Monmouth Beach’s Top Hat …
Back in the day…
It’s the spot where Monmouth Beach all began. Eliakim Wardell, a Boston-born Quaker who first settled this shore area, broke ground on a farmhouse near today’s Beach Road, River Avenue and Club Circle. Settling safely between ocean and river — probably in 1668.
Later on in the late 1800s Wardell’s “sea-view farm” would become a “vacation place of notables” and “one of the most popular hotels on the Jersey coast.” The rich and famous guests who would stay there frequently earned mention in New York City newspaper society pages.
It may even have been an early “Summer White House.” According to press accounts, at least two American Presidents (Benjamin Harrison and William McKinley) stayed there. Back then the place shinned: “Monmouth Beach is an aristocratic colony of aristocratic cottages inhabited by aristocratic people,” according to a 1878 New York Times report when the hotel was at its peak.
And, Monmouth Beach: 19th Land of the Rich & Famous — HERE
The facility went by several names over the years (the Monmouth Beach Clubhouse Hotel, the Monmouth Beach Country Club, and the Monmouth Beach Inn) while offering the best in fashionable shore living (accommodations included tennis, golf, music, dancing, bowling, swimming, sailing, fine dining, sleeping, croquet and horseback riding).
Just as the Roaring 20s were concluding and the Great Depression neared, the facility was mostly consumed in a great fire. Only a small section remains today. Following are some images I’ve located — and I’m always looking for more. Here’s my e-mail.
Monmouth Beach Clubhouse Hotel on Beach Road, 1907.
Monmouth Beach Clubhouse Hotel back view, 1905.
MB Clubhouse Hotel, 1905.
Monmouth Beach Clubhouse Hotel, 1905.
MB Clubhouse Hotel (l) and John Torrey, Jr. house (r) on Beach Road, 1910. Torrey was managing partner of the Monmouth Beach Association — a group of wealthy investors that shaped the town into an exclusive resort starting in the early 1870s.
Monmouth Beach Clubhouse Hotel, early 1900s.
Welcome to town — Monmouth Beach Clubhouse Hotel, 1907.
Monmouth Beach Clubhouse Hotel, 1911. Known then as the “Monmouth Beach Inn.”
Monmouth Beach Clubhouse Hotel on Beach Road, 1920.
Clubhouse Hotel in Monmouth Beach, 1905 postcard.
“Monmouth Beach Club House,” 1870s (G.W. Pach Photo). As it appeared prior to remodeling by the Monmouth Beach Association which first acquired the property in Spring 1871.
Grand old Monmouth Beach — From Ocean Avenue looking up Beach Road at the Clubhouse Hotel (l) and Casino (r), 1910s.
Monmouth Beach Clubhouse Hotel on Beach Road, 1900.
MB Clubhouse Hotel, September 1905.
One of the final sections of the original hotel left standing — a private home at 17 Beach Road, 2010s.
MB Clubhouse Hotel front view, 1890s.
Monmouth Beach Clubhouse Hotel ad, 1908.
“Monmouth Beach Inn” advertisement (previously the “Club”), 1910.
First Monmouth Beach hotel?
Dr. Arthur Conover’s house — it replaced the Wardell farmhouse.
MB Clubhouse Hotel remnant on Beach Road, 2000s.
MB Clubhouse Hotel, early 1910s.
“Up for Sale,” Red Bank Register, Feb. 1898.
MB Clubhouse Hotel, 1918.
The Newcombe Cottage, May 1914. (NY Historical Society photo)
MB Inn ad. Long Branch Daily Record, August 1910.
MB Inn season opening ad, 1913.
By one name … Brooklyn Daily Eagle ad, August 1909.
… and another. Brooklyn Daily Eagle ad, June 1926.
Letter from Robert Lincoln confirming his membership in the MB Country Club, July 1899.
MB Clubhouse Hotel painting by Gail Gannon.
MB Clubhouse Hotel, 1908.
MB Clubhouse Hotel sketch, 1910.
Letter from Vice President Garret Hobart confirming his membership in the MB Country Club, June 1899.
Club Circle area, early 1900s.
Map of MB Clubhouse Hotel area, Wolverton Atlas 1889.
View from the MB Clubhouse Hotel looking west, 1920s.
View from Clubhouse Hotel roof looking east, late 1910s. Note the five seashore mansions still standing on the east side of Ocean Avenue north of the MB Club.
Red Bank Register ad, July 1917.
MB firefighters battle a blaze on Beach Road-Club Circle, early 2000s.
Playing tennis by the MB Clubhouse Hotel, early 1900s.
MB Clubhouse Hotel cottages, 1905.
MB Clubhouse Hotel, early 1900s.
Asbury Park Press, July 1924.
MB Clubhouse Hotel, 19010.
Asbury Park Press ad, August 1920.
Asbury Park Press ad, April 1916.
MB Clubhouse Hotel sketch.
Sanborn map centered on MB Clubhouse Hotel, 1890.
Sanborn map centered on MB Clubhouse Hotel, 1907
MB Clubhouse Hotel foyer, 1915.
New York Herald ad, July 1921.
MB Clubhouse Hotel fire remains, December 1929.
MB Clubhouse Hotel, 1910.
“Monmouth Beach Inn” profile from a 1911 brochure. (Dawn Rise Images).
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“Monmouth Beach Inn,” 1911 (It had been the Monmouth Beach Clubhouse Hotel).
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