River. They travel back and forth in cars. They would like a train leaving Toms River at about 7:30 in the morning and preferably running into the Air Station; leaving Lakehurst (or the Air Station), at 4:30 P.M., for Toms River. He said that the number of men living at Toms River when the full crew is on at the works, would be limited only by the housing at Toms River and the means of travel from Toms River to and from their work. He was of the opinion that a large part of these civilian employees would prefer living at Toms River, because of its attractive features in summer, if they could be housed here and given transportation back and forth.
Commander Weyerbacher's letter was read at the meeting of the Chamber of Commerce, in Scout Hall, Wednesday night, January 25. It was accompanied by a petition from the Naval Air Station employees living in Toms river or willing to live here, to the number of a hundred or so, asking the Chamber of Commerce to take up the matter of train service with the Central Railroad. At the meeting there were present guests of the C. of C. for the evening a score or more of these Naval Air Station men, all of whom voiced the same desire.
The Chamber of Commerce will appoint a committee to take up the matter with the Central Railroad, and will ask the station to return to appoint a similar committee. The Navy Department and the State Bureau of Transportation will be enlisted, and if it can be shown that sufficient traffic can be obtained to warrant putting on a shuttle train to and from Toms River and the Air Station, it is believed that it can be obtained. It is hard to see how the present through train service to and from New York could be remodeled to meet this need, as its present schedule is based on still heavier transportation needs in the territory between Lakewood and Jersey City.
These plans, if they work out, will again strain to the utmost the housing situation at Toms River. With the building of a score or two of houses in the past year, the strain had relaxed somewhat, and there is now an occasional house to rent. If more of the Air Station workers are to locate here, it will renew the demand for houses and rooms, and apparently increase it.
IN THE COUNTY COURTS
County Judge W. H. Jeffrey sat, without a jury, in Common Pleas and Criminal Courts, on Wednesday of this week.
Herbert Kneeland, of Lakewood, pleaded guilty to grand larceny, having been arrested for stealing a Ford touring car belonging to Bert DeBow, of Jackson's Mills, while standing in the street at Lakewood. The car was later found in the swamp near Laurelton by a state trooper. Kneeland was sent back to jail to await sentence...
PARKER WOULD PROTECT FARMERS FROM WILD DEER
Assemblyman Parker, of Barnegat, on Monday night, introduced two bills to protect the farmer from damage to his crops by the wild deer. One bill would give the farmer compensation for crops destroyed by deer. The other one would allow the running at large throughout the year of hound dogs, on the theory that dogs thus running would keep the deer back in the swamps and woods, and away from farm lands...
RETAILING FISH BY MAIL NEWEST IDEA IN MARKETING
The Beach Haven fisheries, located at Beach Haven, on Long Beach, have inaugurated a plan for marketing fish that promises to revolutionize the shipping of food fish. They are sending by mail frozen fish direct to the consumer in small lots, as low as from $1.00 worth to 50 cents worth, and at prices that seem to be below the usual retail prices. They are making this experiment, and if it pays, will probably branch out in a wider field.
Last summer Secretary Hoover outlined to The Courier man this new method of sending frozen fish by mail. He said a plan had been worked out, and it seemed to work successfully, by which fish would stay frozen for a whole week, and could be shipped by parcel post across the continent, and that the method would allow the shipping of fish from either the Atlantic or Pacific seaboard, the Gulf, or the Lakes, to any part of the country, by mail, as a commercial venture. Mr. Hoover, at that time, was enthusiastic over the plan, and thought it had solved for the commercial fishermen on the coast the problem of putting out their fish at a reasonable cost for distribution, so that they would make a fair return for their labor and investment, and still the consumer would be able to get fish at a price he could afford to pay.
ALMOST ZERO WEATHER
This has been the coldest week of the winter the mercury scrooching down mighty close to the zero mark on both Wednesday and Thursday mornings. Last week, the latter part, was warm with some rain. Sunday cleared off, but not cold. In the afternoon a strong west wind blew, but it was not till night that the temperature got down to freezing... The cold weather closed up the bay and river, and put ice back on all the bogs and ponds. It was clear, dry cold, wonderfully invigorating.
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ENDS SECOND SUCCESSFUL YEAR
Celebrating its second anniversary on Wednesday evening, January 25, at Scout Hall, the Chamber of Commerce reviewed its two successful years, and pointed with considerable pride to things accomplished which it had got back of and aided... Officers for the coming year are: President, Charles N. Warner; Vice-President, Oren E. Payne; Secretary, Fred G. Bunnell; Treasurer, H.J. Samuelson; trustees, Edward Crabbe, David C. Brewer, William H. Fischer...
In his resume of the work of the last two years, Secretary Fred G. Bunnell named over accomplishments that the Chamber of Commerce had stood back of, including: Sewers at Toms River, State Poultry Producers' Association and the Toms River Packing Station, safety gates at the Main St. C.R.R. crossing, stamp window and outside letter box at post office, merchants' gift night holiday week, improvement of county roads in this section. He stated that the Chamber of Commerce had provided the band at the School May Day Festival last year, and had contributed toward Memorial Day and the village Christmas tree. Just now it is carrying on a prize contest in Toms River schools for the best historical essay on Toms River. Among projects it is now giving its moral support are: A proposed wireless station southwest of the village; the development of poultry and sweet potato culture in this section; the hydro-electric dam at Toms River; concrete from curb to curb in the village on Route 4, State Highway [today Route 166/Main Street].
WOULD KEEP POUNDS TWO MILES FROM ANY INLET
Under a bill that is fathered by Assemblyman Parker, of this county, if it should become a law, no pound fishery could be set nearer than two miles from any inlet on our coast. This bill was introduced Monday night. Mr. Parker has a companion bill, requiring a larger mesh in the pockets used in fish pounds.
The argument given for the first bill is that the pound nets at present, within perhaps a mile of an inlet, turn away the fish that would otherwise enter the bays. Those who are in favor of the change to two miles say that there is little fishing in Barnegat Bay since nets were constructed north and south of the inlet, and the best fishing has been off shore. They allege the absence of school fish in the bay is due to the pounds at the entrance.
For the larger mesh it is alleged that the pocket mesh now used is so small that the small blues and weaks gill in them by the thousands and millions at certain stages of migration.
Pound net bills are apt to cause a long and strong fight, and usually gets no further than the committee to which they are referred. The pound fisheries have a strong association and are backed by the big fish interests of New York, so that fighting them is generally an unprofitable occupation. Whether the pound men will object to these bills has not yet been ascertained.
HOT LUNCHES IN SCHOOLS
Some kind of hot lunch is served in the schools in the following towns to pupils who bring lunch, living too far away to go home for dinner: Bay Head, Bayville, Dover Chapel (Bayville), Osbornville, Toms River, Holmanville, Lakehurst, Lakewood High School; also schools One and Five, New Egypt, Point Pleasant and Tuckerton.
In some places only one hot drink is served; in others there is choice of hot drinks and hot dishes. The Home and School Associations have been largely instrumental in working up these hot lunches for children who must otherwise eat cold meals in the middle of the day.
TO KEEP ON BORING FOR OIL IN OCEAN COUNTY
Last Sunday's Newark Call says: As the result of a thorough geological survey made in the central section of the State, William S. Driver, who has been drilling for oil at Prospertown and Jackson Mills since the autumn of 1919, announced yesterday that he would continue with his borings indefinitely. Mr. Driver said he would make at least ten more borings, if necessary, because of reports recently delivered to him by F.J.S. Sur, of San Antonio, Texas, one of the best-known oil experts in the United States.
Mr. Sur, whose findings have resulted in great oil discoveries in Texas, Wyoming, Montana, California, Louisiana and Mexico, reported to Mr. Driver that he found in a section of New Jersey, now under lease by the latter, “structures possible for the accumulation of oil, particularly because of the presence of Trenton limestone, an oil-bearing formation, which is accessible at reasonable drilling depth. I believe that oil,” concluded Mr. Sur, “can be reasonably expected in New Jersey.”
The Driver company, which now has under lease approximately 70,000 acres of land in the Lakewood district of New Jersey, is now boring its third hole since active drilling operations started in 1919. The first, at Prospertown, was abandoned after a bit turned at 1,900 feet, and the second at Jackson's Mills, also had to be abandoned when two bits were jammed at bottom of the 2,500-foot hole. The third hole, only fifty yards from the second, already is 2,000 feet deep, with formation, according to Mr. Driver, that would indicate the presence of oil at a depth of 2,500 to 3,000 feet.
So enthusiastic is Mr. Driver over the prospects of the field that he is arranging to set up at least one more derrick early in the spring, probably a standard rig. Another large company known as the Jersey Syndicate, also will appear on the field in the spring, it was learned yesterday. This company has leased several thousand acres adjoining Mr. Driver's holdings and probably will set up three standard rigs within a few weeks, adding to the oil-country atmosphere around Jackson's Mills.
Mythical oil-producing companies that prey on guileless “investors” have made their appearance around Jackson's Mills, the Jersey prospector said. He said he has had to serve warning on several unscrupulous firms in New York that if they do not cease the practice of piloting parties of “investors” in automobiles to Jackson's Mills and point out the big steel derrick as their property, lawsuits will be in order. Mr. Driver already operates successful oil wells in Mexia, Tex., and is about to begin drilling in Alaska.
Mrs. Wm. H. Trippe, formerly of Toms River, is one of the leaders in the women's Town Improvement Association at Point Pleasant Beach.
Leeland Campbell spent the week end in Brooklyn. C.M. Campbell was also a visitor in that city and New York this week.
Mr. and Mrs. Frank W. Sutton, Jr. expect to reach home tonight, from a trip to Washington, D.C.
Carl Priest came down from Princeton Wednesday to visit his brother, Daniel S. Priest, and was an interested one at the Chamber of Commerce meeting.
C.D. Kelly of West Creek, years ago Director of the Board of Freeholders for several terms, was a Wednesday visitor in town. He is now the state representative in charge of the oyster industry in Ocean, Burlington and Monmouth counties. He was accompanied by oyster watchman John W. Rutters.
Saturday of next week, Mr. and Mrs. Crabbe and daughter, Georgiana, plan sailing for Bermuda, to be gone three weeks.
FISH AND GAME
The wildfowl season ends on Tuesday next, January 31. Only three gunning days left. There has been much wildfowl this season, but no more than usual killed.
Thomas Gould, of Elizabeth, and Harold Griffen, of Aldene, tell of killing eighteen ducks in Barnegat Bay last week.
The January pike fishing season, with hook and line under ice, ended Friday of last week, January 20.
The winds and tides recently brought thousands of sea clams on the beach and most of them are left there to waste. As a sea food they far surpass the soft clams in richness, but owing to their being so plentiful few people ever eat them. It is a ruthless waste to let so much good food lay untouched when they are to be had for the asking. Of course they cannot be had at all times, only as certain winds and currents are right which cuts them out and the surf washes them up on the shore. One of our enterprising citizens took advantage of this opportunity, opened and sold many quarts of them in our town. The only feature is to get the sand out the same as from soft clams, and one will find as fine a shell fish as ever grew hardly excepting the scallop...
Mr. and Mrs. R.M. Collins celebrated their sixty-first wedding anniversary on Sunday, January 15. Mr. Collins was born in 1836, and when 14 years old, started in his seafaring life, as cook, with Capt. Charles Sprague, in the schooner Eliza Hamilton, then as sailor and mate in the schooner John Lozier, Capt. Silas Conklin; schooner John Crockford, Capt. Charles Chambers; schooner Tunis Bodine, Capt. Anthony Soper; schooner Emeline Ross, as mate, with his brother, James Collins; schooner Buena Vista, same captain; schooner John Griffith, Capt. Mike Conklin; schooner Caroline Anderson, Capt. Abe Fort. When 22 years old he was captain of the schooner C.I. Errickson, after which he sailed several of the latter day schooners in the coasting trade. There are very few old seafaring men living today who remember this class of old coasters. This year makes his sixty-fourth year as a Mason, a record not surpassed by many in the state. His physical abilities are equal to most men at 70, not having any of the ailments subject to old age. His wife is a daughter of the late Capt. John Russell, who was well known years ago when our merchant marine traded out Barnegat Inlet, carrying wood and charcoal to New York and usually store goods back.
Some of the high schoolers are home sick with the grippe [flu].
Mrs. Ezra Parker and sons Willits and Ambrose Cox, left Thursday for Deland, Fla., where they have orange groves.
The girls and boys are having good times skating on the ponds.
The members of the Boys' Club were pleasantly surprised last Friday evening, when Mrs. Theo Brown, assisted by Miss Frances Collins, treated them to ice cream and cake. The boys spend very pleasant evenings, and clubs of this kind should be encouraged.
The Ladies' Auxiliary of the Beach Haven Fire Company are holding their weekly winter Friday night dances in the Fire House.
Contractor J.W. Berry's men are working on a cosy bungalow for Mr. Ferris, the Philadelphia lumber dealer, on his property at the rear of his apartment house on Second Street. We understand this will be for rent.
Mrs. William Layton and little son, of Red Bank, are staying here to be with Mr. Layton, who has charge of moving the Bond's Coast Guard Station.
Revised plans of the Pennsylvania Railroad have postponed the closing of this section of the road until March 1. A gang of men have been at work on the bridge and draw for many weeks, getting everything in readiness to lift the draw and replace it with a modern new steel one. This will be done in March, during which time passengers and freight will be transported from Manahawkin by autos.
BEACH HAVEN TERRACE [section of Long Beach Township on LBI]
Captain and Mrs. Rogers spent their liberty day in Forked River; also saw “Way Down East.”
The cold weather has frozen the ponds and provided great sports for the youngers.
F.W. Goodrich is putting a second story on his new concrete block garage [a century later, work continues on the same building, located beside the Quick Chek convenience store and gas station, with new siding and renovated interiors].
The building boom has struck the town. Capt. I.W. Truex, has started one bungalow near the depot, and has several more under contemplation in the very near future. Contractors Yeager and Snyder (both new comers in this section) are doing the wood work and Carrol Cranmer, of Manahawkin, is doing the concrete work. Several others are considering the erection of new buildings to accommodate the demand created by the recent influx of people flocking in from the cities hungry for farms.
Skating has been enjoyed this week and some gathered ice for summer use.
The farmers are preparing for the spring planting and as far as indications go, the coming season will be the best ever enjoyed here.
Blooded stock of all kinds is being brought in this locality and things look well for all branches of business.
The Wider Bros. have started an up-to-date chicken plant on their farm.
Two [railroad] carloads of ice recently came here for the State Game Farm.
Mrs. Stella Penn, Mrs. Ella Tilton and Miss Bessie Penn saw the play, “Way Down East,” at the Traco Theatre, Toms River.
Henry Brown, of Coast Guard Station 114, recently visited his mother, Mrs. M.J. Brown.
Mr. and Mrs. Charles K. Haddon were in town this week, taking a look at the new cruiser that Mayor Rote is building for him. Tomorrow, Saturday, Mr. and Mrs. Haddon sail for the Mediterranean and will be gone till some time in April.
Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Stanwood have moved into their new home and we all wish them many happy years there.
We are sorry to say that several of our local fishermen lost their nets when the ice broke up on the bay.
The public library is doing fine. Three boxes of books were received from Charles K. Haddon this week; also fifty books from Mr. and Mrs. Radcliffe Hirst.
It is reported that Capt. Lish Hyres is to be the captain of Charles K. Haddon's new boat, now being built by William T. Rote. Capt. Lish will fill the post all right.
The cradles on which the huge dirigible is to be built at the Air Station hangar are said to be partly in place. Rumor here is that the airship is surely to be assembled here, making much work for Lakehurst and vicinity. Skilled labor, of the highest class, will be used for the most part, it is said, metal workers, electricians, etc.
There have been several weeks of skating on the lake this winter, interrupted now and then by thaws, but the ice coming back in fine condition with each successive freeze. The sailors at the Naval Air Station have greatly enjoyed the skating.
Postmaster Rogers is having his lowland cleared of trees and underbrush. It will make a great improvement to his property. George Chamberlain and Andrew Dennis are doing the work.
Capt. Jones Bunnell is having the lumber hauled for his new home, which will be started in the near future.
Capt. Martin McCarthy, of No. 109, and Capt. Almont Grant, of No. 110, Coast Guard Service, were home recently.
Capt. Martin McCarthy is improving his property very much on Bay Way—a garage which is about completed, with two coats of paint and is graveling his walks and is clearing up his lowlands, and also other improvements.
George Oriel is making big improvements to his property on the corner of Main and South Railroad Avenues, which he bought of Capt. Nelson Grant last spring. Mr. Oriel is a retired army officer. He was living in Texas at the time of the flood, in which he lost his wife and baby.
Capt. Nelson Grant is making improvements in the property which he bought of B.F. Vaughn last fall. Mr. Vaughn is now living in Los Angeles, with the rest of his family, with his son, Louie Vaughn.
Miss Ida Bagot was here Sunday looking over her new house which is now under construction.
Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Newlin are the proud parents of a young son, Harvey, Jr.
Council meeting in the council room of the Fire House January 28. Last reading of the budget. If you have anything to say, this will be the time to say it.
Mayor and Council, how about getting after the township to repair the entrance into the borough. Enough reports say this road is in very bad condition.
Mrs. John Wheeler and Mrs. Frank Cuets, summer residents, passed away in Philadelphia, last week after a short illness.
A. Chambers sold a cow last week to Mrs. Hollob.
We understand the electric lights are to be run down from Lakewood to the cemetery. In that case, our church surely out to benefit. Lights are needed badly.
Jake Golstein is building more chicken houses. He has the Delco lights in house and buildings.
Daniel Klee is employed at Spring Lake at present, as a painter.
Contractor Brackman will soon start the building of F.W. Gregor's butcher shop, at Lavallette.
We are all glad to see the bay open once more, but the wild fowl are scarce.
Harry Pitcher and son, of Long Branch, were here on a gunning trip this week.
Who said that we have had a hard winter. The writer saw onions in the ground all sprouted one day this week.
Hilliard Allison and Charlie Hargrove are hauling lumber for Albert Hansell's bungalow.
Hamilton Tilton has his saw mill in operation now and is doing a fair amount of sawing wood for his neighbors.
The north winds doth blow nowadays. Plenty of ice but little snow and the ice houses about this section are being filled for the good old summer time needs.
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