“The Most Desirable Spot on the Coast”
…for the weary citizen to recuperate his flagging energies, and thereby add years of usefulness and enjoyment to life. - 1877 Poster
The wide, soft sand of Belmar’s beach is a welcome site to all who enjoy the splendor of the ocean. In 1872, when Belmar was called “Ocean Beach”, it was not yet the Victorian ocean resort that was soon to develop. The BHS has worked to preserve the history of the beach by gathering and preserving historical records of its use as vacation destination as well as a port for distressed sea vessels. Visitors will enjoy a walking tour of the history of Belmar created from its rich history. Signs describing significant events are now located throughout the Borough. For example, stop by the educational display on the boardwalk near 9th Avenue, which will point you to the wreck of the SS Malta, which foundered off 9th Avenue during a storm on November 24, 1885. The stern post of the ship can still be seen above the surface offshore, and the foremast of the ship is located on land nearby. Ocean Avenue was a sandy dirt carriage path until developers built the grand seaside hotels, imported luxury buildings from a Philadelphia Centennial, and laid the first boardwalks of wooden boards placed on the sand. Visitors then began to arrive for the fresh salt air and daily ocean bathing – deemed to be a healthy activity. Some things never change: today’s visitors to Belmar still enjoy the sun, the sand and the sea. Belmar’s beaches stretch for...
The commercial district of Belmar was “F” Street now called Main Street. Belmar’s downtown was located near the railroad tracks for ease in transporting goods. Early businesses carried essential items for the times. Shops sold coal, harnesses, dry goods, hardware and hay. There was a butcher shop, brewery, fish monger, boat builder and stables. In later times there was a movie theater, ice cream parlor, five & ten cent store and auto repair garage. Today’s Main Street features shops and restaurants that sell items for today’s visitors – beach umbrellas, bathing suits and pails and shovels. The BHS partners with Belmar Boro and Belmar businesses to preserve and present our history for all to enjoy. Of more current interest to many is that one block from “F” or Main Street is “E” Street — made famous by Bruce Springsteen’s “E” Street Band which began in the 1970’s. A monument to Bruce Springsteen is featured on the grounds of the Belmar Library at “E” and 10th...
In the late 1800’s, Belmar’s marina area was riverside tidal mud flats where the Shark River forms a bay before emptying out to the Atlantic Ocean. The Shark River has long been a popular place to go fishing, crabbing and digging for clams. By the early 1900’s modest rowboats were for rent or people just waded into the soothing warm waters. Soon the renowned coastal fishing gave rise to commercial boats and Belmar hosted a large tuna tournament. Today Belmar Marina is home to numerous fishing boats, pleasure crafts and state-of-the-art facilities for boating and fishing. It also boasts one of the best sunset views in the state. The BHS is proud to have preserved photographs, postcards and memorabilia to record the changing harbor. Visit our museum to learn about the amazing stories and events that have occurred in this safe port. The Belmar Marina is one of the premiere marinas along the Atlantic coast. Less than a half-mile from the ocean, with 7′ mean low water depth, floating cement docks, full security and services, there is no better place to tie up. More than 70 transient slips are available. Many offer prime views of the spectacular sunsets over the Shark River. The marina is only steps away from Belmar’s downtown and its many shops and restaurants, from casual to fine dining. And Belmar’s magnificent beaches are an easy 8-block walk away. A transportation service is even available on summer weekends to take you to...
Save the date of November 7, 2015 to attend the BHS’s first ever Bootleggers Ball. Proceeds from the event will go toward digitization of the remaining 26 years of historical archives of the Coast Advertiser and the Coast Echo newspapers. Everyone is invited to support the preservation of Belmar’s history by enjoying a fun evening in beautiful Belmar!
The event will be held at the Waterview Pavilion, Belmar, from 7 until 11 p.m. The Bootleggers Masquerade Ball is themed in the 1920’s style as an ode to the Roaring Twenties. Historically Belmar’s marina was a bootlegging port during prohibition and rum-runners would utilize the Shark River Inlet’s many covers and access points to serve Jersey Shore residents and summer tourists, Ball guests are encouraged to dress for the part in 1920’s attire — flappers and gentlemen in tails will look grand and will be judged — however costumes are optional.
Purchase your ticket before September 30 for the discounted price of $65 each. Beginning October 1 tickets prices will be $75. Tickets are available at the Belmar Museum, 900 E Street,at the Union Fire House annex. Call 908 309 3380 or email info@Belmarhistoricalsociety.org to schedule a time to pick up your tickets.
Now you can read historical Belmar newspapers from the turn of the century on your home computer! The BHS is proud to offer digital access to a wealth of history contained in the pages of the Coast Advertiser newspaper from 1893 to 1973.
Take a moment to browse the history of Belmar by linking to our extensive file of Coast Advertiser from 1893 to 1973. Click this link COAST ADVERTISER RESEARCH to explore the fascinating history of Belmar, research your family tree, read about the life and times that are the foundation for our wonderful town from the original articles in the Coast Echo/Coach Advertiser newspaper. For example, you may be surprised to know how ‘F’ Street (now Main Street) was such a thriving business community in the early 1900’s.
What do you get when you volunteer for the BHS? It is something as fragile as it is powerful, much like a postcard from the turn of the century filled with forgotten information. It is the opportunity to learn the history of your community, to find ways to preserve it, and then share that knowledge with others. Those are very important goals. We all need to give back, to be of value, to find a purpose for ourselves and a way to belong to our community.
You are invited to attend BHS open meetings on the second Tuesday of even-numbered months, usually beginning at 7 p.m. Although most meetings are held at the Community Room of Belmar Boro Hall, 6th Avenue entrance, special events are held off-site. To be certain of the location,call the Belmar History Museum at 908 309 3380 or send an email to email@example.com.
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