Welcome to Monmouth Beach Life.com
I am a writer covering the Monmouth Beach area for over 30 years. This website is my new e-connection with all those who love and care about our exceptional shore community. I’ll also provide coverage on our close neighbors — Sea Bright and Long Branch — because If you want to get to Monmouth Beach, you must go thorough those places.
As a professional journalist my first instinct is to share interesting information. This has allowed me to gain knowledge about the area. And the wisdom that what I don’t know, I’m good at asking about. With that, I pledge to offer a reasonable and independent view of the area. I hope you’ll take some time to read the web posts, look at images, visit often, and comment if the spirit moves you.
My goal is to capture a glimpse of a remarkable Jersey Shore community (along with a peak at its neighbors). I was born here and lived here for some 50 years (I’m an expatriate in Sea Bright now), so I can appreciate and understand the rich and meaningful experience that is Monmouth Beach. Life here is enjoyable — I am fortunate to report on the events. I like doing it too, one reader said my web work: “somehow makes time stop and fly at the same time.” So nice to hear.
Things have always been good in Monmouth Beach — a shore settlement dating backing to the 17th century. And all the while it’s maintained a superb combination of extraordinary locale, thoughtful traditions and exceptional people. I’m blessed to have been able to call it home. I know so many others who treasure this spot.
Monmouth Beach tales are aplenty. So many people represent the town to its essence. They’ve shown me what it’s all about. And yet many good stories are yet untold. Through this digital commentary, I’ll try to make permanent their footprints in our warm sand.
Family note: Many of the stories on this website also are about my physician-father, Dr. Charles Kelly. I wrote about him for many years when I worked in medical publishing. Being a longtime Monmouth Beach resident and a member of “America’s Greatest Generation,” he makes for good copy. Also, my son Kyle Kelly has taken some of the photos on the website. My thanks to both men.
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Some favorite quotes about Monmouth Beach:
• “Monmouth Beach isn’t just a place; it’s a state of mind.”
—Sidney B. Johnson
• “Monmouth Beach values endure.”
—James J. Maguire
• “Monmouth Beach is an aristocratic colony of aristocratic cottages inhabited by aristocratic people.”
—New York Times, 1878
• “Monmouth Beach is distinguished for quiet elegance rather than for the excitement of fashionable hotel life.”
—Gustav Kobbe, New Jersey Coast & Pines, 1891
• “Nowhere along the Atlantic Coast is “exclusiveness” in its broadest sense enjoyed as it is at Monmouth Beach.”
—New-York Tribune, June 1899
• “Monmouth Beach grows but it does not change its characteristics. It gets only more beautiful as time goes by.”
—Brooklyn Daily Eagle, August 1899.
• “The rich summer residents and the Scandinavian fishermen are both gone, but the memory lingers on as the sand, sun and surf offer the same attraction to those who have settled permanently in Monmouth Beach.”
—Asbury Park Press, June 1962
• “If Eliakim Wardell could see his farm today, he would be astounded by the change but would also realize the spirit of neighborliness that he left behind is still there.”
—Rosemary O’Brien, Monmouth Beach: A Bicentennial Publication, 1975
• “It’s an American community at its best.”
—Bob Collister, New York Times reporter, July 1976
• “A Jersey Shore insider secret.”
—Reader’s Digest, 2017
• “One of Monmouth County’s most luxurious and desirable year-round beach communities.”
• “Monmouth Beach is popular with the wealthy.”
—The Suburbanite magazine, June 1904.
• “During the summer months especially, Monmouth Beach comes into the spotlight as a rendezvous of the smart set.”
—Asbury Park Press town promotional ad, December 1939.