Extraordinary Stories

Acting (1) Adoption (1) Adventure (733) Advertisement (2) Aging (1) Agriculture (33) Alphabet (4) Americana (52) Amish (16) Animals (25) Antiques (5) Architecture (19) Art (137) Art? (5) Arts and Crafts (64) Athletics (3) Automobiles (23) Awards (1) Banking (2) Barn raising (1) Baseball (62) Basketball (1) Beaches (83) Bed & Breakfast (1) Bee Keeping (4) Beer & Breweries (1) Birds (2) Birthdays (29) Bookbinding (3) Books (7) Boxing (1) Brother Steve (7) Buisiness (1) Business (2) Canals (1) Cancer (5) Candy (19) Caribbean Islands (1) Caribbean Villas (15) Chesapeake Bay (57) Children (13) Chocolate (1) Christmas (29) Church Adventures (103) Cigars (1) Circus (1) Civil Rights (2) Civil War (2) Classic Cars (5) Coin club (1) Collections (65) Comedy (2) Comic Books (1) Commercials (1) Comnservation (2) Conservation (32) Craftsmanship (8) Creamsicle the Cat (11) Crime (8) Crisis (256) Cruise Travel (5) Danger (10) Daughter Brynn (50) Daughter-In-Law Barb (7) Death (2) Death and Dying (28) Downsizing (2) Dunking (2) Education (28) Energy (11) Entertainment (151) Entrepreneurial (59) Eternal Life (2) Facebook (4) Factories (1) Fads (6) Family (238) Farming (20) Father (40) Father Time (64) Favorites (43) Firefighting (1) Flora and Fauna (24) Fond Memories (443) Food and Cooking (141) Food and Drink (72) Football (4) Forgetfullness (2) Former Students (4) Framing (9) Friends (303) Fun (1) Fundraiser (6) Giving (3) Golf (3) Grandkids (119) Grandparents (2) Grandview Heights (27) Great service (1) Growing Old (2) Growing Up (172) Handwriting (3) Hat Making (2) Hawaii (45) Health and Well Being (11) Health Hazards (72) Heartbreak (1) Heroes (9) High School (123) History (478) Hockey (1) Holidays (106) Home construction (7) Humorous (67) Ice Cream (3) Inventions (27) Islands (1) Italy (12) Jewelry (3) Job Related (60) Just Bloggin' (52) Just Wondering (10) Juvenile Diabetes (5) Labor (3) Lancaster County (367) Law Breakers (2) LDubs In-Laws (3) Life's Lessons (150) Lists (68) Lititz (13) Love (3) Magic (1) Marching (1) Market (2) Medical (127) Middle School (1) Mother (49) Movies (2) Music (84) My Brother (15) My Wife (254) Neighbors (5) New Year's Day (2) Nuisance (3) Obsolescence (4) Old Age (1) Pain and Suffering (3) Panama Canal Cruise (13) Parish Resource Center (14) Patriotism (1) Penmanship (1) Pets and Animals (94) Photography (191) Playing Trains (2) Politics (27) Postal Service (1) Presidents (5) Pride (2) Printing (64) Protesting (2) Public Service (59) Questionnaire (1) Race relations (1) Reading (1) Rock & Roll (1) Rodents (1) Sand (1) Scouting (2) Shakespeare (1) Shopping (19) Simple Pleasures (115) Slavery (2) Small Towns (3) Snow (1) Son Derek (26) Son Tad (29) Son-In-Law Dave (22) Soup (1) Sports (123) St. Martin/Sint Maarten (241) Stained Glass (1) Story-Telling (20) Stragers (1) Strangers (1) Stress (1) Stuff (2) Surfing (1) Tattoos (1) Teaching (42) Technology (75) The Arts (3) The Beach House (61) The Shore (78) This and That (13) Timekeeping (3) Tools and Machines (23) Toys and Games (30) Track & Field (1) Trains (10) Transportation (10) Travel (2) Trending (2) TV Favorites (16) Underground Railroad (3) USA (1) Vacation and Travel (520) Vehicles (79) War (6) Watches and Watchmaking (2) Weather (46) Weddings (1) Wisdom (3) Yearbooks (3)

Friday, September 19, 2014

The "Seven Mile Island" Story

It was an ordinary day.  Walking on 96th Street in Stone Harbor, NJ looking for the fudge shop so I can get a small box of fudge for my son Tad who is making daily visits to our house in Lancaster to feed the cat.  Carol and I are visiting with my brother Steve and his wife Kathy who are here for a week of vacation and invited us to spend a few days with them.  Today as I walked the main drag in Stone Harbor I noticed a sign in the front of a store that was hand lettered in colored chalk that wished a Happy Birthday to the city.  Seems Stone Harbor is celebrating it's 100th birthday with special events throughout the year.  
Early photo showing the train entering Stone Harbor.
The city is a neat little town that resides on what is known as the "Seven Mile Beach."  The barrier island off the coast of New Jersey was originally used by whalers, fishermen and oyster and timber harvesters until it was  purchased by Aaron Leaming, Sr. in 1722 for seventy pounds, ten shillings ($380) so he could graze his cattle.  
96th Street was always the main entrance to the city.
In the 1850s the island was purchased by the Tatham family and then sold to the Risley Brothers in 1905.  They began to create a resort community along the West Jersey and Seashore Railroad line which eventually was named Stone Harbor to the south and Avalon to the north.  The island consists of 2,725 acres and is approximately seven miles long and three to four city blocks wide with an inland waterway to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east.  
Early scene along the waterfront.
The first building, an inn, was built in 1891 and was followed by six more cottages which became the original resort that the Risley Brothers had envisioned when they bought the island.  It was in 1907 that the dunes were leveled and the salt marches were filled in so that streets, pavements and curbing could be added.  Two years later a sewage system was developed and the first artesian well was driven to reach the "Kirkwood Sands" that are deep beneath the island.  
This is the route that used to connect Stone Harbor to Wildwood.
In 1912 the city began guarding the beach at 94th St., the first policeman began his duties and the Stone Harbor volunteer fire department was founded.  On May 12, 1914 the borough of Stone Harbor was incorporated and a mayor and council was elected.  Today's Borough Hall was the original four-room school that was built the same year the town began.  Ten years later the Stone Harbor Water Tower pumping station was built.  
The Harbor Movie Theatre.
It remains the oldest municipal building still in use today in town. The current water tower that can be seen for miles away was built in 1978.  A Stone Harbor landmark, the Villa Maria By The Sea, was built in 1937 for the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Took less than 5 months to construct it as a summer retreat for the Sisters.  
In the center of this photo is the Villa Maria
that was built in 1937 for the Sisters.
Another famous building in town, Fred's Tavern, was the site of the first Chamber of Commerce meeting in 1940.  Bought one of their t-shirts years ago and still wear it from time to time.  In 1947 the Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary was added on 21 acres of land between 111th-117th Streets.  The Harbor Theatre on 96th Street was built in 1950 and still operates today.  In 1971 beach tags were required from Memorial Day to Labor Day and the funds were used to help support the life guard stations along the beaches.  
This shows the bridge that led into Stone Harbor.  A
new bridge was recently finished to help with traffic flow.
The Wetlands Institute was built in 1972 and is still one of my favorite stops.  Carol and I have our Stone Harbor bedroom covered with posters that are sold each year to help defray the costs for operating the institute.  In August of 2012, 500 pieces of mail were flown from Ocean City, NJ to Stone Harbor to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the First Airmail Flight in New Jersey.  And this year, 2014, the city is celebrating their 100th Anniversary with special events throughout the year.  We have always loved this neat little town and the many eclectic shops that line the small central part of town.  We will make another visit next year to Stone Harbor to shop, eat and enjoy the atmosphere that makes the city so special.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

Bought my fudge at The Fudge Kitchen on 96th St. 
Stone Harbor water tower pumping station and city sign.
The Stone Harbor iconic water tower.


No comments:

Post a Comment