LB History & Photos
Long Branch history is irresistible. The more you know, the more you want to know. The city’s remarkable heritage is vibrant and impacting. With countless stories to tell, Long Branch is perfect for this photo-essay collection that I present to you here. I’ll update this post regularly, so please return. And I’m always searching for more Long Branch history. To share please contact me — HERE.
• Beach Clubs — HERE
• Boardwalk & Pier: Seashore Fun — HERE
• Broadway: Business Artery — HERE
• City Hall — HERE
• City Clerks — HERE
• Daily Record newspaper — HERE
• Elberon: “Millionaires Playland” — HERE
• Gaskin Family — HERE
• Hotels: A Grand Past — HERE
• Hazard Hospital — HERE
• Healthcare History — HERE
• Keys to the City — HERE
• Library on Broadway — HERE
• Max’s Hot Dogs — HERE
• North End — HERE
• Oldest Pharmacy — HERE
• Oliver Byron Firehouse — HERE
• Pleasure Bay Days — HERE
• Police Department — HERE
• Presidents in the City — HERE
• Railroads — HERE
• Restaurants & Bars — HERE
• Robert Pinsky: City Poet — HERE
• Schools — HERE
• “Showman Mayor” — HERE
• Stadium — HERE
• “Reservation” Colony — HERE
• West End Cottages — HERE
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City history records are “scarce and fragmentary.”
—Long Branch Daily Record, August 1915
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More Long Branch images …
West End Grows — A new building on Brighton Avenue nears completion, Long Branch Daily Record, May 1958. Builder Rudy Primavera opened an Italian grocery store here with his sons. It also held a drug store and US Post Office. The architect of the four, one-story cinder-block stores was Jame Mancuso.
On a Roll — The Roseland Roller Rink on Brighton Avenue. The West End arena (with 10,000-square-foot skating floor) was opened in February 1938 by William Schmitz and operated until an April 1943 fire.
Legend on Liberty Street — Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois inspired creation of the NAACP Long Branch Chapter, Long Branch Daily Record, February 1925. The city’s civil rights group was officially organized the following month with 86 charter members. Long Branch physician Julius C. McKelvie, M.D. was the first group president. Born in Augusta, Georgia, he graduated Howard University Medical School in Washington, DC in 1915. Dr. McKelvie was the “first Negro” to hold city public office when appointed to the Long Branch schools board of education in January 1953. After practicing medicine in the city for 40 years, upon his death in October 1961, Asbury Park Press publishers lauded his “reputation for professional competence and public service that made him one of Long Branch’s first citizens.” His wife, Anne McKelvie, was the first women appointed to the city’s housing authority in 1965. A North Carolina native, she died October in 1981.
What’s in a name? — The why’s of West End and Elberon, Long Branch Daily Record, October 1915.
Busy Beach — The city coast on a crowded summer day, June 2017. Thanks to Long Branch Ocean Rescue for their devotion to duty — MORE INFO.
On the Beach — US Life-Saving Station #4 at Long Branch, 1868 (Gustav Pach Photo).
Proving Ground — Long Branch Signal Lab on Joline Avenue, 1945. Prior to deactivation the spot was a US Army Signal Corps Crystal Lab for Fort Monmouth High-end science R&D was done there.
Long Branch Community Pool on Atlantic Avenue aerial image, July 2023 ( R. Thompson Photo) — MORE INFO.
Oceanic Fire Engine Company #1, 1970s. Incorporated in March 1872, it’s the city’s first volunteer fire company.
Hanna wrecked off the Long Branch coast, February 1879. The Norwegian schooner ran aground in a snowstorm.
Ocean Avenue — “Millionaire’s Row” in Long Branch, Summer 1912.
Coast is Clear — Long Branch shoreline looking north, late 1970s.
Looking south down the Long Branch coast, 2023. “Long Branch, Metropolis of the Seashore.”—Long Branch Daily Record, Sept. 1922.
God Squad — Star of the Sea Academy on Chelsea Avenue, 1950s. Opened in 1885 by the Sisters of Charity, it was Monmouth County’s first Catholic school. Before closing in June 1968, officials at the all-girls grammar school claimed 95% of grads went on to college.
Star of the Sea Academy, 1930s.
History on the Side — This classic “Drink Coca-Cola” sign was recently uncovered on a building on Third Avenue,. Since 1982, the building housed the busy Nordin cabinet shop, it’s now a cafe. Beginning from its founding in Atlanta in 1886 until 1959, a Coke cost a nickel (Mike Booth Photo, March 2023).
Second and Brighton Avenues in West End, 1920s.
Third Avenue, 1920s.
New Holy Trinity School, June 1962. The Exchange Place school and church dates to 1902. The project cost was $388,000.
Seashore Day Camp brochure, 1964.
Woollen Stokes house, 1873.
Long Branch Casino in Ocean Park, 1921.
Casino ad. Long Branch Daily Record, June 1911.
Ocean Avenue, 1910s.
Henry Keller of Long Branch boat builder ad for the “Sea Bright Dory,” 1913.
Henry Keller with one of his “Sea Bright Dory” boats, 1913. He built the 20-foot crafts at his Edwards Avenue shop.
Toast — City firefighters battle smoke and fire at the old White Sand Beach Club in North End, May 1978.
“Greeting from Long Branch, NJ,” 1950s. Long Branch Daily Record from 1889: “remember that delays in protecting the Long Branch bluff are dangerous.”
Big Bet — West End Casino, 1910. “Last of the great gaming clubs built in Long Branch,” was at the corner of Ocean Avenue and West End Court; it cost $250,000 to build. Gambling flourished openly in Long Branch, according to city historian James Durnell, from 1893 to 1903 when “private clubs” became the betting parlors.
Long Branch Foot Ball Team, Champions 1896.
Coast Lanes, 1960s. The 16-lane city bowling alley opened in 1958 at 260 Third Avenue. The Carotenuto Brothers were the builders. It suffered a major fire that same year but reopened. George Banks and Emil Uhorchek of Rumson were owners. The business operated until about 1967.
Long Branch beach, 1901. The building sign says “Hennessey Fishery.”
Hot Spot — Leeland Hotel on Ocean Avenue on fire. Long Branch Daily Record, April 1958. The annual city firefighting budget now exceeds $3 million.
Twilight fishing at Long Branch, 1972 postcard. In 1949, the Long Branch Commission appropriated $500 to create the city’s first planning board.
Long Branch Losses — West End Family Pharmacy on Brighton Avenue closed forever in December 2022, a month shy of 60 years in business. Harold Blumenkrantz (a US Army veteran and 1961 Rutgers College of Pharmacy honor graduate) opened the drugstore in January 1963. The past year was rough for several landmark city businesses. Among those to close their doors (I’m sure I’ve missed some) in the past 12 months are: Tuzzio’s (57 years), Seashore Day Camp (95 years), Ink Well (57 years), West End Family Pharmacy (59 years), Brighton Bar (105 years) and Ron’s West End Pub (40 years). Going soon: Monmouth Medical Center (135 years). If you’re counting, that’s 500+ years of city commerce — gone. Anyone care?
City of Long Branch public service vehicles displayed along the oceanfront promenade, Summer 2022.
Harbor Island Spa on Ocean Avenue in West End, 1957.
Harbor Island Spa seen from an aerial image, mid-1960s.
San Alfonse Retreat House in West End, 1930s. It was started by the Redemptorist Fathers — a congregation of Catholic missionaries — in 1922.
San Alfonse Retreat House on Ocean Avenue, 1948.
San Alfonse Retreat House in West End, 1987. “Where God and Sea Come Together.”
Ocean Avenue cottages, 1909.
Long Branch Casino at Ocean Avenue and Broadway. Opened in June 1907 — designed by Clarence D. Wilson and built by Richard H. Hughes for $50,000 — it held 4,500. The building was burned in June 1928.
Early Sucess — Barham plumbing/heating ad. Long Branch Daily Record, April 1905.
The first-ever July 4th celebration in Long Branch took place in 1838, according to this Long Branch Daily Record retrospective from 1922.
Norwood Avenue, 1910.
Beth Duze Woolley at the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Monument Park on Atlantic Avenue, 2010s. The riverfront park and 6-foot granite monument were dedicated in December 2000 by the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Guild of Greater Long Branch (formed shortly after the icon civil rights leader’s murder in April 1968). Beth, a founding member of the Long Branch Historical Association, was considered the most knowledgeable of Long Branch historians. The city native and LBHS graduate died in April 2022. (Note: the African-American population in the city of Long Branch is about 14%, according to the 2020 US Census; declining from a peak of 20% in 1980).
Wenning & Sons Foods on Pearl Street, 2020. Louis B. Wenning started the wholesale meats and frozen products company in March 1922 and the family still runs the business today. A Cincinnati native and city resident since 1919, Louis died in August 1973. MORE INFO.
Kennedy Towers sketch, Long Branch Daily Record, October 1966. The Rockwell Avenue senior citizen’s apartments were a Long Branch Housing Authority project built for $1.7 million. The 10-story, colonnade-style, 100-unit complex was designed by city architect James Mancuso. Arthur Padula Construction of Newark was the general contractor. The doors opened in October 1968.
Monmouth Lanes bowling alley “Preview Opening” ad. Long Branch Daily Record, August 1961. Irving Borek was manager of the new $500,000 Brunswick Corp. bowling center at Joline and Myrtle Avenues. It was fully air-condistioned with 32 lanes, 14 pool tables, the “Jockey Bar,” luncheonette, nursery and locker rooms. The 28,000-square-foot bowling alley closed in 2005 and now houses a Siperstein’s painting center.
US Post Office at Long Branch on Third Avenue, 1920. In 2002, it was renamed the “Pat King Post Office Building” in honor of the LBPD detective sergeant killed in the line of duty in November 1997.
US Post Office at Long Branch on Third Avenue, 1940s.
Long Branch Post Office on 3rd, 1940s.
“SS Jesse Hoyt.” Built in 1862, the 240-foot steamboat was among the fastest on the Jersey Shore waters. It lasted until 1888.
Beachfront North off Ocean Blvd, 2022.
Anthony M. “Doc” Villane, Jr. campaign ad, Long Branch Daily Record, October 1975. A much accomplished and admired city politician, Doc was born December 1929 in Newark. A practicing dentist in Eatontown for over 50 years and resident of Lincoln Avenue in Elberon, Doc and his wife Sarah raised 5 children in Long Branch. He also served in the US Air Force as a captain. A thoughtful and dynamic advocate for environmental awareness long before most others, Doc Villane was a respected Republican lawmaker in the NJ State Assembly from 1976 to 1988. Gov. Tom Kean appointed him to his cabinet in 1988 as NJ Department of Community Affairs commissioner (the governor had called him “Mr. Shore Protection” in 1983). From 1990 to 1992, Doc was the NY/NJ regional administrator of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. He died in June 2022.
“Pallone for Congress,” Long Branch Daily Record, April 1988. That November Democrat Frank Pallone — a 34-year old NJ state senator running on an “environmental platform” — won his first congressional race with 53% of the vote (out of nearly 220,000 cast) defeating Republican NJ state assemblyman Joseph Azzolina. Frank is still in Washington, DC — 34 years later.
Kay Dunhill dress factory on Westwood Avenue, 1940. The company was started on Lower Broadway in September 1935 by Chester Hirsch, Phil Iselin, and Mack Kalison. When the Westwood Avenue building opened in 1938 it was the “most modern sewing factory” in NJ. At its peak, the company had 350 employees. In April 1951, Bendix Aviation acquired the building.
Seashore Day Camp prior to demolition, June 2022. John and Anthony Cittadino started the Second Avenue children’s physical fitness business in 1926. John Villapiano, a former NJ assemblyman and pro football player, and family acquired the camp in 1974.
Seashore Day Camp — kids and coaches, 1956. The popular city business ended operations in 2021 after 95 years.
Final Days — Wreckers finishing the job on the old Seashore Day Camp property, June 2002 (David Booth Photo). The Second Avenue camp-school which dates to 1926 has lasting memories for generations of shore kids. All thanks to the proprietorship of the Cittadino and Villapiano families.
The Surf Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge on Ocean Blvd, 1964. Max’s now rests here.
Monmouth County’s first “motorized” firetruck was obtained by the city’s Independent Fire Engine & Truck Company in 1910.
Professional gamblers and con men were drawn to Long Branch, early 1890s. But by 1894 Monmouth Park was closed and book-making and gambling were outlawed in 1897 in NJ.
“The Presidential” beach tower on Ocean Blvd, 2022. This 24-unit high-rise directly across from the county’s Seven Presidents Park was built by Stavola Companies. Opened for Spring 1989; units were $410,000 to start.
US Senator William W. Barbour (R-NJ) at a ceremony for new Oceanic Hook & Ladder Company firehouse, 1939.
Fire at the H. Kaabe Glass Company warehouse on Washington Street, February 1971. Henry Kaabe opened his business on Broadway in 1920.
Long Branch map from Atlas of Monmouth County by F. W. Beers, 1873. Julius J. Golden was Long Branch City Attorney from 1950 to 1961 and again from 1966 until his death in December 1968. A former city magistrate and president of the Monmouth Bar Association, Jules was born in Philadelphia and graduated from Dickinson Law School.
St. Luke Methodist Episcopal Church, 1926. The house of worship was at Broadway and Washington Street.
Chester A. Arthur Apartments on Union Avenue, 2010s. The $1 million senor citizen high-rise was opened in September 1963. James Mancuso was the architect and Anthony Miller was the builder. The 60-unit complex was a project of the Long Branch Housing Authority which was establied in April 1938. John Schulz was a longtime LBHA Executive Director. The structure is named for Chet Arthur (1829–1886) — the 21st President of the United States — who summered in Long Branch mostly from 1881-1885.
From Bath to Bright — Partial map of Long Branch coast, 1889.
Fountains Motel (l) and Club Spanky (r) on Ocean Avenue, 1970s.
Long Branch coast looking north, 2020.
First Baptist Church of Long Branch on the corner of Bath Avenue and Emmons Street. Built in 1886, it burned in 1892 and was rebuilt.
Chelsea Avenue, 1930s. The building to the left is the Hotel Garofalo — which catered to Italian-American guests. Prior to 1913, it was the Marlboro Hotel run by Jacob Prown.
McCue’s Dairy — delivery the old-fashioned way, 1930s. Martin McCue started the Willow Avenue business just before the turn of the century and sold to Shore Dairies in 1962.
Sea Verge apartments on Ocean Blvd and Bath Avenue, 2010s. The 7-story, 125-unit complex in West End opened in September 1964 (monthly rents started at $119.50). Renna Construction of West Orange built the $2 million luxury high-rise.
The Acerra Brothers baseball team, 1940s. A semi-pro baseball team of 12 Long Branch brothers coached by their father, Louis “Pop” Acerra (born in Italy and a longtime foremen for the NY & LB Railroad, he died in July 1966). They played from 1938-52 and won the Long Branch City League Championship 10 years in a row. The brothers were: Joe, Paul, Lou, Alfred, Eddie, Jim, Freddie, Richie, Bobby, Charles, Billy and Anthony. In 2017, the brothers were inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame. Author Audrey Vernick wrote a book about the guys, Brothers at Bat: The True Story of an Amazing All-Brother Baseball Team (Clarion, 2012).
(Future US Congressman) Frank J. Pallone, Jr. as he appeared in “Who’s Who” for Colleges/Universities. Long Branch Daily Record, December 1972. Frank was then a senior at Middlebury College in Vermont where he was also President of the Student Government. In May 1982 he won his first election — to the Long Branch City Council.
US Representative Frank J. Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) speaking at the Long Branch Library, 2019. Born in the city in October 1951 and a 1969 LBHS graduate, the congressman has served as a member of US House since 1988.
Chairman Frank Pallone at a recent hearing of the US House Energy & Commerce Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Established in 1795, it is the oldest continuous standing committee in the US House of Representatives. MORE INFO.
Beth Miriam Synagogue on North Bath Avenue. The first synagogue in Long Branch was built in 1888.
The Brothers of Israel Congregation synagogue on Second Avenue, 1950s. The Jewish Orthodox religious group was first organized in 1898 and the church was built in 1918.
Brothers of Israel Congregation synagogue on Second Avenue, 1920s. Services were discontinued in 1977 and the building was demolished in December 1985.
Nautilus Motel-Apartments in West End, 1970s. The 22-unit Ocean Blvd. complex opened in 1968. Today, the spot is the Nautilus Condominium.
City firefighters can only watch as a “swift and suspicious” blaze takes the Riviera Hotel at Ocean and Morris Avenues. November 1956 (LBFD Photo). The three-story hotel with restaurant and bar was undergoing renovations and vacant at the time. In June 1954, Newark nightclub owner Paul Pugliese paid $100,000 for the 57-room hotel. Fred Lizza was a previous owner. Later the Stef Court motel was built on the land.
Fire at the Isle de Capri Hotel at Ocean and Pavilion Avenues. April 1959. Charles Massa owned the 100-room beachfront hotel at the time. It had been known as the Atlantic Hotel (LBFD Photo).
Oceanic Engine & Truck Company, #1, 1960s. On Norwood Avenue, it’s the city’s oldest volunteer fire company (LBFD Photo). Thomas L. Worthley was the first fire chief in Long Branch, serving from 1874 to 1878.
A Long Branch beach before the summer crowds — “Clean, calm and beautiful” (Darlene Barbella Photo).
Long Branch Elks Club on Garfield Avenue, 1908.
East End Hotel in North End, 1883. Opened in June 1872 by Jim Fisk and Jay Gould after major renovations and improvements, it was a total flop. By 1881, hotel operations had ended. “Jubilee Jim” Fisk — a textbook “Gilded Age Robber Baron — ran away from home as a teen, trained as a carnival barker, peddled from wagons around New England, and spent the Civil War in London where he made a fortune shorting Confederate bonds. In 1869, he and Gould had tried to corner the gold market. They had the same success as with the hotel in North End. Apparently, Fisk didn’t live to see the hotel open — he was murdered amidst scandal in January 1872. Gould cried at his partner’s deathbed in NYC. Born on April Fools’ Day, Fisk was just 36. In 1900, “The Reservation” colony was developed by Nate Salsbury on the property. Since 1977, Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park has held the grounds.
Dr. James O. Green is considered the “Father” of the Long Branch Fire Department, 1880s. He founded the Neptune Hook & Ladder Co. in 1866. An early physician in town, his home/office was on the corner of Grand Avenue and Broadway. He died in 1916. His father, Capt. James Green (1800–1863) started the life-saving service at Greens Pond (now Takanassee Lake). The Long Branch Fire Department was officially organized in November 1878, according to a May 1964 Long Branch Daily Record story on its history. John E. Rogers of the Atlantics was the first chief.
Louis Libutti and wife Catherine at Old Orchard CC for his installation as president of the Greater Long Branch Chamber of Commerce, Long Branch Daily Record, January 1969. Upon his death, the chamber named its highest honor, the Louis G. Libutti Community Service Award. He was considered a man of high “integrity and energy” in helping to advance city business interests. Twice elected chamber president, Libutti was a much respected senior executive at Wheelock Signals, which operated a large plant in the city. Born in NYC, he joined the Branchport Avenue electrical relay component manufacturer in 1949 — where he rose to be VP/Treasurer and Director of Personnel before he died in January 1970. The origins of the city’s chamber of commerce, date back to the Long Branch Board of Trade formed in January 1891. By 1913, it had incorporated as the “Long Branch Chamber of Commerce.”
Neptune and Oceanic fire companies line-up at the Norwood Avenue station, 1870s.
Neptune Hose Company No. 1, February 1899.
Neptune Hose Company No. 1, 1911. Organized in 1877, part of the Long Branch Fire Department. At one point in 1977 (with 600 members and 9 fire companies), Long Branch had the nation’s largest active volunteer fire department, according to the Asbury Park Press.
Bendix Corp. building, 1954. The Westwood Avenue plant opened in July 1951 with 350 employees. Then a major supplier for the commercial aviation industry, Bendix later made diversification into an art form.
Nash Aluminum Window Company building in decline, 1969. Located near old Long Branch City Hall around Broadway and 7th Avenue (it was called the “Button Factory” and city owned). Harry Nash started Nash Manufacturing Company in Newark in 1927 and moved operations to South Broadway in 1944. Once in Long Branch his son, Joseph, made a fortune on factory-direct aluminum windows and doors — boom times too as the Jersey Shore was shifting to a year around locale. Nash died in June 1986.
North Jersey Shore coast, 1950s. Click on image to enlarge. The city is about 6.30 square miles.
Long Branch Ice Boat & Yacht Club original clubhouse. Built on Shallow Point in Port-au-peck in 1901, it was moved to North Long Branch by barge in 1909. It was located at the shoreline north of the Pleasure Bay Hotel until after 1940.
E. Thurston Blaisdell with his horse “Prince” on Ocean Avenue near the Long Branch pier, April 1899. The owner of the Independent Ice Company of Long Branch, he died in 1962 at age 90.
Venetian Inn on Laird Street, 1960s. It opened as a hotel and restaurant in 1927, it had been the Ocean Park Hotel. It later became a Monmouth College dorm and finally burned in October 1975. Italian-born Frank Leo, Sr. was the longtime owner before selling in 1950.
Woolley’s Service Station at Third and Morris Avenues, 1933. Owner Bob Woolley is kneeling.
West End buildings on fire, February 2012.
Brighton Avenue looking east, 1920s.
The LBFD participates in the city’s Columbus Day parade, 1994.
Bath Avenue looking west, 1911.
This Bath Avenue house — would become the Ronald McDonald House in 1987. Previously, the building was a nurse’s dorm for the nearby Monmouth Medical Center.
Star of the Sea Lyceum grammar school, early 1900s. The city Catholic school was at Chelsea and Third Avenues. Designed by Jeremiah O’Rourke & Sons in 1900, the building still stands today.
S.N. Janes cottage in Pleasure Bay, 1868 (G.W. Pach Photo).
Ghosts haunt a Long Branch mansion, 1868 (G.W. Pach Photo). No, just early poor photography.
Casino and Pennsylvania Club in West End, 1907.
Ocean Avenue cottages in West End, early 1900s.
North End Motel, 1960s. Opened in June 1962, the 14-unit efficiency apartment complex was on Ocean Avenue and Avenel Blvd. It was torn down in November 1988 for the Beachcomber Towers condo.
Long Branch Water Company Works, 1888.
Island Inn at Atlantic and Rockwell Avenues, 1907.
Woolley-Boglioli Funeral Home on Morrell Street, 2010s. Started by the Sexton Brothers in 1880. Willis Woolley acquired the business in 1923 and ran it until his death in 1958. His son Bruce C. Woolley then ran the operations until his death in 1977. Family relation Bill Boglioli acquired the business in 2011.
West End Airdrome at Long Branch, 1909. The open-air movie theater located at Ocean and Brighton Avenues could seat 2,000. It was part of a chain along the Jersey Shore.
Anchorage Apartment building sketch proposal, 1972. Construction cost for the 9-story, 91-unit facility was $2 million. The Syracuse Brothers of New Rochelle, NY were the developers. The Ocean Avenue condo opened in May 1973; with a penthouse priced at $52,000.
The Imperial House high-rise condo on Ocean Avenue, 1973. The 18-story, 221-unit facility was built by Frankel Enterprises, Inc. of Philadelphia for $6 million. When opened in May 1973, a one-bedroom unit cost $38,000. The Colony Beach Club had stood on these grounds in West End.
Long Branch Senior Center on Second Avenue, 2021. Dedicated to city residents 60 years of age and older.
Pound boat coming ashore at Long Branch, late 1800s.
Summer evening concert in the park at West End amphitheater, August 2021.
Ocean Avenue cottages, early 1900s.
“Loyalty Day Parade” ad. Long Branch Daily Record, May 1967. Sponsored by local VFWs, the 5-hour event was conducted on Broadway.
Long Branch History Blanket (click on image to enlarge). From LB Historical Association, 1996.
Lake Takanassee looking west, early 1900s.
“The Victoria” at 88 Second Avenue, 1909. The 31-room guest house was run by E.L. Reynolds.
Corner of Second Avenue and West End Court, 1909. Note Phil Daly’s Club House to the left.
Baldanza’s Bakery on Prospect Street, 1960s. Sicilian-born Joseph Baldanza opened the shop in 1919.
Long Branch, from the Sea. 1876. In the background is the 180-foot spire of the Centenary Methodist Episcopal Church at the corner of Broadway and Washington Street. Designed by E.H. Finch, it opened in July 1869 and burned in January 1893. Today, the spot is St. Luke’s Church.
Dilger’s Market on Joline Avenue and Washington Street, 1950s. For 37 years, the building housed the market. Owner Conrad “Honey” Dilger was a lifelong city resident, fireman, and decorated WW II vet. He died in 2009 at age 94. The 1900 building stood empty for decades and was torn down in August 2021.
Long Branch Opera House ad, Long Branch Daily Record, November 1913. Opened in November 1881, the building was on the west side of Washington Street near Broadway. In 1915, it became Oakwood Hall.
Star of the Sea Church Carnival, Long Branch Daily Record, July 1967. The parish summer fair was very popular in its day — held in the church parking lot at Chelsea and Second Avenues. The homey event ran mostly from 1936 to 1969. The Gothic house of worship — lording over all the fun — opened in June 1929.
The Scarboro Hotel on fire, September 1941. The last of the city’s “Grand Hotels.” The 200-room, Queen Anne-design stood at Ocean and South Bath Avenues. Opened in 1882 by Richard Dobbins, it went through several changes over the years. The family of famed author Norman Mailer owned the hotel. He was likely born there in 1923 and launched his writing career in that same hotel.
A fall sunrise in Pier Village, 2017 (Dwayne Dentz Photo).
Takanassee Lake looking east, 1912. The St. Michael’s Church (l) is in the background. The West End Catholic house of worship was dedicated in August 1891.
Real Off-Broadway, 2021. A sad look at some Third Avenue relics — soon to be gone. The tall building once housed the NJ Bell Telephone Company. It was good work for area residents until direct dial changed it all in the late 1950s.
Plenty of sun-worshipers during Oceanfest at Long Branch, July 4, 2017.
Shrewsbury River, 1960s. The body of water is a navigable estuary about 8 miles in length.
Long Branch Horse Show, August 1913.
Fine Fare Supermarket on Third Avenue, 2010s. In January 1977, Anthony Perri, Sr. and Jr. acquired the business and opened Fine Fare. The family continues to ably operate the popular “neighborhood” store. First opened as Safeway Foods in 1955. it became a Finast supermarket in 1971 and a Foodland supermarket in 1975.
Safeway Foods, 1955 — the Third Avenue supermarket became Fine Fare in 1977. The 20,000-squre-foot supermarket opened in June 1955. Turner Construction Company of New York built the new red-brick store for $250,000 on old NY & LB Railroad property acquired for $45,000.
James Barham, Co. on Second Avenue, April 1908. Called the “pioneer plumbing establishment in Long Branch,” by the Long Branch Daily Record. The business was started in 1868 by James Barham. He worked hard, expanded and upon retiring in 1904 sold the business to his son Joseph Barham and partners George Rowland, George Golden, and William Emmons. By 1956, the Thomas H. Barham Company was begun. The Brighton Avenue plumbing and heating contractor flourished becoming the state’s top mechanical contracting company. When sold to PSEG Energy Technologies in Janurary 2000, it was doing $40 million in annual revenues. Founder “Tommy” Barham died in April 1982.
U.S. Life-Saving Service, Takanassee Lake Station, 1908. Captain William Van Brunt was the Keeper at the time. Built in 1893, the station went “inactive” in 1938.
Damiano Funeral Home at Franklin and Third Avenues, 2020. Newark natives Ralph and Marie Damiano opened the mortuary in July 1933. The business grew and their daughter, Vida, assumed control in 1968. Their grandson, R.J. “Buddy” Damiano, became the manager in January 2001. “Traditional values, diversity and innovation” continue as the firm’s hallmarks. MORE INFO. A much accomplished and respected city man, Ralph Damiano graduated from Cooper Union of NYC, was wounded in battle during World War I, served as president of the city chamber of commerce and director of the Monmouth County Red Cross. Born in Foggia, Italy, he died in March 1971.
Britton’s Liquor Store on Joline Avenue/Route 36. The family-run business dates to 1867, starting as a pharmacy on Broadway. John T. Britton, III opened the spirits business at the current location in Sept. 1962.
Millionaire’s Row on Ocean Avenue, early 1900s.
West End Park amphitheater on Brighton Avenue, July 2021. The $43,291 band stand opened in 2013.
Long Branch coast swept clean for beach-goers, 2017 (Kraler Photography).
Ocean Place Hotel along the Long Branch coast looking north, 2019 (Will Bahamonde Photo).
Long Branch USO Club on Garfield Avenue, 1944. Slogan: “A home away from home.” The building later became the LB Elks Club.
Beginnings of the John Guire Company on Brighton Avenue, early 1900s. The West End coal and feed grain business was started in 1898 by two brothers (John and James). The business prospered and was expanded with a new office and showroom in 1934. The family still runs things today. MORE INFO.
Johnson Club House, 1908. The gambling club was on the corner of Ocean and Brighton Avenue.
Johnson Club House, early 1900s.
Johnson Club House ballroom, 1905.
Bathing at Long Branch — “Oh, ain’t it cold!” More Winslow Homer art work about LB from August 1871. It’s a wood engraving on paper held at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC and is part of the Ray Austrian Collection.
City of Long Branch lifeguard boat, 2021.
Ocean Avenue looking north, 1901. The large structure at left is the Lenox Hotel at the corner of Broadway.
Long Branch High School marching band on Chelsea Avenue, 1958. At left is Truppa’s Ice Cream shop.
F.W. Beers Atlas of Monmouth County, 1851. Back then Long Branch was part of Ocean Twp.
Colonial Times — Map of “Wardell’s Beach” (now Long Branch, Monmouth Beach, Sea Bright, and Sandy Hook), 1764.
Map of Long Branch area, late 1800s.
Long Branch area, Watson’s Guide Map, 1880.
Map of old shipwrecks around Long Branch, 1980s.
Map of shipwrecks off NJ coast, 1850s.
Jersey Shore map of LB area, 1776.
Jersey Shore Fishing Chart, 1960s.
Ocean Avenue looking north, 1894. A dirt road and no seawall.
Long Branch trolley, early 1900s. The first “Asbury Park-Long Branch trolley” system dates to 1895. By 1927, the minimum fare was 10 cents.
Adonis shipwreck off Long Branch coast, March 1869. Battling gale winds and a raging sea, Charles H. Green was honored for his heroic rescue efforts that day.
Long Branch map, 1889.
“Storm at Long Branch” sketch, 1876.
Ocean Avenue looking south, 1908.
The Pennsylvania Club, 1906. Opened in the late 1860s on the southwest corner of Brighton and Ocean avenues, Col. John Chamberlain and Phil Daly were the proprietors of this very popular gambling house.
Oceanic Fire Company #1 hook & ladder firetruck, 1951.
Phil Daly Hose Company firetruck, 1951.
Long Branch coast looking north, 2017.
Pier Village at Laird Street, 2014.
“Greetings from Long Branch, NJ” sign.
“Long Branch Condo Coast” 2021.
“Long Branch Condo Coast” 2021. “The beachfront area is being overdeveloped. The choicest parts of the city are being sold off for this high-density type condo development.” –Rep. Frank J. Pallone, Jr. quoted in the Asbury Park Press, January 1989
Wet West End, Spring 2021.
Centenary Methodist Episcopal Church, corner of Broadway and Washington Street. Opened in 1869; burned in 1893. Today, the spot is St. Luke’s Church.
LB boardwalk damage from the Great Atlantic hurricane, Sept. 1944.
New St. James Church at Broadway and Slocum Place. Long Branch Daily Record, April 1913. Rev. E. Briggs Nash led the congregation then. The original church was built in 1855. Harry Finch was the first rector. President James Garfield was a worshiper.
St. James Church, 1914. Brazer & Robb were the architects.
Seaview Towers on Ocean Avenue prior to demolition, 2020. William Marlin originally built the senior citizen housing in 1955; it was all condemned back in the early 2000s.
US Congressman James Howard (l) presents LB Mayor Henry Cioffi (r) with a print of the famous Winslow Homer painting of the Long Branch bluffs, 1973.
“Life at Long Branch” by Olive Logan, Harper’s Magazine Sept. 1876. A busy Ocean Avenue.
Early map of Long Branch, NJ, 1869.
West End of Long Branch, NJ postcard, 1960s.
St. Michael’s Church in West End, 2021 (R.C. Staab Photo).
Parkway Appliance Center on Memorial Parkway, 1960s. The shop moved several times. Fred Carl started the business in June 1949 as a tire company and added GE appliances.
Evangeline-by-the-Sea on Ocean Avenue in North Long Branch, 1936. The small vacation cottage for women run by the Salvation Army burned in March 1962.
West End Shore Club on Ocean Avenue, 1910s.
Funland Amusement Park on Ocean Avenue, 1952. According to a September 1952 Long Branch Daily Record report, the park was run by Mark Enterprises, Inc. (Jacob Edelstein was president) at the site of the old Long Branch Stadium. It lasted just about a year there at an $6,000 annual lease.
Alone at Long Branch: Pier Village on New Year’s Day morning 2017 (MD Zund Photo).
“Go Fish” at West End, 2017 (MD Zund Photo).
McCue’s Dairy was on Willow Avenue. Founded by Martin A. McCue, Sr. in 1897, the business was sold to Shore Dairies in 1962 for $345,000. Martin died in 1946.
The Italian American Memorial Association (IAMA) of Long Branch building. Originally located at Bath and Westwood Avenues, it was moved in pieces to its current location at West End and Indiana Avenues in 1963. The house was donated by Nicholas “Nick” Delmore, a notorious NJ mobster. The IAMA was founded in 1946 to honor Italian American city military personnel who served in World War II.
Centenary Methodist Episcopal Church at the corner of Broadway and Washington Street. Built for $30,000, the church spire was 180-feet high. First opened in 1869; it burned in January 1893. Today, the spot is St. Luke’s Church.
Sea-Side Chapel, 1885. Located on Chelsea Avenue, the church cornerstone was laid in 1884. The property was sold in 1891. Later it became the First Presbyterian Church.
First Presbyterian Church at the corner of Chelsea and Third Avenues, 1963. It was dedicated in March 1894.
Old First Reformed Church of Long Branch, 2019.
Original St. James Episcopal Church on Broadway (on the site of the old Paramount Theatre), 1868.
Star of the Sea Church amidst a glorious sunset, 2021 (Debbie Callano Parnell Photo).
Ocean Avenue, 1950s.
Star of the Sea Academy on Chelsea Avenue, November 1968. Around the time the all-girls Catholic school was declining. The Sisters of Charity had opened Monmouth County’s first Catholic school in 1885. School officials claimed 95% of grads went on to college.
1990 Long Branch city mayor’s race debate: Candidates from left: Adam Schneider, Bill George and Reuben Williams. At right is the moderator, Michael Booth Atlanticville News publisher. APP, April 1990. The next month Schneider would capture the first of his seven four-year terms.
Peddler Bike Shop on Ocean Blvd, 2012. Tony Schiavo opened his first bicycle store in 1970 on old Ocean Avenue.
Lake Takanassee aerial image, 2000s. The body of water is the city’s geographic boundary line separating West End from Elberon. It was once known as “Green’s Pond.”
St Luke’s United Methodist Church on Broadway, 1920s. The original church was lost in a January 1893 fire. A new one costing $45,000 opened in 1894.
Johnson Club in West End, 1905.
Second Baptist Church on Liberty Street, 2000s. Worship started there in 1887 and the first church was built in 1904. The much-admired Rev. C.P. Williams led the church from 1938 to 1995.
City women promoting a Suffrage event at LB Casino, 1915. The speaker, Anna Howard Shaw, was a leader in the women’s vote movement. Born in the UK, she was a physician and a Methodist minister.
Branchport Avenue looking south, early 1900s.
“Old Willows” on Second Avenue, early 1900s.
Jeremiah Curtis cottage on Ocean Avenue in West End, 1873. The property later was part of the San Alfonso Retreat House started in 1922.
Cedar Avenue, 1894.
Chelsea Avenue looking east postcard, early 1900s.
Baldanza’s Brothers Bakery on Prospect Street, 1930s. Italian-born brothers Joseph and Harry founded the city business in 1919.
Baldanza bakery plant on Poole Avenue, 1940s.
Baldanza bakery trucks, 1950s.
Oceanic Fire Engine Company, #1, 1912. Fire Chief Charles Brown is front center. The company was organized in January 1872.
Dr. Edwin Sternberger house on Ocean Avenue, early 1909.
Receipt from the Thomas B. Barham Company in West End, 1904.
The Phil Daly Houses — “Phil” & “Kathleen” — at the corner of Second and Chelsea Avenues, 1930s. (Note the new Star of the Sea Church at back left).
Another look at the Daly Houses, 1910s. (Note the old Star of the Sea Church at left).
Our Lady Star of the Sea Church, 1906. At the corner of Second and Chelsea Avenues — it’s the city’s oldest Catholic church.
Star of the Sea Church, 1910s. It was built in 1852 and burned in December 1926.
“Long Branch by Moonlight” by W.J. Linton, in Harper’s Weekly 1869.
Storm damage along Ocean Avenue, Sept. 1944.
Seaside cottage of George W. Childs, 1868. He was the main Long Branch benefactor of President US Grant.
Branchport Hose Company ready for duty, 1907.
The Plaza — West End Auto Palace near the Takanassee Hotel, 1909.
News account of the wreck of the steamship St. Paul at Long Branch, January 1896.
Steamer Ship St. Paul beached at Long Branch, January 1896. Its cargo was gold.
Temple Beth Miriam, 1907. The oldest synagogue among Atlantic coast resorts, it was built on North Bath Avenue in 1888. Rabbi Benjamin Morris led this city synagogue from 1888 to 1912.
US President James A. Garfield memorial statue on the Long Branch oceanfront promenade. He died in LB in July 1881.
Patten’s Corner turnpike in Long Branch, 1916.
Star of the Sea Church on Chelsea Avenue, 1930s. Built at a cost of $200,000, the Holmesburg granite house of worship was dedicated in June 1929.
St. Michael’s Church neighborhood, 1950s.
Dawn at “Monmouth University Bluffs” beach in West End, 2021.
Lake Takanassee in West End, early 1900s. Originally called “Green’s Pond,” the Peter’s family gave it to the city in 1949.
S.S. Long Branch, early 1900s.
Guttenplan’s Bakery on Third Avenue, 1970s. The family run business started in 1908. The Third Avenue shop opened in 1956 and shut in 1992.
Wellington Inn on Brighton Avenue, early 1900s. It was Phil Daly’s Pennsylvania Club, a very popular gambling house which closed in 1902 and was torn down in 1909. John Hoey was the builder back in the 1860s. Games of chance included roulette, faro, cards and dice. In 1897 gambling was outlawed by the state.
M. O’Connor Tire Repair in West End, 1908.
Star of the Sea Church on Chelsea Avenue, 1950s.
Long Branch Elks Lodge on Garfield Avenue, 1940s. Previously, the Garfield Hotel, the Elks took over in 1908.
Long Branch Elks Lodge #742, 2018.
Chabad of the Shore on Ocean Avenue, 2020. A brand new $20 million synagogue-shopping center combo in West End that “spreads Jewish awareness.”
The original St. James Episcopal Church in Long Branch, 1910. Located on Broadway, the wooden house of worship was dedicated in August 1855. Rev. Harry Finch was founding rector. It was replaced with a stone church in 1913.
Long Branch Trust Company sketch proposal for new drive-in bank in West End, 1955. Samuel Morris was president and the new branch was designed by Farmer and Cranmer of Asbury Park. Today, it’s a Chase Bank branch.
New San Alfonso Retreat House in West End, 1967. It has been run by the Redemptorist Fathers — a congregation of Catholic missionaries — since 1922.
Original San Alfonso Retreat House in West End, 1949. The oceanfront complex was the combination of several large summer homes.
Coast Lanes ad. APP, October 1958.
US Life-Saving Station #5 in Long Branch remains, 2011. All of the land in the area was originally owned by Henry Green.
NFD’s Mack Auto Car & Hose Wagon, 1922.
The first LBFD chief’s car with Chief John W. Guire at West End firehouse, 1932.
Original Branchport Avenue firehouse, 1890.
Oceanic Fire Engine Co. No. 1, 1911. Incorporated in March 1872, it’s the city’s first volunteer fire company.
Oceanic Engine & Truck Co. No. 1, 1960s.
Original Norwood Avenue Fire Station, early 1870s.
Neptune Hook & Ladder Company No. 1 original firehouse sketch, 1866.
LB Fire Department chief’s vehicle, 1959 Chevy BelAir.
“Great West End Fire” in Long Branch, 2012.
“Great West End Fire” in Long Branch, 2012.
“Great West End Fire” in Long Branch, 1909.
“Great West End Fire” in Long Branch, 1909.
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band in front of Reed’s Bicycle Shop in West End, August 1973. The photo became the cover for the band’s second album: The Wild, The Innocent and The E Street Shuffle.
“On the Beach, Long Branch, NJ” by Winslow Homer, 1870s.
Ocean Avenue, early 1900s.
St. Michael’s Church in West End, early 1900s. Dedicated in August 1891, the first pastor was the Rev. Richard Crean (from 1892 to 1928). The popular Monsignor Paul Bradley led this Catholic church from 1969-1989.
Simpson Methodist Church on Third Avenue, early 1900s. Opened in 1883. Today, it is the Long Branch Church of God.
Takanassee Lake looking west, 1908.
US Life-Saving Station at LB, 1919.
Huyler’s Candy Store on Ocean Avenue, 1909. Later to be the Surfside Beach Club.
St. Michael’s Church in West End, early 1900s.
Pound boat comes ashore in LB, 1906.
Pound boat comes ashore in LB, early 1900s.
St. Michael’s Church in West End, 1950s.
Natural gas tanks on Long Branch Avenue, 1961.
Dorothy Parker birthplace marker in West End, 2005. The celebrated writer, citric, wit and founding member of the Algonquin Hotel Round Table, was born in Long Branch in August 1893. She died in NYC in July 1967.
Adonis shipwreck off LB, March 1859.
US Life-Saving Station #5 at Long Branch, 1905. Built in the 1890s, it later became the Takanassee beach club.
St. Paul steamship wreck off LB, 1886.
Helmbold Cottage, 1875.
LB oceanfront cottage, 1880.
Episcopal Church, late 1800s.
Pach Brothers Photo Studio, 1867.
Westwood and Third Avenues intersection, 1931.
Three NJ Governors: Foster Voorhees (1889-1902), John Fort (1908-11) and Edward Stokes (1905-08) vacationing at Long Branch, 1905.
Bridge over Lake Takanassee, 1908. The body of water was once “Green’s Pond.”
Patten Point, Long Branch. and Monmouth Beach in background, 2019.
Pound boat comes ashore in LB, early 1900s.
McCue’s Dairy. APP ad, 1942.
Seaside Chapel on Chelsea Avenue, dedicated July 1867. The church was struct by lightning and burned down in 1886.
The Mirimar on Ocean Avenue, 1863.
Centenary Methodist Episcopal Church on Broadway. President Grant was at the dedication in 1880. It burned in 1894 and was rebuilt as St. Luke’s.
Long Branch map, 1879.
Steamership Rusland beached off LB, 1877.
Steamership Amerique beached off LB, 1877.
LB aerial image, 2019.
Independent Fire Engine & Truck Company #2 on Third Avenue, 1940s. Founded in 1910, it is the city’s youngest fire company.
LB boardwalk storm damage, 1944.
LB boardwalk storm damage, 1944.
US Life-Saving Station at LB, 1878.
Sketch of the house of Arthur H. Hearn, a replica of William Shakespeare’s birth home at Stratford-on-the-Avon, built at the corner of Second and South Bath Avenues in 1890. It burned in 1920.
Dudley Arms apartments on Broadway, 2018.
Asbury Park Press, November 1968.
Sea Verge Apartments on Ocean Blvd, 2018. The seven-story oceanfront high-rise opened in 1964. Construction cost was $2 million.
Long Branch map, 1873.
“The Gambling Evil at Long Branch,” according to Harper’s Magazine, 1889.
Shipwreck of the “Hannah” from Norway, 1879.
US Post Office of Long Branch on Third Avenue, 1920s. Opened in 1914, the building was named the “Pat King Postal Building” in 2002, in honor of the city police sergeant killed in the line of duty in 1997.
Boardwalk Politics — Mayor Adam Schneider (r) after endorsing Gov. Chris Christie for re-election in New Jersey, June 2013. The Republican Christie won and also carried Long Branch with nearly 55% of the city vote.
West End cottages, early 1900s.
Asbury Park Press, May 1948.
H. Victor Newcomb house on Ocean Avenue in Elberon, 1881. The architects were McKim, Mead & White. Cost to build: $33,000. Newcomb was a railroad tycoon and banker. Lyman Bloomingdale bought the house in 1901.
Siegel Cottage, 1914.
Dunbarton House, 1868.
Gustavus Pach Photograph Gallery, 1867.
Long Branch “rich map,” 1886.
First Baptist Church on Bath Avenue, 1913.
Neptune Hose Company, No. 1, early 1900s.
Myron Oppenheim house, early 1900s. He also once owned Shadow Lawn later Monmouth University.
Chelsea Avenue, 1917.
Washington Street, 1917.
Edwin Booth cottage, late 1800s.
Phil Daly cottages, early 1900s.
Oceanfront cottage, 1875.
Map over LB area, 1770s.
NJ railroad system around LB, 1887.
Oceanfront cottage, 1940s.
Johnny Brockriede, 1960s. “Long Branch’s finest supporter” died in April 2012 at age 67. One of the city’s most successful and generous businessmen and entrepreneurs, John left a mark all over LB.
Off-Broadway Cocktail Lounge Jazz & Blues Bar, 1990s. Found on 4th Avenue, previously it was the Happy Hour inn.
Old Phil Daly cottages on Second and Chelsea Avenues, 1930s. Torn down in 1909.
Patten Avenue bridge under construction, 2005.
Conte’s Car Wash aerial image, 1961.
Ocean Avenue opening, 1948.
Dr. William A. Conover house, 1868.
Beth Miriam Synagogue, 1942.
Diller house, 1905.
Blue Dolphin Pub ad, 1980s. The spot became the “Twin Peaks” go-go bar in late 1991.
Club Spanky on old Ocean Avenue, 1980s. Band mates Rod Faccone, Jr. and Ron Rosenzweig opened the rock ‘n’ roll night club in August 1978.
Our Lady Star of the Sea Church, 2019.
Mayor Adam Schneider tosses a football while waiting for elections results (he won a fourth term), 2002.
Map of Long Branch area, 1765.
Long Branch Carnival, 1900.
Long Branch Horse Show, 1913.
MIllionaire’s Row on Ocean Avenue, late 1800s.
Conte’s Car Wash, 1970s. Longtime owners Louis and Mary Conte of Oceanport started their very successful Joline Avenue business in 1961. Mary died in 2002; Lou in 2006.
Neptune Hose Company No. 1, 1905.
NJ Governor Franklin Murphy and staff in LB, 1905.
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Page dedicated to Thomas Booth of Long Branch (1951-2019).