Personal stories of the past in Seaside Heights, NJ

Memories of Seaside Heights, New Jersey

This page serves as a jumping off place for personal recollections and memories of times spent in Seaside Heights. Things are evolving here and I will post more pages whenever I receive new entries. It would be great too to be able to post pictures too, if anyone has some of those to contribute.

If you have a story or a short anecdote to send in please let us know. You can find out about how to submit content here.



    We grew up in Irvington and took yearly vacations to Seaside Heights in the late 50’s and 60’s. My father was a stickler for leaving North Jersey at 6 am to beat the traffic. If you left after 9 am you would get stuck in hours of traffic to get there. continued....


    Dugan Boys Summer of 86

    Summer of 1986. Midway rental bungalow on 14th Ave and 1st street - 6 houses from the shore or about 150 feet from the sand. Tiny one way street, no parking to be found, house sleeps 6 we fit 12, and the weekends maybe 16 some boys will sleep on the roof and love it. continued....


    Motown and the Boardwalk

    I've been thinking about my own personal Motown history quite a bit lately. It started when I was in grammar school. I remember being at Seaside Heights on the Jersey Shore with my family, and winning a little Japanese transistor radio at one of the wheels of chance on the boardwalk. continued....


    The Bouquet, the Sewell Cup and Leopold Zwarg

    On August 9th, 1900 the Sewell Cup was won by the Bouquet, which at the time was owned by William G. Hartrauft. The boat was later owned by Leopold F. Zwarg - also known as “Pappy” or “Leo” Zwarg - in the 1940s and early 50s. continued....


    Crabbing with Dad

    crabbing in Barnegat BayMy memories of Seaside Heights and Seaside Park are so tightly woven with those of my Dad’s that I can’t seem to separate them. My times spent on the beach and boardwalk were infused with a deeper sense of enjoyment and respect because of the love that both my parents had for the area. My Mom grew up in Paterson and my Dad was born and raised in Little Falls, NJ. My Dad’s parents naturally vacationed in Seaside as did most of his neighbors and friends from North Jersey.continued....

    You can see more lovely paintings of the Jersey shore at


    Memories of the Seaside Heights Fireworks

    When I was a child I spent my summers in Ortley Beach. My family owned a house that was a stone's throw from the Surf Club. In those days the houses were not all three stories high. Most were still small bungalows. Our house had a sundeck coming off of the second floor dormer and from there we could sit and watch the weekly Seaside Heights fireworks show. continued....




    The Wooden Bridge and Funtown Pier carousel.

    submitted by Patricia Small

    My earliest memory of Seaside Heights was the terrifying ride across the rickety old wooden bridge of Rt 37. It was so close to the water. My first feathered Cupey Doll on the boardwalk and ride on the merry go round made it worth the trip. the Funtown Pier Illions carousel.I enclosed a photo (click on the photo to enlarge) of my favorite carousel, the OLD one on the Funtown Pier, which had beautiful artwork of ocean scenes above, and the horses had real horsehair tails (more about the boardwalk and Seaside heights carousels). I took the photo in 1985 and the boy on the horse on the right facing my camera is my son Jeff Clifford. Later this carousel was dismantled and sold when the elderly lady who owned the Pier died. She was wonderful having saved that carousel all those years. I was disappointed to see the photo of a NEW carousel on the Funtown Pier website and people commenting in error that this is one of the oldest carousels in the country. Thank you for the memories.

    Seaside Heights 40's & 50's

    submitted by J. Eric Bishop

    Every summer up through about 1967 our family (my parents and my siblings and I) rented a cabin on Marlin Drive, Seaside Heights ($50 for the week!), and we spent every day at Ortley Beach (now Vision 107 Marlin Drive Beach Club, or something like that), walking over to the beach past "Flo's Bat 'Em Out," and usually parking ourselves close to the fence that separated us from the others who were at Seaside Heights. I enjoyed lying on the beach and watching the activity up on the Casino Pier. I eventually worked up the nerve to ride on the Divebombers there one night! My father could invariably be found at the Raw Bar eating clams.

    The A&P or ACME across the way from our cluster of beaches bungalows....... Waiting for the ice cream man to drive though the sandy lane, his bell audible long before his truck was in sight......buying a "Sky Blue" popsicle....

    Soooooo many memories......

    Years later we would take family day trips to Island Beach State Park.

    Seaside Heights 40's & 50's

    submitted by Lois Stern

    My aunt lived on Hiering Ave.There were no buildings at all from her house to the beach (one block). She picked wild beach plums and made jelly. I spent many weeks every summer there. The mayor was Patrick Tunney. Does anyone remember Augie Hoffmann's bar on the main blvd. The big banner outside said "hammond organ". Many a good time there.

    An expanded page about Lois, her family and times in Seaside Heights - with some great old pictures - can be found here.

    Bait in the Bay

    circa mid 70's, submitted by Tom

    When you I was in my early teens I was looking for ways to make some extra money to play the pin ball machines on the boardwalk. My grandfather offered to take me fishing for spearing with his dragnets so I could sell them. We’d wake up early and set out for Pelican Island with our nets, buckets, baggies and some bread for bait, and within an hour or so we’d have a full bucket of active little silver fish. I’d put a handful in each baggie and we’d make the rounds of the local bait stores in Seaside and sell them for one dollar a bag. Business was always brisk and it was a fun way to make money, and especially learning from my grandfather how to be a better fisherman, just like him.

    Keeping Track on the Boardwalk

    circa early 70's, submitted by Pat

    Keeping track of my four little sons was always a challenge on the busy Seaside boardwalk. Everyone wanted to do everything: go on every ride, try every pizza stand, play every arcade game. I would dress them in bright clothes so they’d be easy to spot and I would constantly count heads to myself: one, two, three, four, one two three, four….. Only once did I lose one for more than a minute, and that was when I learned where the lost and found booth was.



Feel free to send us your own stories or add a comment about your memories of Seaside Heights.


Return to the top of the page


Does anyone remember an actual pinball machine called The Silver Ball?
Lucky Leo's arcade SSH I believe

Pinball Wizard

I remember a lot of pinball machines from my child hood days. Mom use to get mad after I've spent my allowance money 3 games per .25 cents and each game you get 5 balls per play.The machine will "TILT" witch means stall and loose a ball. I watched angry players smash the glass with their fist luckily without breaking the glass. Yes there over 100 to 1000 pinball machines back in the '70s. Loved them all, Doug

There was a pinball machine

There was a pinball machine called Silverball Mania. You can read all about it here:

There are pictures there of the machine so it should be obvious right away if this was the same machine you remember.

Jersey shore is the best

Jersey shore is the best


Does anyone remember the round spaceship that sat in the public parking lot as you got off the bridge into seaside heights? I think it was a information ceneter or something? I always remember asking my mom if i can go in the spaceship and she would say I don't want it taking off with you! I believe it had seaside heights written on it's shiny exterior.
what ever happened to it? It was still there in the early 80's for sure.


I totally remember the UFO. I thinknit was io at the boardwalk for awhile and had "oddities" inside. Like an alien in a jar, etc. Then it was a bank for awhile. I think it sat for some years right in that lot when u enter SSH. I remember when it was getting old and rusty. Then gone.


Before the "Spaceship" was an info center it was a small aquarium that house some impressive sharks. I remember it near Casino Pier in the same area as a large spiral water slide that quickly disappeared. I believe it was at Kearney Ave and boardwalk.

The Italian Village!

When my dad moved us from Belmar to Deal, to Loch Arbour, to Allenhurst, To Wanamassa and ultimately to Toms River at age 16 I had HEARD about 'the rides' in Seaside, but had never seen them. When I first prowled the boardwalk during those sunny beach days of 1972 - EVERYTHING seemed new (and even kinda clean). Friends in HS spoke in hushed tones about the NEW Aztec motel where you MIGHT get a drink if you were underage. (In those days, the drinking age as 18). Or, in the Bamboo Bar where a friends garage band might be playing........but MY person thrill was the Italian Village. There I had my young face done in pastels by RHODA SHAPIRO. This portrait hangs over my dining room hearth today and people say, "Is that your daughter?" Makes me smile to recall the leather tooling of belts (I got one for a birthday gift with mushrooms and lightning bolts in brown leather and a huge silver buckle....I also had a purse, the COOLEST silver earrings that dangled down to my neck and of course there was the Original coffee bar - the espresso/pastry corner. Those fun filled days and nights in Seaside were the greatest for a teenager, freshly ripped from the 'other' Jersey Shore - Asbury Park......what fabulous locations for growing up in the 60 and 70s. I no longer live in NJ - and I recall a MILLION stories. What's the beach like today? Sounds like it's all brain-dead mutants who SAY they're jersey girls, but in reality, are all from Equador and who never wash their faces of days old bronzer.

Rhoda Shapiro

I too had a beautiful portrait done in pastels by Rhoda Shapiro. It unfortunately got damaged in a flood. The portrait completely captured me into the depth of my soul. She captured every fleck of color in my eyes. My spirit showed through the picture as if i could jump off the paper. what an incredible exactness. What ever happened to her?

I had my portrait done by

I had my portrait done by Rhoda Shapiro when I was very young back in the 1970's. I remember she lived in Cinnaminson, New Jersey and always wore very beautiful hats. She was very charming. I would also love to know where she is.

Rhoda Shapiro Portrait Painter


This is Rhoda the portrait painter from Seaside Heights. I am deeply touched by your memories and it brought tears to my eyes. I am so happy to have given you as much pleasure as painting has given me. Several years ago I moved to the South of France where I continue to paint, teach and exhibit. For 27 years Seaside Heights was my summer home and I remember it as a joyous and exciting time. I probably painted over a thousand portraits and have fond memories of meeting so many wonderful people. It it so gratifying to know that you remember me and continue to appreciate my work.
Thanks for giving me so much joy - Rhoda

Dear Rhonda,How wonderful to

Dear Rhonda,How wonderful to know that you are doing well.I was just remembering the good times I had in Seaside in the late 60's-70's. I still remember the portrait you did of my then 6 year old daughter at the Aztec.She is now 46 years old...Stay well and God Bless. Sincerely, Donna

picture of my daughter

Hello Rhoda

Seaside heights was a big part of my youth, spending 2 weeks a year was always something i looked forward to. Also remembering passing the aztec every night watching you do those portraits was great even as a child i loved it. I had the opportunity to have you do my daughter when she was 2 , what a great job you did. She is now 21. I have fond memories the shore has changed and there is a sense of loss that you are not there anymore doing what you do well. I did a search on the internet a few years back to see what happened to you but turned up nothing. So it is fantastic to know you are alive and well in france . I hope you would come back one day for a short stay back to seaside. I wish you well

Gerard Ciandella
Hoboken NJ

carousel memories

Is that really you? This is Floyd (Casino Pier carousel)--I have several pieces by you that grace our home. I remember fondly the fun we had at the club in NYC-- and so many other great memories from the days when you painted inside the Casino building (and then afterwards in front of the Aztec.)
You can contact me via our website:

I'd love to hear from you again!

Rhoda Shapiro

Is this the same Rhoda Shapiro who painted portraits of me as a young girl from Brouse Avenue?

Laura- I am happy to hear


I am happy to hear from you! This is that Rhoda Shapiro. I remember painting a portrait of you holding a bird that you found when you were just a little girl with wavy long dark hair. Do you still have the portrait? My daughter, Adrianne, remembers you as well.


Dear Rhoda, Is this the

Dear Rhoda,

Is this the same Rhoda Shapiro who gave lessons on art and life via an apprenticeship to a kid by the name of Tony Saunders back in Cinnaminson,N.J.?
If so then I have a feeling that you left an indelible impression on that kid.
I'd be willing to bet that he'll never ever forget the patience,love, and generosity shown by not only a fantastic artist, but a fantastic human being that Mrs. Shapiro, uh, I mean Rhoda. He probably still aspires to draw like his potrait artist heroine.I can tell by looking at his artwork that he remembers what you taught him about "the eyes". No, really!, go see for yourself at is...if you're that Rhoda...if you are then you could probably e=mail that kid at

Much Love

From Rhoda

Dear Tony,

This is indeed Rhoda and I am so happy to hear from you. I want to say how much I appreciated you as a lovely young man with so much talent. I'd love to hear from you and what you are doing these days. I have been living in the south of France for a number of years where I teach and continue to paint. I will be back in America later this month for a visit and would love to speak with you. You can email me at

Much love,


Yes I do remember you ! What a great life painting all those years at Seaside Heights ......have been living in the south of France for the last fifteen years still painting and teaching. Thank you for remembering me. Did I paint you also in oil with a Bird? Sincerely Rhoda.shapiro.


My mother just gave me a portrait done by Rhonda Shapiro in 1972..
If you want to see it I just posted it on my Facebook page. My name is Joseph Rossi or you can search by E-Mail


It was August 1974, was 19 on my honeymoon and you did a pastel of me. I am now 58, and miss the pretty young girl you captured on paper. I would like to have the pastel touched up since it wasn't sealed and is dusty. Do you have anyone to recommend to help with this? I live in Staten Island NY. Thank you and I hope you are doing well.

Hello, This is Rhoda. I am so


This is Rhoda. I am so happy to hear that you've been enjoying my work and remember me. It touches me deeply. I am still working but now living in Provence France. Please email me directly at my email and I will help you to get it fixed.

Most sincerely,
Rhoda Shapiro.

pastels on boardwork

So wonderful to know you are still creating...You did a portrait of my daughter @ 2yrs on the boardwalk @ the AZTEC. She was and still is a red head @ 40 with 3 children of her own. Your work hangs on my dining room wall. I have had it with me all these years and love it now more than ever. Thank you.

Hi Rhoda! I know it's been

Hi Rhoda!
I know it's been awhile but I hope you remember me! I took your art class in LBI when I was younger with my mom. I remember you telling us that you were going to move to France and I hope all is well! I'm in college (almost done with my sophomore year!). I plan to take some art classes while I am here. I talk about you all the time and how much you taught me. Even though I was young I still remember to look at pictures upside down!! I hope everything in France is well and you're still teaching in some way. Hopefully one day our paths will cross again!! oxoxo

Katherine Mayes

Hi Katherine

Dear Katherine,

It's so lovely to read your message. I remember you so well, we had a great time painting together and I hope you took those art classes. I am still painting and teaching in France and I will be back for a visit in the spring. Keep in touch by email and let me know how you are doing.

Give my warm regards to you mother.


you did a portrait

the portrait you did for me was done 1981 of me and my fiance , sorry to say he passed 6/1982 ...I have had this and hang it to this day.......... please begging yes my life has gone on sadly..but out of this life I have 3 beautiful children which I would love to get all 3 of them done by you ..........please I prAY YOU ARE DOING WELL......

reply from Rhoda

Dear Theresa,

This is Rhoda Shapiro. I am happy to hear from you and I am so sorry for your loss. I would love to do a portrait of your three children. Please email me at and please send me a few pictures. I would also love to see a picture of the portrait I have done for you.


Linda De Lehman sends Rhoda LOVING MEMORIES!

Dearest Rhoda,
Certainly, I am one more admirer in the world who shared in the gift of your Art!
In the mid 70s, when I was about 16-17 years old, I had the honor to model for you in your home in Cinnaminson.
Being with you in your home was like entering back-stage into an amazing theater! Dimly lit, hung colored costumes, dresses and masks of hats for any occasion. An infinite, orderly chaos of choices! I also helped you in your home, touching everything inside like an essential prop for your LIVE ART performances.
You had particularly elegant, feathery and outlandish hats, which would expose only the tip of my nose, lips and arms! As a young girl then, I recall that with just parts of my body posing, you initiated a surreal (dreamlike) sense of beauty and value.

My very first summer away from home, I worked for you modeling and setting up your paintings on the Seaside Heights boardwalk.

Please may I send you a photo, which may help you remember me?

Since 1996, I have been living in Europe including Geneva, Lisbon and currently in Perugia, Italia.

Please send me your contact information.
I would love to speak to you or meet in France or anywhere in the world!
Linda De Lehman

P.S. I was one of 11 kids living on Clubhouse Drive, Willingboro. Perhaps this will help you remember me?

Rhoda Shapiro Portrait

I just wanted to mention that I have an absolutely beautiful Pastel Portrait of me and my daughter. My Daughter was added into the picture of me from a Photograph and the Portrait came out incredibly life like!!! I will treasure and protect it till my dying days!!

RE: Rhoda Shapiro Portrait

Dear Kate,

Thank you so much for your beautiful message. I am deeply touched and will always remember! It's a lovely thing of you to write to me. I am living in Provence south of France and continue to paint and share my love of Art.

Warm Regards,

Portrait of our beloved Collie "Rory"

Hi Rhoda..We have an absolutely Beautiful painting of oud Beloved Miniature Collie "Rory" that you painted for us on our first wedding anniversary..Its been the centerpiece of our Living room for 24 years,,(Next year is our 25th wedding anniversary) and We have kept this Gem pramed,and in perfect condition,we gave you the photo of Rory,and you planned to paint some more of him..Just want to thank you, and we can send a picture of the painting if you would like,,to refresh your memory,Thanks again..Kevin and Diane Kennedy.

Re: Portrait of our beloved Collie "Rory"

Dear Kevin and Diane,

I am so thrilled to read your message.
I would love for you to send me a picture of the portrait. It will bring me a lot of joy to see it again

Happy 25th Wedding Anniversary!

Warm Regards from Provence,


Wow. There is a discussion on facebook re: Seaside and I mentioned Rhoda. My sister and I had our portraits donen in '68, we had them framed for years. They're in storage out at mom's in Vegas now. Must look for them.
I ran into Rhoda around 1986 and was astonished to find her still doing her thing!
Happy you are in France doing your art, Rhoda.
Jimmy Faivre

Re: Rhoda

Dear Jimmy,

It is so nice to hear from you. You cannot imagine how happy i am to be brought back to those magic seaside days!

I am enjoying Provence and still painting and teaching. If you ever get to vegas, please take a picture of the portrait and email it to me. That will make me happy.

Warm Regards,

After all these years...1980...or thereabouts...

Rhoda! So happy to have found you! Have thought of you many times over the years since you created my portrait. I miss you in Seaside and wondered what became of you. I have pursued a career in art and would have loved to come by and chat. If you get this note and can, reply let me know how to send you a photo of my portrait. I remember how much I enjoyed our chat while sitting for you. I also remember the crowd that formed behind you as you worked!

Re: After all these years...1980...or thereabouts...

Dear JoAnn,

It makes me so happy to red your note and i am sorry for being slow in responding. I do not get to this site as often as i would like to. I have been living and painting in the south of France for 23 years now and still enjoy sharing my passion for art and people. I hope you are doing well. I will be so happy if you can send me your picture and a picture of the portrait. My email is

I wish you all the best for the new year.


Hi Rhoda

Hi Rhoda, You won't remember me. My mother's maiden name was Shapiro. We met you at the Moorestown Mall when I was about ten years old, back in the 1970's. You liked my plaid trench coat and you did my portrait. Years later, when I was in cesign school, I worked at Bamberger's in the Cherry Hill Mall and we had dinner together. It is now January 2018 and for some reason you popped into my head. I hope you are well. My e~mail is

The Italian village was the

The Italian village was the best! Going up that ramp to all of that stuff. It was like a bazaar up there. Our favorite booth was the one with the magic tricks and gags. We always got the snapping gum, the handshake buzzer. I never got over that they chopped the back of our beloved casino arcade to let ocean terrace pass thru.

Memories of Ortley Beach

As a kid in the late forty's, early fifty's, we would visit my grandparents in Beachwood during the month of July. The vacation always had several trips to Ortley beach to swim in the Atlantic. We would park near the "Surf Club" (pre Joey Harrison) and sneak onto the the 'private' beach.
We roasted in the sun all day and cooled off with orange, grape or lemon popsicles bought from a vendor on the beach. At the end of the day we would pile into the car and head back to Beachwood, where my grandfather would spray us with the garden hose to get the sand off us before we went into the house. Icy water on fresh sunburn...yeowww!!
Good times.

surf club

i bartended there in the early 1960s



I worked in the parking lot

I worked in the parking lot for Seaside Baths during the summer of 1969 and 1971 for Bob Pasowitz and his wife Terry


does anybody remember Eddie and the knockouts that use to play at the chatterbox in seaside heights nj.


Yes I remember them.Eddie parrente was a doll mu uncle was their drummer.

Knockouts band

I recall Bobby doing comedy and their theme song was "El Paso". Many happy days were spent at the Chatterbox and the Parrot Club which were on the boardwalk during the 1960's.

Diner from the 70's

Does anyone remember the name of the diner on the Blvd in between Grant and Blaine ave?

It was called "Sinn's".

It was called "Sinn's".


Sinn's was the first place we would stop as a family to get breakfast before we would get into our rental house,, great place to eat.... also does anyone remember Peluso's supermarket on the blvd.. they had everything you needed while staying in seaside.


My Uncle Herman used to own Sinns and I remember spending quite a bit of my childhood there. My uncle retired to Florida and a parking lot is now where it used to stand.

The small things!

We would go to seaside often 1970's, does anyone rember the bathrooms under the boardwalk? or the benches with the flip flop back, either you can look at the water or the boardwalk they were painted red green blue colors. Then there was the star stamp that that had the ink you can only see under the black light they would stamp the back of your hand to get on the beach.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <span> <img>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options