Long Branch, NJ
Along the Shore
GATEWAY TO THE JERSEY SHORE
VIRTUAL NJ SHORE TOUR
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
VIRTUAL JERSEY SHORE MALL
POINTS OF INTEREST
TOP TEN LISTS
PARKS ALONG THE SHORE
ATTENTION BUSINESS OWNERS!
REAL ESTATE AND RENTALS
Point Pleasant Beach
Island Beach State Park
Little Egg Harbor
Sea Isle City
BACK TO MAIN PAGE
Long Branch, one of the largest cities on the Jersey Shore, was one of the most earliest and glamorous resorts in the country from the 1860's to the First World War. The resorts first clientele originally came from Philadelphia, then from New York after the the Civil War. Although Mrs. Lincoln visited in 1861, It was President Grant's first visit in 1869 that gave Long Branch its cachet. Grant visited every summer he was President and many summers after that. In 1870, a racetrack opened and casinos soon thereafter, and during the 1880's and 1890's, the communities reputation as a fashionable place was at it's height. |
Other famous people who visited Long Branch include the Astors, Fiskes, Goulds, Biddles, and Drexels, high liver Diamond Jim Brady, General Winfield Scott,, actors Edwin Booth, Lillie Langtry, and Lillian Russell, painter Winslow Homer, and writers Bret Harte and Robert Louis Stevenson. Beside Grant, seven other Presidents also visited Long Branch, including Chester A. Arthur, Rutherford Hayes, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, Woodrow Wilson and James Garfield. Garfield was a frequent visitor, and after an attempt on his life he was brought here in the hope the sea air would help him recover. In fact, a half-mile railroad spur from the main line to a cottage was built so his journey could be more comfortable.
Long Branch's era of splendor lasted only until the early 1920's, and its decline as a major seashore resort was gradual but steady. Eventually, laws laws forbidding gambling stopped the flow of money on the card and dice tables which in turn, stopped the rich and famous from visiting the town in the Summer. Storms eroded it's beaches and other communities along the Jersey shore were more attractive to summer visitors. By the late 1960's, elements of organized crime allegedly settled into town and some gangland murders seriously tarnished the resorts image. Urban blight, in the form of of run-down buildings and shabby streets, along with problems associated with too many people on welfare tarnished its image even further. Long Branch once boasted the longest pier on the Jersey coast, which was built in 1902, from which visitors could fish all day long, all year round, However, the pier burned down in the 1980's.
LONG BRANCH TODAY
Despite these problems, Long Branch has survived the years as a resort town. Families from Northern New Jersey and New York still visit the community, people still go to the beach to swim and sun, and the boardwalk still attracts crowds to the beachfront at night. Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park, a 33 -acre county park has facilities for swimming, boating, fishing and picnicking. High-rise hotels and condominiums have replaced some summer bungalows and a stretch of the wooden boardwalk has been replaced by a cement promenade.
GSP to Exit 105. Route 36 East into Long Branch.
Developed by ©New Jersey MetroNET, Inc.|
PO Box 155, Parlin, NJ 08859-0155
TEL: 732-316-1095 * FAX: 732-316-1195
REVISED: January 30, 2000
New Jersey MetroNET, Inc. Policy Statement