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Friday, September 30, 2016

The "The Pebbles Guest House" Story

My photo of what used to be called "The Pebbles Guest House"
at the corner of 94th Street and First Ave. in Stone Harbor, NJ.
It was an ordinary day.  Taking a photo of what at one time was known as "The Pebbles Guest House" in Stone Harbor, New Jersey.  Building stands at the corner of 94th Street and First Ave., directly across the corner from our rental for the week.  A few years ago a large sign hung from the porch declaring it to be "The Pebbles Guest House."  Two years ago I read in a Stone Harbor publication that the property might be purchased by the county and leased to the city to be used as a museum.  
The sign that used to be above he front door, as seen here,
has been removed as well as the decorative flag wrappings.
The place is beautiful with a deck that wraps around three side of the home and porch flooring that is supposedly solid mahogany.  Pebbles was built in 1909 by John Irwin and was one of the earliest homes on the island.  The home's foundation is laid on 3,000 pilings and is built with wood quality not often found anymore. Irwin built the building as a single-family home that would sleep 24.  In 1939 Carlton Rickards purchased the home from Irwin and eventually passed the home on to Carlton's nephew John Curto.  
Steps leading to the front door.
At this point it was opened as a guesthouse and at some point after that became known as "The Pebbles Guest House."  Major renovations were recently done that  included all new windows, updating the electric and water lines and a coat or two of paint.  The house has two apartments on the ground floor, common area and kitchen on the first floor and four bedrooms/bathrooms on the second floor with three bathrooms and shared bathroom on the third floor.  The bathroom on the third floor has tiles that came from France.  After reading the article a few years ago I assumed that sometime I would find it a museum when I came for an annual visit with my wife, brother and sister-in-law.  Well, it isn't this year, since there are a few families in the building as I stand in front of it today to take a photo.  
Stately front door on "The Pebbles Guest House".
The sign, that as of last year, hung over the front door on the porch, is no longer there, but it is easy to see nothing has been done to change it into the museum that Stone Harbor was hoping to have.  The building is physically sound, but a few changes will have to be made such as rearranging some of the rooms to suit displays as well as adding an elevator to make the house accessible to disabled residents and visitors.  The old world charm of the building is a perfect match for a museum and Mr. Curto had hoped to keep the home intact and not taken down and replaced by a new and more modern home.  Here's hoping the property will be a museum by my arrival next year and keep Mr. Curto's wish intact and one of Stone Harbor's most historic buildings part of their heritage.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.  

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