Beachwood a Borough: As It Happened, 1917

The Borough of Beachwood marks its centennial birthday today, March 22nd, having been cut away from Berkeley Township, in which it was established as a resort┬áby the New York Tribune as a land/subscription promotion (announced in Nov. 1914, with construction of the earliest public buildings starting a month later and the resort itself open for new property owners on Decoration Day – now Memorial Day – 1915).

Below are a series of newspaper articles from the New Jersey Courier and the New York Tribune chronicling the move to self-governance courtesy the Beachwood Property Owners’ Association, beginning in Winter 1917 through the passing of the “Beachwood Bill” and subsequent public referendum to make the break official.

New Jersey Courier, Feb. 9th, 1917:

19170209 - NJC - Bill for Beachwood to Be Introduced WM

19170209 - NJC - Incorp Notice 01 WM19170209 - NJC - Incorp Notice 02 WM

New York Tribune, Feb. 18th, 1917:

19170218 - NYT - Lot Owners Back Beachwood Plan to Incorporate Crop WM

New Jersey Courier, Feb. 18th, 1917:

19170223 - NJC - Senator Conrad Intro Bill WM

New Jersey Courier, Feb. 23rd, 1917:

19170223 - NJC - Wonder Where Town Hall Crop WM

New York Tribune, Mar. 6th, 1917:

19170306 - NYT - Bill Passed Crop WM

New York Tribune, Mar. 12th, 1917:

19170312 - NYT - Mayor Rumors Crop WM

New Jersey Courier, Mar. 30th, 1917:

19170330 - NJC - Beachwood Bill Passed Crop WM

19170330 - NJC - Special Election Announced for April 5 WM

New Jersey Courier, Apr. 13th, 1917:

19170413 - NJC - Beachwood a Borough WM

19170413 - NJC - Beachwood Voters from City Came Down Crop WM

Keep an eye on BeachwoodHistory.com for more Beachwood Centennial history throughout 2017.

Beachwood Celebrates Six Years of Growth, 1921

The following article from the April 2nd, 1921 edition of the New York Tribune, paints a picture of the founding homeowners celebrating six years of prosperity in Beachwood during a dinner at the Robert Treat Hotel in Newark.

Note that the “adjoining tract” they refer to here within the borough, which they christened “Beachwood Highlands,” is generally the southern end of town past the Route 9/Parkway Access Road, which used to be the Pennsylvania Railroad right of way. It has also been referred to, by William Mill Butler in his 1924 Beachwood Who’s Who, as “Beachwood Heights,” including in his account of the same 1921 dinner, as way of attempting to stop people referring to that side of town as “over the tracks.”

Click to enlarge.

19210402 - NYTrib - Dinner Celebrates 6 Years crop WM

Beachwood Train Depot as Post Office Recalled

Shortly after posting the image of the train depot from around 1960, before it was demolished in 1962, longtime former borough police chief, John Moody, wrote in with this memory:

“Not only did the train depot serve as a train station it also housed the post office, even after the trains stopped running. I liked going there to mail post cards, when you walked inside it was like stepping back in time. It also had a distinct closed-up bungalow odor. My first memories would date back to the mid to late
1940s.”

As a result, we dove back into the file archive and pulled this picture taken in the 1940s-50s showing the opposite side of the depot, from Beachwood Boulevard, when it was also used as the post office. Photo courtesy the Joan Disbrow-Morris collection.

Note: We’ve never seen a picture of the interior, so if by chance anyone reading this has one for some reason or another, please write us at beachwoodhistoricalalliance@gmail.com.

No reprints permitted without explicit written permission by the Beachwood Historical Alliance.

No reprints permitted without explicit written permission by the Beachwood Historical Alliance.

Beachwood Train Depot, c.1960

Ever wonder where our train depot stood? This rare photograph from around 1960 shows it shortly before demolition while the apartment housing in the background, still standing today, provides a familiar location.

The depot served passengers of both the Central Railroad of New Jersey and Pennsylvania Railroad, as it was located north of where both lines crossed. Today the CNJ line is a walking and non-motorized bike path owned by Beachwood Borough and soon to become part of the Ocean County rail trail project; the Pennsylvania Railroad is today Route 9/Parkway Access Road to the Garden State Parkway entrance to the west, in South Toms River Borough.

No reprints permitted without explicit written permission by the Beachwood Historical Alliance.

No reprints permitted without explicit written permission by the Beachwood Historical Alliance.

August 1920: Beachwood Founder Remembered

In early August 1920, founding Beachwood residents remembered the man whose idea formed Beachwood then and today, Bertram C. Mayo, following his untimely death earlier that summer.

This clipping is from the August 10th, 1920 edition of the New York Tribune. Click to enlarge and ignore the overt spelling errors, including the man’s first name; news reporters then, as now, didn’t much care about orthographic accuracy.

19200810 - NYTrib - Mayo Memorial Crop WM

142 North Kingsley Drive, Los Angeles – Birthplace of Beachwood, N.J.

Welcome to this first post of the new Beachwood Historical Alliance website!

What better way to begin than show the actual birthplace of our town?

Some backstory:
Bertram C. Mayo and Addison D. Nickerson, past classmates at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, were, respectively, a newspaper promotion agent and civil engineer. On the heels of newspaper subscription promotions in California and Michigan, Mayo went out to Los Angeles in January 1913, where Nickerson and his family were temporarily staying, to enlist his commitment with a new promotion on the south shore of the Toms River – our little hometown, which from opening day 1915 through mid-1917, when incorporated as an independent borough, was a section of Berkeley Township.

In a stroke of forethought, a photograph of our two town founders was taken in front of the Craftsman-style bungalow in California where Nickerson was staying, which reflected the style of the original homes later built in Beachwood by him and several other early developers.

Nkrsn Small Black_0005 WM 72

Left, A.D. Nickerson; middle, B.C. Mayo; right, Robert Nickerson.

That photograph, and others of the home – located at 142 North Kingsley Drive – sat inside Nickerson’s personal family photo albums that were recently made available to the BHA after research led to finding and then contacting his granddaughter, Eleanor, revealing much visual history of Beachwood and its designer never before publicly seen and today digitized at very high resolution and large sizes by the BHA.

Nkrsn Long Brown_0081 WM 72

Today the Los Angeles home where Beachwood was first “born” still stands, and can be easily seen by using Google Streetview.

201503 - 142 N Kingsley Drive Google Streetview WM

Read more about the Arts and Crafts style of our early homes here!