History and Memories Contributions

How Can I Contribute?

This page explains how you can contribute your thoughts, photographs, and memories. Discover Seaside Heights will only be as good as the contributions you all make. Please send us your photos, stories, and whatever other digital memorabilia you would like to contribute!

What can you contribute?

Think of the site as a place for sharing memories and documenting the past. You may share a personal story but you can can also include facts, photographs and documentation about what Seaside Heights was once like.

I can add pages about places (for example, the casino carousel), events, photo sets that include a variety of contributions (for example a series of boardwalk pictures ordered by date) and whatever else seems to make sense. Feel free to offer suggestions about things you would like to see or hear about - and yes there is a page about this very topic.

The most basic editorial guideline I will follow on this site: I will not post anything on Discover Seaside Heights that I would not want a child to see or read. Please keep this in mind when you are submitting information.

What happens when you submit information to the site?

I cannot allow everyone to freely post what they want directly to the website. If I did the pages on this site would quickly be filled with spam comments and pages that have nothing to do with Seaside Heights. This means that I will have to moderate the comments. I may consider adding additional moderators sometime in the future but at least for now (for better or worse) I am the gatekeeper that controls what is posted to the website.

How you can contribute

There are a few different ways you can add to the history and memory section of Discover Seaside Heights.

Comment Submissions

You can leave comments on any of the history pages that have a comments panel at the bottom of the page. You may also be able to submit content and comments on some of the event web pages.

For annual events, it would be great if I could create a new page every time the event is held. This will only make sense if numerous people are able to share their experiences - through making comments and sharing their experience at any event they participated in.

I will also have some ideas pages that can be used as places to plant seeds for new pages. If you have something you want to know more about, leave a comment. If you see a comment about a topic and you have something to share about it, consider contributing additional information that can help us to begin building a new page.

Email Submissions

You can send an email with information, stories and images. I do welcome you sending in whatever you want but you should be aware of a few things.

Unless you tell me otherwise in your email I will assume you are fine with me posting your text, photographs or any other media to the website. If you do not want me to do this just let me know.

You need to realize that I may not be able to post your material at all or may decide I will add it at some later date. I do have to edit the site myself and this means I need to make editorial decisions about what to put up, what pages to make, and so on. I also only have so much time to work on the site. I'm also likely to be sent a lot more things in the summmer than in the winter. So please be patient and understanding if your submission isn't posted as quickly as you would like.

If you send me any photographs it is great if you tell me when it was taken and provide a caption. If there are people in the picture, I can post their names in the caption too. I can also add a photographer credit to the picture. Again, just be sure to let me know who to acknowledge. If you do not have this information (date, caption, etc.) - please do still send any photograph that you think is interesting!

Solicited Submissions

If you make a comment, send me email, or you somehow come to my attention as someone who has things to share about Seaside Heights – I may write to you and ask if you would like to contribute to the site.

Anything else you would like to know?


I have much to share about Seaside Heights,some that are clear and some that have not come back to me but I know they will.For instance I noticed Agnes Polhemus from a picture that was displayed on the official website. I did not know she was on the city council, I remember her from operating the food concession inside the arcade when the casino pool was still there.It was run by her and her husband Bill if I am not mistaken.I knew her son Bill we went to school together where Hugh Boyd was Principle in the early 60's. I sadly found out much later that he had some incident that left him paralyzed leaving him wheelchair bound.That was tragically sad. On a lighter note my first paying job when I was about 9 or ten was at the bozo drop which was located just inside the casino arcade to the right as you entered the arcade from the pool. My job was to retrieve the balls that were thrown and place them back in the trench at the counter for the next
baseball afficiondos. Well thats it for now I much to share if you care to listen and possible share some of your own memories. Have a great evening David. Unfortunately I do not have any photographs.

Short time in Seaside

Born 8/11/27 at 506 BLVD. My father had a three chair barber shop and my Mother had a beauty shop in the same building. At around three my older sister was designated to be the baby sitter...which entailed taking me to the carousel in which she was the cshier for the merry go round.I can recall going to school and still remember some of the names of a few...Richard Hershey,Polhemas,Tom Estilow(second cousin)
My sister always talked about her good friend that worked at the family business on the boardwalk. I'm guessing her name was eleanor spicer.At the age of five I and my Mother and Sister moved to Delanco.Another name that just came to mind is Pete Siskin whom I believe was a part time policeman.

The Seaside Railroad

The Seaside Railroad

Uncle Joe's House

The whole object seemed to be to keep my eyesight. Uncle Joe and his brothers owned a four room bungalow at Ortley, New Jersey. This was just North of Seaside Heights. Starting last year, we came down here to enjoy the shore surroundings. I don't know if they rented out the house or not, but I didn't care. They also owned a piece of property toward the bay, next to the house. To the east side of the house was a sandy road, and the railroad.

The only way to get to the main road was to go south two blocks to the railroad crossing. Crossing over the tracks then enabled anyone driving to go one block to route 35, a concrete two-lane road, and the only through road on the island. Then one could go south to Seaside Heights, Seaside Park or cross over Barnegat Bay on the wooden bridge. Going north would bring one to Point Pleasant. The Mantoloking bridge could be taken if it were desirable to drive on the chicken roads. They were called this because of the many chicken farms along them.

I was told that during the depression, Uncle Joe had bought eggs from them, then sold or traded them in the city. I know he always brought us some stale rolls so we would have some bread during the war years. I think this was just an extension of the depression experiences. Now those rolls would be called "hard rolls." I am sure someone is distorting the true characteristic of things. I think Uncle Joe probably came upon the property on one of these trips.

Walking distance to the ocean was two blocks; over the tracks, and then up the row of rental houses that lined the narrow street ending in the sand dunes. On the southeastern corner of Route 35 and this street was the Chick House. A restaurant that Aunt Jewel often bought our dinners from after a hot day at the beach. Five hundred feet to the south was the Surf Club.

The bay was only about four hundred feet west of the house. But the vegetation was impassable. My brother and cousins tried to go through once, but little progress was made. They gave up on the effort.

Two blocks to the south, just over the tracks was Esposito's market. It had a large sign on the building that pointed to it. It was along the main road. Esposito's had groceries and milk. It also had quite a bit of beach related things. I liked to go in there whenever anyone else was going.

The One-A-Week

Well, that's what my father called it. I think it came by on Friday. It appeared at about 1:00 O'Clock in the afternoon, and returned about two hours later. It was steam powered, and had three or four cars and a caboose. That's where I got my idea of what a train should consist of. I felt anything over five cars was too much. I never found out what type of engine it was. That's because mother always had my brother cover my eyes when it got close. She didn't want me to be blinded by hot cinders. My brother had to obey her, because even if my eyes got even a speck of dust in them, he would have had to hear about it for the rest of his life. I was 10 years old, and he was seven years older than.

I pleaded with mother every time. When the train was going toward Seaside, it was basically coasting. No steam or smoke was being emitted. Surely I could watch then! But no, she would not permit it even then. As I watched it in the distance, I noticed that the smoke tended to fall quickly to the ground. I think it may have been due to the air motions and density this close to the seashore. I told mother that I could either get on the roof of the house, or climb a pole on the windward side of the track. This way I could get a better view of the train, and not have to worry about cinders. I also would have preferred this, as I learned from looking at trains throughout northern New Jersey that the most pleasing and informative views are had from as high above the tracks as possible.

Mother was horrified at this prospect! She said that I would fall and break my head. Didn't I remember how clumsy I was when I fell off the porch rail in Linden? Well, all I ever got to experience was the sounds and smells of that wonderful train. The smell of hot ashes and steam mixed with oil is something I will never forget. When I was supposedly old enough, the house had been sold, and the train ran no more.

We did have fun though. We walked to Seaside every evening on the rails!

Walking to The Boardwalk

In the evening, it was time to visit the boardwalk. When Aunt Jewel and my mother did not drive us all there, we would walk. We walked the railroad on the way in. This enabled us to avoid traffic, and stay clean on the way. We would all attempt to walk the rails as far as we could. Since I was closer to the ground, and had smaller feet, the railhead was for all purposes wider, and I carried less weight above it. I could usually stay on the longest. It was only when I started laughing at the antics of the others did I fall off, and have to start over.

The total distance to the salt water pool and merry-go-round on Blair Street was about two miles. Going in was the best part of the travelling, as we had so much fun. The railroad ended at a large warehouse, where coal, oil and other items were unloaded. Here the tracks were pretty even with the pavement. We then crossed over the highway, and then went to the northern end of the boardwalk. It was only a couple hundred feet before the amusement area began.

Mother usually gave me two dollars at least once a week. We always went to Henry's Playland. This was great! I could play 20 games of Skee-Ball or Pokerino, and still have enough left to play a few rounds of miniature golf. I don't know what led her to be so extravagant. Maybe it was because I wasn't allowed to see the train. Whatever the cause, I took full advantage. Skee-Ball was interesting, but too fast. Besides the rewards were bigger for Pokerino. I usually played five games of Skee-Ball and then would lollygag finishing the rest of the first dollar rolling the soft rubber balls of Pokerino. When I put the nickel in the machine and pushed the slide in, all the balls would be released from their holes, and bounce in the box below, rolling to the player. Before I rolled the first ball, I waited for all the balls to come to rest in the box. This would sometimes take a minute or more. Then I slowly rolled them on the gaming table. The minimum prize was 15 points for any type of poker hand, three of a kind, two pair, and so on. A royal flush was 500 points. I never even thought of that. I seldom failed to get the fifteen point minimum. An attendant would come over when the red indicator lit, and give the proper number of points, depending on the hand, press the button on the kneehole of the game showing that the points had been awarded, and resume watching the rest of the games. The 15 point coupons were yellow with black printing, and a red number 15 across their face. The Skee-Ball ones were pale red 2 pointers. The maximum for this game was 360 points for a score of 450. This was hard to get.

I would always play one other game. This was a baseball game that used a large ball bearing for the ball. The playing field was in the shape of a baseball stadium. The ball came out of the umpires stomach into a scoop the pitcher had on his arm. The pitcher would then throw the ball toward the plate, and the batter would either swing or let it go. If the ball were hit, it would go foul or fair. If foul, it was a strike, letting it go could result in either a ball or a strike. Hitting it fair led to some interesting situations. The players in the field could pick it up, in which case it would be an out. If the ball rolled past them, there were holes in the stadium wall that were marked, single, double, triple, home run or out. The score was recorded on a mechanical counter. The players were all-stars from the twenties. Since it only was two cents to play the game, I usually played several.

We always would play at least one game of miniature golf. I really enjoyed this. The best course was on the pier on the northern end of the boardwalk. I liked the eighteenth hole the best. It had an elevated platform that had to be hit up to, with three ways to get to the hole. The best approach was the ramp that extended out around the platform and down to the level that the hole was on. Hitting it this way often rolled the ball in the hole. Besides that, the ball could be watched the entire way. The hardest hole was the 10th. It had a flat tilted board with many holes in it. It was really hard to even get the ball through these holes to the other side. It also was right on the edge of the pier. Hitting the ball too hard would send it into the ocean. That happened to either my brother or Donald once. They laughed about it, and went back to explain what happened, and got another ball. A fence was put up this year to keep the balls out of the water.

Night Walk Back

After we were done, we headed back. We always walked along the beach. Walking through the soft sand at the north end of the boardwalk was difficult. We took off our shoes, and walked near the water where the sand was compacted by the water. The crash and hiss of water as the waves broke and slid up the sand was a delight to the ear. The wind usually blew off the land, as the sea was warmer than the land at night. Once in a while the moon rose over the ocean, making the place seem isolated. At these times I felt as if the whole world was ours.

One night we came upon some horse shoe crabs that had washed up on the shore. I was afraid of them, as they looked like black two-foot blobs with a tail. I thought this huge claw would reach out and cut my foot off. My brother and cousins kicked at it, as they knew it was dead, and even if it were not, there was no danger.

The whole experience would have been complete if I could have just seen the train.

July 7, 1952

Copyright © 1952, 1999 Ray Chuvala, Reflection Recollection Collection

The Dance

Does anyone remember the dance at the Casino Pier? My friend & I use to go every night when we were down at Seaside in the early '60's.


I have been trying to find information on the dance hall for years! We used to travel to Seaside on the weekends from Iselin to dance! So many fond memories and amazing music!

Casino Dance Hall

I remember the dance hall so very well.For three years my friends and I traveled from central Jersey to the shore on the weekends. It was an experience.The week was spent preparing for the weekend trip picking out that special outfit to impress those guys from Newark. Friday and Saturday night was the big event. Watching who ascended the stairway to the dance was important hoping that special person would appear. Beiing in the hall, listening to the music and dancing was magical for a 16 year old. To this day I can close my eyes and hear the carousel, smell the popcorn, hear the binging of the amusement games and mostly hear the music of the dance hall. It is a time in my life I will never forget. I had such deep saddness when I saw that it closed. Thanks so much for asking about this and letting me recount those memories!

Fun houses of Seaside Heights

My very favorite memories of 1970's Seaside Heights are of the two fun houses, on opposite piers. One had a slanted room, with floors that rose and fell in spots. That one was hilarious to go through. The other fun house seemed bigger to me and more adult in nature. It had a big slide at the end of it that you had to go down in order to exit. Also, for some odd reason, there was a toilet (as part of the fun house exhibit) with a crone's head in it that both fascinated and frightened me. I was absolutely transfixed with that exhibit and used to wonder how it got there, why it was there and what it meant. I loved it although I also rather feared it. Good horror stuff!

I know that my sister and I went back several years later and both fun houses were gone, which left me heartbroken!

Does anyone else remember them? If so, can you add to my scanty memories of them?

Also, does anyone remember Good Time Charlies and the boater hats they gave to patrons?

And is the talking gypsy fortune teller still there?


My aunt Liza died in the funhouse in 1953 of a heart attack I was with my brother and sister when she died my sister was holding her hand I still remember.

Good Time Charlies

I remember Good Time Charlies because I tended bar there during the summers of 1969, 1970 and 1971. I don't remember the boater hats, though. I remember people 4 deep at the bar, peanut shells on the floor, wooden pallets on the floor behind the bar so that we wouldn't fall on shells or liquids. I remember Tuesday nights were Irish Wake nights with Joey Connors, the one man band, and someone would get chosen to be put in the casket outside the door and was carried in by the bouncers, while Joey played. Then the casket would be opened and out came whoever was in it. Good Times, for sure!! Other nights we had wonderful bands playing. One band was called The Motifs. I remember Jimmy (OD) O'Donnell as my boss and owner of Good Time Charlies. Wonderful man for sure!! Does anyone know if he still is with us and still in Seaside? We used to go on his old Firetruck sometimes, and visit the other bars in the area. That would be on the slower days. There was a parade, too. I can't remember when it was, but I have a picture up in PA (I'm in FL right now) that has all of the bartenders on that firetruck dressed up for Halloween. I had a wonderful time working there, memories I won't ever forget, although I am sure I have forgotten some.

Good Time Charlie's

I was in a five piece band called the Last Word and we played at Good Time Charlies for the whole summer season of 1970. I can't recall much about the place or the owner or the bartenders except for one named Richie Clark who became a friend during our stay there. The owner also threw in some rooms for the band, maybe a block away. It became pretty wild in the club on some nights but I'm glad to have experiencec the whole thing. There were a lot of great bands playing the Jersey Shore at the time. A great time to be young! Bob. I

Jo-Jo's Wold Famous French Fries

My family owned the food stand Jo-Jo's World Famous French Fries 50-60's era. Does anyone have pictures or memories of the stand?

Does anyone remember a small

Does anyone remember a small hotel that was ocean front called the Holiday Motel or Holiday Hotel? I have a friend who stayed there years ago and was wondering what the actual name of the hotel is and what is standing there today.

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