Authors Discuss Their Beach Haven Book Oct. 15

By Eric Englund | Oct 07, 2019

Surf City — Authors Gretchen Coyle and Deborah C. Whitcraft will discuss their book Beach Haven at the Long Beach Island branch of the Ocean County Library in Surf City on Tuesday, Oct. 15, at 10 am. Released in June 2018, the book is part of the Images of America series by Arcadia Publishing.

This is their second work in the Arcadia series; they previously wrote a volume on Tucker’s Island. They also are the authors of Inferno At Sea: Stories of Death and Survival Aboard the Morro Castle.

Whitcraft said the book focuses on Beach Haven between 1880 and 1940. Most of the photos were taken in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

“The photo collection features scenes from the boardwalk, the hotels, people fishing, children playing on the beach,” said Whitcraft, founder and president of the New Jersey Maritime Museum in Beach Haven.

“We start out with the hotels and then the many families who came to the hotels and then later built homes,” Coyle explained. “But we also talk about the fire company and the first aid squad, groups that were the backbone of the community.”

Coyle said that while Beach Haven is prominently mentioned in various books on Island history, this is the first volume devoted exclusively to the borough’s past.

“I first came to Beach Haven in the 1950s, and I remember riding my bike as a child, fascinated by the old Victorian homes,” she said. “But history isn’t history unless it’s shared, which is why it is so important to write about it and have people appreciate the past.”

To register for the program, call the branch at 609-494-2480. E.E.

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