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Ocean Grove: 1905

The New Jersey shore circa 1905. "Bathing at Ocean Grove." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

The New Jersey shore circa 1905. "Bathing at Ocean Grove." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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I wonder if the girl in the light coloured bathing costume in the centre has got something akin to the bulky kapok-filled "Mae West" life vests that we all wore into the '70s. Mae West would have been 11 or 12 at the time of this photo, so the term would still be a few decades in the future.

Re: the two ladies by the lifeguard tower

Well I guess if you're going to play leapfrog you might as well be in the water! Either that or it's a very public backrub.

Please do not enter Ocean Grove

During the late fifties, before Asbury Park (the town to the north) began its decline, our family spent the day on the beautiful beaches. Tired of the cold water and strong undertow, we went for a walk in the warmer air.

We noted that the boardwalk was guarded at the border with Ocean Grove, and our family was not permitted to cross. My father, brother and I were indecently dressed, on a Sunday. We wore no shirt, jacket or swimsuit top as required by law.

Ocean Grove was and to this day remains a strict religious center run by the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association.

60 Years Before Candid Camera

Love the three ladies holding hands in a circle and laughing hysterically as they tug at one another. So many pictures from this era show people looking so stiff, so formal. These are real people having real moments, 60 years before Candid Camera. I like spotting the family groups, huddling together, not straying too far. My grandparents, all of whom I was lucky enough to know when I was little, would have been about fifteen to twenty years old in 1905, and I can imagine any of them in this scene.

The "Grove"...

At one time the Jersey Shore had seriously bad Rip tides which can sweep a swimmer off their feet and out to sea in a minute. The ropes seen in this photo were there for folks who could not swim that well to hold onto. After the built a number of rock Jetties out into the ocean the riptides decreased. However I still remember there still being ropes as late as 1974 or '75.

Poor little girl

What has happened to this child? She looks as though her leg has been gashed and she's lost some clothing as well.

Wistful Vista

I was struck by the lovely young lady at the right with that incredible shawl. She looks like she really wishes she could join in the fun. Once again, some seem to come to the seashore just to verify that it is still there.

So awesome!

To see where I grew up, 80 years before I was born. I feel strangely connected to these people who have been on the beach so many years ago.


Please tell me those are some sort of Victorian water wings she is carrying out of the water. The guy with his hands clasped behind his back would like to know too.


I can't get over two women that have on hats, one looks like she has a bell on top of her head and the other looks like she could promenade down Main Street in the Easter parade. Also, the woman left center looks like she may have on some sort of life preserver. Her hat looks weird, almost like a bird's nest.

We see the well uniformed crew

establishing the final steps to the newly arrived trans- Atlantic cable, altogether now, 1-2-3 PULL !

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