Thursday, January 25, 2007

History of LBI

I really like my local library. Its small, its friendly...I've always craved being a "regular" someplace, sort of a Cheers-where-everybody-knows-your-name kind of thing, but not necessarily because I was an alcoholic. So this teeny, tiny library in Surf City seems like a good alternative.

Before I got my MacBook (I love it so much!) I used to come here for internet time, but now I've been free to explore the bound annals (aka books). So I recently checked out a history of Long Beach Island. I learned it's pretty much been a resort spot for several centuries.

Interestingly, the first part developed were not the areas near the current causeway, or the pretty northern bit, but the southern end of the island, where Beach Haven is now. Since most of the traffic came from Philadelphia and it was the point most directly west of the city, it developed first. I guess after you've taken a horse carriage across the Pine Barrens and then had to take a boat to an island, going another 12 miles north in a horse carriage seemed unncessary. So there wasn't too much about Surf City in the book.

BUT I did discover that my street was one of the first bay to ocean streets (I use that term loosely) on the island. I wish some of the big, old hotels were still in existence, it would be interesting to see.

Modern-day connection: they appear to be tearing down the Quarter Deck Inn, which is the first hotel you see on the island. I suppose lots of families have memories of staying there, and it will eventually just become another page in the history book.

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