Beach Haven History Talk at Library June 27

Jun 20, 2018

Island residents Deborah C. Whicraft and Gretchen Coyle will discuss and sign copies of their Beach Haven history book on Wednesday, June 27, 10:30 a.m. at the Beach Haven Public Library. Released this month, the book is part of the Images of America series by Arcadia Publishing.

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

“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. “Most of the photos were taken in the late 1800s and early 1900s.”

She said the book focuses on Beach Haven between 1880 and 1940.

“Beach Haven is very rich in history,” she said. ”We start out with the hotels and then the many families who came to the hotels and then later built homes. 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 will be 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.”

The authors said more book signings and talks will be scheduled, and dates will be posted on the museum website at njmm.org. For information, call the library at 609-492-7081. —E.E.

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