It was known as “Fishtown” in Entertaining a Nation and marked as “Atlanticville” on an 1873 F.W. Beers map. I also recall many of the locals calling it “North End.” Right from the beginning it has been its own place.
The rough boundaries of North Long Branch are Monmouth Beach to the north, Joline Avenue to the south, the Atlantic Ocean to the east and Troutman’s Creek to the west.
Speaking as an outside observer, although I did live there for about 5 years, I look at it as a place that time forget. It’s also one of my favorite spots. There’s always been a laid-back, mellow feel to the community. Here’s a brief photo essay on this section of a great city.
Gaskin’s Smokery, 1950s. Folks remember: two old wooden buildings set along Ocean Avenue in North End with gaudy ad signage; an occasional big fish displayed outside. Behind the scenes there was a long feud between two brothers over licensing and naming rights. Going back to 1939, it was Conover, Jr. vs George L. The business was begun by their father Conover Gaskin, Sr. According to an August 1982 Asbury Park Press story, “there was an intense competition and dislike” between the brothers. Conover, Jr. died in 1960 and George L. in 1976.
George Gaskin’s Fish Market, early 1970s. In April 1975, his son George C. Gaskin won a $228,000 settlement from the city for his land in North End. The area would become part of Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park.
George Gaskin’s Fish Market, 1970s. Called a “pioneer resident” by the Long Branch Daily Record, Conover Gaskin, Sr. was born in New Bedford, NJ (part of Wall Twp.) in 1861 and came to Long Branch in the 1880s where he would build the county’s first cold storage plant for fish on Ocean Avenue. It was lost in a 1911 fire. He also worked in the area’s pound boat industry. He died in April 1939.
Gaskins Fish Market & Restaurant on New Ocean Avenue, 1979. Son and mother owners, George and Helen Gaskin, opened the 170-seat eatery in June 1978. It went bankrupt in 1981. At the time of the filing, E.O. Peterson, Inc. of Monmouth Beach was the top creditor, owed nearly $47,000. It reopened only to close again 1984.
Gaskin’s Fish Market, 1986. The Gaskin family also owned a nearby beaching beach.
Gaskin’s Fish Market, early 1990s.
The Windmill building, 2010s. It had been the Gaksin’s restaurant building.
Windmill building demolition, 2019.
George Gaskin’s Fish Market on Ocean Avenue in North End after a snowstorm, early 1970s.
George Gaskin’s Market on Ocean Avenue, 1972.
Conover Gaksin cold storage and ice plant fire. APP, March 1911.
North Long Branch train station (l) and Post Office (r), early 1900s.
“Willow Lane” — the Atlantic Avenue home of W.E.D. Stokes, 1912. He owned the Astonia Hotel in NYC and was responsible for developing the city’s Upper West Side section.
Summer at The Reservation in North End, 1950.
North Long Branch cottages, early 1900s.
At Ocean and Atlantic Avenues in NLB looking north into Monmouth Beach, 1912.
Original North Long Branch train station, late 1800s. This rail depot was built in 1874 and was lost in a November 1904 fire. In 1907, a new NLB station opened that lasted until 1980.
Amy’s Omelette House in Ursula Plaza on Ocean Bvld, 2021. It’s named for the boss, Amy Kopsaftis, who along with her family, has run the eatery since March 2003. There you can choose from over 200 omelets!
Manahasset Creek Park on Long Branch Avenue, 2015.
North Long Branch Post Office (l) on Atlantic Avenue, 1909. Known as “Station A,” it opened in 1874 with George Hoyt as postmaster. William Reed was postmaster from 1894 to 1927. It was shut that year and Abram Gettleson ran PO operations out of his nearby grocery store. Also in 1927, the old post office building was sold to Vital Errico, a barber.
Joe Caputo at his Caputo’s Italian Pastry Shoppe in Ursula Plaza on Ocean Blvd, 2021. The popular third-generation family bakery started on Lower Broadway in June 1960. Joe’s father, Jack Caputo, opened the 33,000-square-foot mini-mall in 1988.
Manhassett Creek Park on Long Branch Avenue, June 2021 (David Booth Photo).
Ursula Plaza on Ocean Blvd North, June 2021 (David Booth Photo). Opened in November 1988, it’s busy, safe and clean — a good place to shop.
Warm welcome — entrance to North End beach, 2011.
North End business on Atlantic Avenue, 2011.
Charley’s Ocean Bar & Grill on Avenel Blvd, 2019. In the 1930s, the place was Muldoon’s.
An early Spring sunrise in North End, 2021.
“Reservation house” painting owned by Vick Stivala, 1974.
Last house standing at “The Reservation.” December 1979.
Beachcomber Hotel on fire. Long Branch Daily Record, February 1964. It was unoccupied at the time and Dr. James Tsigounis was the owner.
North Long Branch coast, 1960s.
Peddler Bike Shop, North Long Branch Motel and the Red Barn bar (l to r), 1973.
Beach day — point of entry at North End, 2019.
Cappy’s Arrow Inn at North Long Branch ad, May 1958. Casper J. Anselmi acquired the business in 1954. A former NYPD detective, he was beaten to death while working as a security guard at the Pierre Hotel in NYC in 1965.
Mike Booth in his “Panda’s Wagon” foodtruck at North End beach, early 1970s.
North Long Branch beach, 2019.
Monmouth Beach Surf Shop in North End, 1970. Later it became the Peddler Bike Shop.
Monmouth Beach Surf Shop, 1968.
“Kiernan Beach” in North End, 2016. For use by the Kiernan Surfing Association beginning in 1965. Today the spot in Seven Presidents Park, which opened in July 1978.
Monmouth Market on Atlantic Avenue (r), early 1910s. Established in 1883 by Edward W. Reid, a former city councilman and fire chief. Edgar West acquired the property in 1937. The building was razed in August 2008.
Storm clouds at the “The Reservation” in North End, 1970s.
North Long Branch beach after a storm, 1950s. (Dan Hennessey Photo).
USO beach club in North End, 1940s.
Front of the USO beach club in North End, 1930s.
Nor’easter storm damage at North Long Branch, 1985.
Swimming at North End, 1970s.
Islander’s Sun & Surf Shop on Ocean Avenue, 1972. Vince Troniec owned the business.
Islander’s Surf Shop bumper sticker. Vinnie Troniec ran the business until 1982.
“The Reservation” property in North End, early 1970s.
Pop Frank’s drive-thru North End, 1960s.
Avenel beach club in North End lies in ruins, 1962.
Trolley in North Long Branch, 1920s. The Coast Cites Railway Company ran the cars from North Long Branch to Manasquan. This electric streetcar line closed in 1929.
Another North End antique …
White Sands club promo, 1960s.
Old North Long Branch train station, 1950s. Opened in 1907, the building was turned into an ice cream shop when the trains stopped. It was finally torn down in 1980 to make way for the new Ocean Blvd.
North LB train station, early 1900s. After closing it became the Dairy Aisle, selling frozen custard.
North Long Branch School on Church Street, 1902.
North Long Branch School on Church Street, 1996.
North Long Branch School classroom, 1996.
City firefighters battle a blaze at the White Sands Beach Club, March 1978.
Oliver Byron Engine Co. No. 5 on Atlantic Avenue, 1911 (Todd Reilly Photo).
North Long Branch area, F.W. Beers Map 1873.
North Long Branch cottages along Ocean Avenue , 1910.
North Long Branch, 1908.
North Long Branch cottages, 1920.
On the beach in North End, 1920s.
North End beach gate, 2001.
North End beach entrance, 2010s.
North Long Branch beach, 2018.
Hanging out at North End, 1970s.
North End beach near MB border, 1980s.
North End beach looking south, 1980s.
North End beach looking into MB at dawn, 2018.
Thomas Booth tribute bench at Jackson Woods park, 2019. Beginning in 1973, Tom championed the cause to protect the 11-acre tract in North End. In 1995, the city used $1.2 million in state Green Acres funds to reacquire the property from a condo developer. Charles T. Jackson, a farmer, owned a lot of property in the area at turn of the century.
Residence of Charles Jackson, Esq. (G. Pach Photo), 1868.
Jackson Wods from above, June 2021 (David Booth Photo).
Sand replenishment near LB-MB border, 1995 (Jack Flaherty Photo).
Asbury United Methodist Church on Atlantic Avenue in North End. The church was completed in July 1870 at a cost $4,500. President US Grant was there for the dedication.
Asbury United Methodist Church, 1960s. Called: “The Friendly Church by the Sea.” The steeple was removed as part of a major rehab in 1945.
Asbury United Methodist Church, 2020. Designed and built by Charles Bolton.
Asbury United Methodist Church, 1930s. The stone sanctuary was added in 1894 and the Sunday School in 1900.
Asbury United Methodist Church, 1911.
Oliver Byron Engine Company on Atlantic Avenue. Named after and financed by the famous actor and opened in 1891.
Oliver Byron Engine Company, 1905.
Johnny’s Luncheonette on Atlantic Avenue, 1960s. John Warren started the business in the 1950s. A true serviceman — Korean War US Army vet, LB city fireman, and clerk for the Monmouth Beach Post Office, John died in 1998.
Johnny’s Luncheonette on Atlantic Avenue, 1980s. (Dan Hennessey Photo). The shop was moved here in 1981. Edwin A. Nilson, Sr. owned it for 20 years beginning in 1970. Born in Brooklyn, Ed was a LBHS football player, World War II US Navy vet, LB fire chief, and milkman. Ed died in 1990.
Johnny’s Luncheonette on Atlantic Avenue to the left, 1970s. The slogan: “Even the crumbs taste good.” Winifred Stevens was a waitress at Johnny’s and the renamed North Beach Grill for over 40 years.
The remains of east Atlantic Avenue, 2010. The building on the left housed barbers for years like Errico’s and Bruno Sama. Other businesses in the area were Hoyt & Francis Grocery Store and William Reed candy store.
Bits & Pieces on Atlantic Avenue in North End, 1970s. Mike Booth ran the store.
Peddler Bicycle Shop on Ocean Blvd, APP 2001. Anthony “Ducky” Schiavo started the business in 1970. A true biking pioneer, he was the first in the area to sell 10-speed bikes. A former MB School teacher, he died in 2001 at age 57.
Original Peddler Bike Shop building on old Ocean Avenue, 1970s.
Diamond’s Pharmacy on Atlantic Avenue, 1960s. The business was started by Joseph Diamond. Born in Russia, he died in 1963. The drug store still operates in Ursula Plaza run by Stuart Eisenberg.
Diamond’s Pharmacy, 1970s.
Salvatore Trocchia, 1960s. He was the very able and friendly pharmacist-owner at Diamonds Pharmacy from 1962 to 1985.
Sal Trocchia at his LB pharmacy, 1965. A Red Bank native, US Army veteran, and graduate of the St. John’s University School of Pharmacy, he died in December 2017 at age 82.
“Chee Chee’s” Red Barn & Cocktail Lounge on Avenel Blvd., 1980s. In 1965, it was Cappy’s when sold to Frank and Marguerite Gimbrone. He died in 1978; she in 2017. The location became Charley’s Ocean Grill in 1985.
Charley’s Ocean Grill ad. APP, April 1985.
New Ocean Blvd under construction, early 1980s. (Dan Hennessey Photo). It was Mayor J. William Jones back in 1948 who first proposed to build a super boulevard north-south along the city oceanfront.
New Ocean Avenue under construction looking north in MB, 1980s.
New Ocean Avenue under construction in NLB, 1980s.
North Long Branch, late 1970s. (Dan Hennessey Photo). Dominick and Judith Fragale owned and operated a general store/deli in the old West building (back right) from 1985 to 2005.
Atlantic Surf Shop on Atlantic Avenue, 1980s. (Dan Hennessey Photo).
Islanders Sun, Surf & Sports Shop, 1970s. Near the MB-LB boarder on Ocean Avenue.
Vinnie Troniec at his Islanders Surf Shop on Ocean Avenue, APP 1982. His store was one of the last to go to make way for the new 1.7-mile, $15 million Ocean Blvd-Route 36 four-lane road project. Ultimately evicted by the state, he claimed $100,000 in annual earnings at the location.
Mocean’s Surf Shop on old Ocean Avenue, 1980s. Jerry Russomano, Jr. was an owner.
Beach Plum restaurant on old Ocean Avenue, 1980s. The place opened in Summer 1978. The DiSieno family ran the business.
Vinnie’s Hot Dogs on old Ocean Avenue, 1980s. Vincent Limongelli, who started out selling hot dogs by push-cart, opened the business in 1972. A former US Marine, he died in July 2003.
North End Motel postcard. The 14-unit efficiency apartment complex on Ocean Avenue and Avenel Blvd opened in June 1962. The builder was Ernest Caprio, Jr.; construction cost was $90,000. The motel was torn down in November 1988 to make way for the Beachcomber Towers.
Ursula Plaza on Ocean Blvd, 2010s. The 33,000-square-foot mini-mall was built by Patock Construction in 1988. Jack Caputo owned the land and named the spot after his wife. The family bakery/pastry shop is in the mall; it started on Lower Broadway in 1960.
Lido Hotel in North End, 1964. Built in 1924, the 32-room hotel was located on the bend of Seaview Avenue and old Ocean Avenue.
Old Strollo’s Lighthouse, 2000.
New Strollo’s Lighthouse at night, 2019. Jimmy Callano is the owner.
NJ National Guard Armory on old Ocean Avenue 1980s. Opened in Sept. 1959 for $320,000. The facility was used ;by the 250th Quartermaster Battalion. The building had a 9,000-square-foot drill area and could accommodate 2,000 in its auditorium.
Esso Service Station in North Long Branch, early 1960s.
North Long Branch aerial image, 1951. In the center is the Presley Garage. William Presley also owned the Galilee Fishery in Monmouth Beach. A North End native, he died in 1965 at age 84.
North Long Branch aerial image, 2018.
North Long Branch School on Church Street. Opened in 1891; closed in 1979. The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.
North Long Branch School on Church Street, 2013. After sitting dormant for 40 years it’s being converted into high-end condos.
Atlantic Hotel, 1860s. Now Seven President’s Park.
East End Hotel in North End. Built 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.
Arlington House, late 1800s. Area now Seven President’s Park.
“The Reservation” project in North Long Branch built by Nate Salisbury, early 1900s.
The Reservation property, early 1970s. The area is now Seven President’s Park.
The Reservation History — HERE
Reservation house in North End, 1972. Called “Cheyenne” — the Foran family lived there.
Reservation house in North End, 1972. Called “Okaliska” — Dr. Sheehan and family lived there.
Reservation house in North End, 1972. Called “Arapahoe” — the Langhorne family lived there.
Dr. George A. Sheehan, Sr. house at The Reservation, 1970s. The Sheehan family owned the North End house from 1927 to 1953.
The only remaining Reservation house “Navaho,” 1970s. Now Seven Presidents Park headquarters.
“Navaho” — Seven Presidents Park headquarters in North End, 2013. The county park opened in May 1977
Atlantic Avenue in North End looking east, 1923.
Atlantic Avenue in North Long Branch, 1960.
Atlantic Avenue houses in North End, 1970s.
Atlantic Avenue in North End, 1970s.
Romano Hotel on Seaview Avenue in North End, 1970s. Joseph Romano, a native of Italy, owned the 50-room hotel for over 40 years. In 1958, he spent $10,000 to build his own stone seawall to protect his property against storms and rising tides.
West’s Market on Atlantic Avenue in North End, 1980s. Founded by Edgar A. West in 1919, “West’s for Best” was known for its quality meat and groceries. He died in 1979 and his son Edgar H. operated the business until 1984.
Avenel Bathing Pavilion in North Long Branch postcard. The club dates to 1913.
Casino Beach and Pool of North Long Branch, 1950s. Later to become White Sands.
White Sands Bathing Club in North End, 1952.
Beachcomber Club in ruins after Hurricane Donna, 1960.
White Sands Bathing Club ad. APP, 1961. Monmouth County later took control of the property and Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park opened in May 1977.
White Sands in North End storm wreckage, March 1962.
White Sands Bathing Club. APP ad, May 1962.
The old White Sands goes up in flames for good and all, May 1978.
White Sands Bathing Club ad, 1965. Charles Savoth build the club; his son George later managed it. The city acquired the property in 1974 for $750,000. It was the North End Beach Club when destroyed by two separate fires over two days in May 1978.
Promotion flyer for a “private beach club” in North End. (CJ Rubin Submitted). Built at a cost of $470,000, the Villa Beach Club at North Long Branch opened in July 1931. The club lasted only one summer and was sold at sheriff’s auction for $37,000 in November 1931. The land had been known as the “McConville estate.” It was near the Avenel bathing pavilion, which dates to 1913.
Mir-a-Mar Beach Club in North Long Branch. APP ad, June 1932. It had been the Villa Beach Club. The Mir-a-Mar opened that summer with a new pool. In June 1943, the spot became the USO beach for the exclusive use of military service personal, family and friends.
Beachcomber Club at the end of Atlantic Avenue In North End, 1950s. Owned by Dr. James Tsigonis.
Leteendezvous Surf & Swim Club, 1967. Formerly the Beachcomber Club, the North End facility was changed into a swimming and surfing club — for teenagers only. J. Kelsey Burr was in charge.
Oliver Byron house on the MB-LB border, 1905.
“Evangeline-by-the-Sea” hotel in North End, 1930s. Run by the Salvation Army as a retreat house, it closed in 1962.
Storm tide remains near the North End Motel and Chi-Chi’s Red Barn, 1960s.
North End abandoned train station, 1970s.
North Long Branch house, 1970s. Does Pop Franks sound familiar to anyone? How about the USO Beach in North Long Branch?
Monmouth Beach-North Long Branch borderline, 1980s. (Dan Hennessey Photo). The MB house to the left was the scene of an infamous Howard Stern TV-show party in 1991. Sam Wier built the house in 1980 using wood from the old White Sand Beach Club.
North End houses at the end of Atlantic Avenue, 1980s. (Dan Hennessey Photo).
North End beach house near MB-LB boarder, 1980s. (Dan Hennessey Photo).
Atlantic Avenue in North End, 1980s.
End of Atlantic Avenue after bad storm, March 1962 (Dan Hennessey Photo).
At the end of Atlantic Avenue on the beach. Can anyone ID this? One suggestion was Hennessey’s Fishery. It was owned by Captain John L. Hennessey who started the business in 1880. (Dan Hennessey Photo).
EAI building on Long Branch Avenue, 1970. Electronic Associates, Inc. started operations here in 1947. A couple of mid-1970s fires did major damage.
Manahassett Creek Park, 2019.
Manahassett Creek Park, 2019.