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Friday, December 03, 2010

Today I Toured Asbury Park - Ocean Grove - Long Branch - Sandy Hook - Fort Hancock - Nothing is Lonelier Than the Jersey Shore in Almost Winter

This is the oldest continually operating lighthouse in the USA. It is at Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook - just across the water from New York City. It has been lighting this golden gate since 1764 - before it was the United States.

This is the largest muzzle loading gun - they shoved 20 inch cannon balls in the front end at Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook.

Fort Hancock was a proving ground used for years to test guns and rockets.

During the Cold War Nike Missiles were stationed here to guard the Big Apple. This is the last complete missile installation left.

Ocean Grove is famous for its Church Camp Meeting Grounds. This town was/is owned by the church. From May to September - it is booked solid. Tents are put over these frameworks - and it is booked ten years in advance. My grandmother Bertha Hontz and her husband Roy Hontz would spend a week here every summer. They often took my sister Judy and my cousin Ruthie along for the week. Up until 1981 - cars were not allowed to be operated in town on Sunday. You still cannot sell booze in this town.

This large wooden auditorium was built in 1894. It sat 10,000 people for church services. Famous ministers like Bill Graham preached there. Somehow - the Beach Boys played it one Saturday night. It was an open air tabernacle with barn door like openings. Today - there was not a soul in sight. That is our rental car with the Library Tour Sign on it.

This is the Wonder Bar along Ocean Drive in Asbury Park. This is where Bruce Springsteen started. Tonight - a tribute band was playing there called "The Rising." I vaguely remember this building being used in the movie "Eddie and the Cruisers."

Bruce Springsteen also headlined at The Stone Pony - right along the shore on Ocean Drive in Asbury Park.

Ocean Grove Casino was completely gutted. They have lined the inside with a steel pole building frame and steel roof. Ocean Grove is a town that covers one square mile. It is the country's largest collection of original Victorian homes.

This is the Asbury Park Convention Center. I remember coming here in 1955 - I was 7 years old. It was so big and so crowded. We spent a night or two is a little motel cabin out on the highway about 10 miles away in Eatontown. Today - water temp was 52 degrees and the air was 40.

The Asbury Park Convention Center was empty. I went inside - it appears it is used at night - but it was not heated. The boardwalk here still had the herringbone board pattern.

Inside the Convention Center was this Marquee. The Convention Hall extends out over the waves. On three sides you can see water. In some places you could see water through the cracks in the floor. Asbury Park is the closest seashore to Tamaqua PA.