The following sections are reproduced from Grace Trott Roper‘s historical retrospective on how the Borough of Belmar came to be. The original booklet is © Copyright 1978 by Grace Trott Roper, Belmar, NJ and was printed by Hoffman Press, Belmar, NJ.

Duplication or reproduction is not permitted

The first hotel, The Ocean Beach House, was built in the summer of 1873. It was on the south east corner of “F” street and Fifth avenue, just south of the Shark River Bridge. It was a large three story structure and was built by the association. In May 1891 the house was called the Maple Shade and lasted a few years after which it was relocated at 207 13th avenue and became the Kensington Home of Rest, the vacation home of the Salvation Army. it is now a private home.

More than seventeen hotels were in operation before 1890 and thirteen were established favorites before 1885. Six of these hotels were originally part of the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition Fair of 1876. There is no record before 1885 or the following four. The “Windsor” on the southeast corner of fourth avenue and “A” street, The “Woodbine” at third avenue and “B” street, The “Girard” at seventh avenue and “F” street and The “Buenavista” on second avenue between Ocean and “A”.

The “Columbia” became the most fashionable and drew the most spenders. The “Atlantic” which took up the entire block between 15th and 16th avenues was Machinery Hall at the Expo before being brought to Belmar. As the Atlantic Hotel it catered to a literary and cultural class. In later years it became the Hotel McCann and then The Silver Edge. It burned to the ground in February 1972.

The Crystal Building, which displayed the latest styles of pressed glass and french mirrors, became the Crystal Cottage a small building on 14th and Ocean.

The Delaware House so named because it was the old Delaware State Building. This small house stood on the northwest corner of Thirteenth and Ocean avenues. It was renamed the Marlborough and for several years displayed Delaware‘s State Coat-of-Arms above its front porch. It appealed to the landed gentry and attracted mostly aristocrats.

Two other state buildings brought to Belmar from the Expo were the Kansas and the Colorado. They were joined together and became the one hundred room Colorado Hotel, this hotel covered the entire block from Fourteenth to Fifteenth and Ocean Avenues.

The Bankers Pavilion opened as a hotel under its own name and accommodated thirty-five people. It was operated by W.S.B. Shields and was on the north side of Sixth avenue beween “D” and “E” streets.

The Spanish Building, bought by Henry H. Yard, was put on the north side of Fifth avenue between Ocean and “A” street. He rented it to A. A. Tatem who ran it as the Brunswick, a forty-room hotel.

Of all the hotels to be mentioned, the most fashionable was the Columbia House. Opened in 1878, it was built in the most approved style of architecture. Loccated on the corner of 3rd and Ocean avenues, it had the capacity to accommodate about two hundred and fifty people. It became very popular and drew the most spenders.

Because the damage of the August 23rd, 24th, 1893 storm was so extensive, the hotel had to be rebuilt and an additional story was added. It continued to be the most fashionable for many years and in 1911 was advertised as “The House of Quality.” It was completely rebuilt in 1917 and lasted until Oct. 22nd, 1939 when the entire New Columbia Hotel was destroyed by fire.

Among the other hotels there were The Neptune Hotel with seventy-five rooms. This stood at Sixteenth and Ocean. The European House at 9th and Railroad was built in 1880 and advertised as the cheapest and the quickest meals in town. The beautiful Belmar Hotel Motel now stands in this spot. There was the East Lynne at the southeast corner of “E” street and tenth avenue. The white beacon tower of this house was used as a direction finder and landmark by boat pilots. The New Irvington at Twelfth and Ocean still stands, but the Goldstein Carleton, 9th avenue near Ocean was razed in 1969. The Harbor Apts. occupy this area now. The Grandview Hotel at tenth and “D” street is now The Hotel Leon.