Seahorse dwellings of a city’s glory days …
Here are some fantastic images of the grand resort hotels that were located in Long Branch through the years — mostly back at the turn of the 20th century. The city’s natural bluff along the oceanfront provided a spectacular setting for these massive wooden public palaces. This was when the city was serving as the nation’s first great vacation destinations.
I’m so fascinated by the great old seashore lodges that sprawled along the city shoreline. At the peak of the Long Branch resort craze, a visitor could get a room including four large meals for $4 per day at the best hotels.
It’s the sheer size of some of the places I can’t get over. Have a look …
LB coast before major hotel development, 1857.
Hotels along Long Branch coast, Harper’s Weekly, August 1873.
Long Branch hotels along the coast, 1873 Beers map.
Howland Hotel, late 1800s.
“On the Bluff at Long Branch” by Winslow Homer, 1870
Howland’s Hotel, 1868. Obadith Sairs built the original structure in 1827. Henry Howland took over in 1846, expanded the operation to 350 rooms and ran it until 1876 when Richard Dobbins acquired the property.
Howland Hotel, 1905. Considered to be the oldest of the big hotels operating on the ocean. Some original parts of the structure dated to 1809.
Howland Hotel, 1920s. A bad winter storm did major damage to the hotel in 1902 and it was torn down shortly thereafter.
Stetson House, 1868. The hotel was built by Cornelius Lane in 1832.
Stetson House. It was the first NJ hotel to have elevator and telegraph service.
Stetson House hotel, 1880s. Charles A. Stetson, Jr. was the proprietor. Later is became the West End hotel.
West End Hotel, 1902. Burned in 1906.
West End Hotel, 1882.
West End Hotel, 1905.
Metropolitan Hotel, late 1880s. Built by Sam and Joe Cooper in 1854. Dr. Arthur Conover took full ownership in 1874; the hotel burned down in April 1876.
Metropolitan Hotel. The 12-acre resort was located at Cooper and Ocean Avenues. The hotel could accommodate up to 600 guests. Rates were $25 per week.
Mansion House on Ocean Avenue (it’s now Pier Village). Built by Jacob Morris and opened in July 1846, the hotel had several owners and renovations. After an 1884 fire badly damaged the hotel it was finally torn down to make way for a new pier in 1910.
Mansion House sketch, 1863. The seaside hotel was considered the finest of its day. First Lady Mary Lincoln and her sons stayed here in grand fashion in August 1861. According to legend, John Wilkes Booth was a regular guest here and planned the Lincoln assassination at this hotel.
Mansion House hotel, 1870s.
Mansion House hotel location marker, 2011. Mrs. Lincoln so enjoyed her time at Long Branch she recommended it to the Grants.
Mansion House hotel, 1868.
Mansion House hotel, 1863.
Mansion House dining room, 1865. Samuel Laird took control of the hotel in 1852.
Ocean House hotel on Ocean Avenue, 1900. In Sept. 1902, owner Samuel Prosky skipped out on his debts and the hotel never reopened.
Leland’s Ocean House hotel dinning hall, 1872.
Ocean Hotel highlights a busy Lower Broadway, Wolverton Atlas 1889.
Ocean Hotel on a tax map, 1875.
Where Are These Long Branch Hotels?
While researching the history of Long Branch hotels, I found reference to several for which I could not locate images. These include: the Monmouth House, Bennett’s Hotel, Keller Hotel, Pavilion Hotel, Pleasure Bay House, Green’s Hotel, Bath Hotel, Conover House, Grand Excursion Hotel, Manhattan Hotel, Senate Hotel, Abbotsford Hotel, and Imperial Hotel. If anyone does know, please contact me HERE.
Clarendon Hotel, 1880s. The original structure was built by Richard Wardell in the early 1800s. Hugh Manahan took control and expanded in 1835; he sold to Enoch Hendriskson in 1858.
Clarendon Hotel on the ocean, 1868.
United States Hotel sketch, 1858.
United States Hotel, 1875. Built in 1852 by Kennedy & Crater. The 300-room, 13-acre resort was run by Samuel Laid.
United States Hotel double image, 1875. Torn down in 1905.
United States Hotel on the Bluffs, early 1900s.
Elberon Hotel, 1900. Built by Lewis B. Brown in 1866; it burned in 1914 when owned by former US Senator James Smith, Jr. (D-NJ).
Elberon Hotel (l) and the Franklyn Cottage (where President Garfield died), early 1900s.
New York Hotel. Built in 1867 by Isaac Cooper along Branchport Creek. By 1873 the hotel was called the River Side House.
Takanassee Hotel. The 150-room hotel was on the corner of Ocean and Brighton Avenue.
Takanassee Hotel, 1908. Built on the site of the old West End Hotel.
Takanassee Hotel, 1920s. Built in 1906 at a cost of $300,000.
Takanassee Hotel, 1920s. Torn down in the 1930s.
Brighton Hotel, early 1900s.
Brighton Hotel, 1905. Torn down in the early 1960s.
Brighton Hotel, 1910. Later it was called the Bel Aire Hotel.
National House, 1855. Constructed in 1827, it would become the Continental Hotel.
Continental Hotel, late 1800s.
Continental Hotel, 1867. Torn down in 1904.
Continental Hotel, 1868.
Continental Hotel, 1867. The largest hotel in the country in its day, the main section was built by C.C. Sprague & H.A. Stokes in 1866.
Asbury Park Press, July 1951. The dining room at 200 x 75 was considered the largest in the country.
Central Hotel on Third Avenue. Built in the 1870s, it later became the beginnings of Monmouth Medical Center.
Scarboro Hotel. The first of two was built in 1882.
Hotel Scarboro, 1934. In 1916, the hotel was acquired by Louis and Beck Shapiro and reconfigured.
Scarboro Hotel, 1935. It was located at Ocean and Bath Avenues.
Scarboro Hotel. When it burned down in Sept. 1941, it was the last of the grand LB hotels.
Norman Mailer – Scarboro Hotel plaque dedication , 2017.
Hotel Pannaci. Built in 1868, it was originally Iauch’s Hotel.
Hotel Pannaci, 1906.
Hotel Pannaci, 1924.
Hollywood Hotel, 1905.
Hollywood Hotel, 1907.
Hollywood Hotel, 1905.
Hollywood Hotel. Built by John Hoey in 1882.
Hollywood Hotel, 1946.
Hollywood Hotel on Cedar Avenue, burned in a March 1961 fire.
The Atlantic Hotel in North Long Branch. Built by Aaron Christaler in 1862; the hotel could accommodate 250 guests. The area is now Seven President’s Park.
The East End Hotel in North Long Branch. Owned by Jay Gould and Jim Fisk, it opened in June 1873. Sometimes the place was called the Excursion House. A pier and train depot were also built nearby. The area is now Seven President’s Oceanfront Park.
The Arlington House hotel, late 1800s. The area is now Seven President’s Park.
Florence Hotel on North Broadway. Built in 1879 by Richard Dobbins, it later became the Star Hotel and closed in the 1930s. Annie Oakley was a frequent guest here.
Lenox Hotel, 1903. Located on the corner of Ocean Avenue and Broadway. In August 1916, Bryan Kennelly sold it to John Wilson for $10,500.
Manahassett Hotel, 1905. The Manahasset Park Association had begun development of the area in 1894.
Hotel Phelando at Chelsea and Ocean Avenues, 1911. Constructed in the 1880s, the 120-room hotel was torn down in 1936.
Hotel Phelando, 1912.
Tory’s Hotel and Restaurant, early 1900s.
Hotel Ocean Plaza, 1914.
Newing’s Hotel on Broadway, 1909.
Atlantic Hotel, 1911. Built in 1861 by Aaron Christaler.
Atlantic Hotel, 1921. Located on the corner of Ocean and Morris Avenues, it was destroyed by an August 1925 fire.
New Atlantic Hotel, 1910. Rebuilt in 1926.
Taft Hotel on Cooper and Grant Avenues, 1910. It burned down in Sept. 1945.
L. Rothenberg’s Hotel on Ocean Avenue. Built in 1910, burned in the 1930s.
Hotel Milborne on Bath Avenue, 1920s. The hotel burned in 1938.
Vendome-Plaza Hotel, 1924. Built before the turn of the century, the hotel at Ocean and Avery Avenues was badly damaged by fire in 1962.
Bridgewater Inn at Pleasure Bay Park, 1905.
Wardell’s Hotel in Pleasure Bay, 1923.
Garfield Grant Hotel on Broadway, built in 1926. Designed by New York architect, William Van Alen, who is known for his work on the NYC skyscraper, the Chrysler Building.
Garfield Grant Hotel, 1958.
Garfield Grant Hotel, 1960.
Landmark Hotel at Five Corners, 1970s.
Fountains of Long Branch Motel, 1960s.
Stef’s Court Motel, 1980s. On the corner of Ocean and Morris Avenues.
Ocean Court Motel, 2000s.
Hilton Hotel on the boardwalk, 1994.
Ocean Place Spa & Resort, 2019.
Wave Resort & Hotel on the boardwalk, 2019. The 6-story, 67-room beauty was built by Jared Kushner’s company. A room at the boutique, oceanfront hotel in the heart of Pier Village starts at $545.
Pennsylvania Club, 1905.
New York Club, 1905.
Johnson Club House, 1905.
Phil Daly’s Club House, 1905.
West End Shore Club, 1910.
Club San Remo on Ocean Avenue, 1930s.
Club San Remo on Ocean Avenue, 1950s.