LOST AMUSEMENT PARKS
OF THE JERSEY SHORE
Presenter: Rick Geffken
The Jersey Shore has always attracted people seeking relief from summer heat and humidity. Long before Europeans came here, the native Lenape clammed, fished, and played games on the beach and in the surf. These original people could scarcely have imagined that, by the end of the 19th century, the 120-mile-long coastline of New Jersey would be dotted with amusement parks featuring gentle kiddie car rides, terrifying roller coasters, merry-go-rounds, and fast food emporiums. James Bradley in Asbury Park and William Sandlass Jr. in Highland Beach created mass entertainment for hundreds of thousands of people. Their seaside recreation centers, along with those in Long Branch, Bradley Beach, Pleasure Bay, and others, endured for years but are just fond and fading memories today.
Authors Rick Geffken and George Severini bring together rarely seen images from the Library of Congress, local historical societies, and private collections to document how the Jersey Shore became the most famous vacation and recreational destination in the coastal United States