Harvey Cedars History Presentation on July 25

Jul 17, 2019

Shortly before Christmas 1894, a group of men met in a cottage on the ocean side of the Harvey Cedars Hotel, now the Bible Conference, and seceded from Union Township (now Barnegat Township), forming the borough of Harvey Cedars. This and many more historical highlights will be pointed out when noted author/historian and longtime Harvey Cedars resident Margaret Thomas Buchholz  presents the “Harvey Cedars Picture Show” on Thursday, July 25, at 7:30 p.m. at the High Point Firehouse on West 80th Street. The PowerPoint presentation will show how the borough has changed over the years.

Buchholz will relate how 10 years earlier, a map had been drawn of High Point between Sussex and 87th streets, dividing 150 acres of dunes and marshland into about a thousand 25- by 50-foot lots. The map anticipated filling Kinsey Cove and Creek and laying an Ocean Avenue 450 feet east of Long Beach Boulevard, with a row of oceanfront lots beyond. The unsigned map separates the community into two parcels: shortly thereafter J.B. Kinsey owned the hundred acres to the north, and Isaac Lee fifty acres to the south.

“By the first decade of this century about a dozen cottages clustered in the sand east of Kinsey’s new yacht club on the bay at 78th Street, where there was also a public dock,” she said. “A train track bisected the town; narrow boardwalks lay over sandy trails to houses on 77th Street.”

In the 1920s, the town grew slowly and steadily.

“In 1922 you could buy a bayfront lot for $900, transport lumber over the new causeway and, with a few friends or one of Kinsey’s carpenters, put up a summer house for a couple hundred dollars,” she related. “You dug a cesspool, sank a well and moved in.”

She said in the post-war slow-boom years, about 100 new homes were completed every three or four years.

“But Harvey Cedars was still a family resort of a size in which everyone knew everyone else, even in the summer,” Buchholz related. “The town budgeted funds for three lifeguards. The yacht club expanded and organized sailboat races. Kinsey’s barn was now a tavern. Two general stores, two real estate agents, one boat yard and a candy and toy shop on the front porch of Youngmans’ porch (later The Ship’s Wheel) made up the business district. Fishermen could rent a rowboat from Al Houghton, and friends could still gather on the beach and build a fire – if flies and mosquitos weren’t blown over to the Island by the west wind.”

Buchholz said that after 1962, Harvey Cedars began to change as large tracts were sold off lot by lot; bayside land was filled and developed; and boxy duplexes perched on pilings lined the newer streets. Sewers were installed and the Boulevard was widened.

“Property values escalated beyond the wildest imagination of residents,” she said. “Harvey Cedars was in the fast lane.”

And this barely scratches the surface of the town’s story.

For information on other planned programs and activities, call the Harvey Cedars Activities Committee at 609-361-7990. E.E..

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