After a short delay due to an internet service lapse, here’s part two of the set. The shortest of the three, look for the expansive final part this Thursday.
This week, courtesy its much appreciated contribution by Harriet Gabel and her daughter, Melissa Morse, the Beachwood Historical Alliance will be posting the original New York Tribune Beachwood Subscription/Lot Promotion booklet in its entirety.
This booklet, published in November 1914 by B. C. Mayo as the head of the New York Tribune Promotion Department, can be seen as the source document for how Beachwood itself came to be.
Check back Wednesday for the first installment of three.
From the pages of his own 1924 Beachwood Directory and Who’s Who, here is what William Mill Butler wrote about original residents Mr. and Mrs. Henry S. Gamp. This particular entry has been enhanced by multimedia not included in the original directory, having been provided this week by the Gamps’ great-granddaughter, a current resident of the borough.
Click on all the embedded links for a broader understanding of their lives and background:
Gamp, Henry S., south corner Barnegat Boulevard and Spring St., Block D-25.
Born in New York City, 1867. Business, investments, 305 Broadway, New York.
Wife, Mrs. Marie Evelyn Gamp; children, all married, Stephan Henry Gamp, Louis Frederick Gamp, Mr. Carrie Katherine Nalen and Mrs. Marie Evelyn Campbell. President and treasurer The Margam Company; president Harclip Realty Corporation; member Bronx Chamber of Commerce, Dirigo Lodge No. 30, F. and A.M., Bronx County Yacht Club, and St. Paul’s Evangelical Reformed Church, Bronx, New York.
Mr. and Mrs. Gamp are both members of the Beachwood Property Owners’ Association.
Today we introduce the first installment of Time Capsule, a regular feature focused on a ‘This Week in Beachwood History” look at the borough. Enjoy!
A Borough Remembers Founder, Bertram Chapman Mayo
With the end of World War I a memory nearly two years old and returning soldiers ushering in a civilian production boom across a nation ready to forget the bloody past and live for the moment, the Roaring Twenties were just kicking into gear by the summer of 1920, Beachwood’s sixth as a Jersey Shore resort enclave. By then, many residents were acquainted with or held long, close friendships to community founder B.C. Mayo of the New York Tribune. As a result, the news coming up from Asheville, North Carolina in mid-July cast a pall over the otherwise enjoyable Saturday evening borough hall dances, moonlight excursions, sailboat races, cake sales, and costume parties.
From William Mill Butler’s “Beachwood Directory and Who’s Who 1924″:
“…A great shock was caused by the receipt of news that [Bertram] C. Mayo, founder of Beachwood, had died at Asheville, N.C., on Monday, July 12th, at the age of 55. He left a wife and one son, Geoffrey G. Mayo.”
Little mention was given of his passing beyond a curt, two-line obituary in the Tribune, that paper which once hired Mayo to run its newspaper subscription promotion that gave start to what would become our borough. According to the Asheville death certificate, the cause of death was pulmonary tuberculosis, which is, according to the New York Times, “a contagious bacterial infection that mainly involves the lungs, but may spread to other organs.”
It was less than a month after his death that borough residents gathered in the Auditorium, then borough hall, to remember Beachwood’s original pioneering spirit. Again, Butler’s 1924 directory:
“Impressive memorial services were held at Borough Hall, August 8th, in honor of Bertram C. Mayo, founder of Beachwood, whose death has been previously announced. The hall was crowded with those who desired to show their love and respect for the man whose brains and energy had made Beachwood possible.
“The exercises were opened with prayer by Rev. M.L. Stimson, and presided over by Mayor Senior, who, in his introductory remarks, spoke feelingly of Mr. Mayo and gave some personal experiences illustrating the man’s fine character. On one occasion the conversation turned on his life-work when Mr. Mayo asked: “Do you know why Beachwood is Beachwood? Because of its natural beauty and advantages? That is only partly true.” Then he told of his early life in Boston when he was struggling to make his way, and how he had one pleasure, that of visiting the suburbs with his family on the trolleys on holidays. He then resolved that if it should ever be in his power he would try to provide suburban homes and recreation for the people at a low cost. The result, in after years, was a famous resort near Los Angeles; another near Chicago, then Beachwood, and, still, later, Brown’s Mills. These exacting efforts, however, undermined his health and he died at the early age of 55 years.
“Other speakers were A. D. Nickerson, who became acquainted with Mr. Mayo while in school in Massachusetts, and was afterward associated with him in laying out and developing Beachwood; Commissioner Charles H. Haring; R.E. Maxfield, treasurer of The New York Tribune; Ex-Judge James A. Butler, O. Frederick Rost, president of the Beachwood Property Owners’ Association, and William Mill Butler.
“The latter offered a memorial tribute which was unanimously adopted and ordered to be sent to Mrs. Mayo and her family as the expression of the meeting. The addresses were interspersed with appropriate selections by a quartette consisting of Mrs. J. Octavec, Mrs. Mildred T. Perrine Barton, Robert A. Decker, and Chester Zucker. The closing prayer was made by Rev. Father J. A. Linnane, of Toms River, who emphasized the beautiful thought that to be enshrined in the hearts of a community is not to die.”
And the memorial adopted at this meeting [Warning - lengthy]:
1865 IN MEMORIAM 1920
We, the people of Beachwood, coming together as one large family, in Borough Hall, on this evening of Sunday, August 8, 1920, desire to do honor to the memory of Bertram C. Mayo; to place on record our admiration, appreciation and respect for the man whose love for humanity, far-seeing vision, and tireless energy made Beachwood possible. We wish to tender to his wife and other surviving relatives our sympathy and conolence upon his all too early going hence from this world which he strove to make more beautiful and which needed him so much.
We rejoice in his labors in bringing into existence and building up pleasant, healthful attractive communities which shine like gems of purest ray serene, from the Atlantic to the Pacific ocean, and which will always constitute his best and truest monument. Born in Boston, at the close of the Civil War, of the earliest Pilgrim stock; achieving success and comparative affluence through his own honorable efforts, it was (as pointed out this evening by some of those who were in his confidence) his ambition to do good to others and especially to enable as many city dwellers as possible to enjoy the pleasures and benefits of country life, because he became convinced how desirable this is, and how difficult for many persons of moderate means to achieve such a laudable aim for themselves and their families. He, therefore, applied himself, with the assistance of great daily newspapers in various parts of the country, to open up desirable tracts of land, at a very low cost, to inspire the building of bungalows, and to make the wilderness bloom and resound to the sweet and merry laughter of children.
In this noble work he was a benefactor to the human race, and thousands in Beachwood and other similar summer resorts, already rise up and called him blessed. Bearing uncomplainingly, for years, bodily infirmities which would have utterly discouraged others, he worked for our welfare unceasingly. He has gone to his reward in his Father’s House of Many Mansions, and to use his memory will always remain precious.
The following fall, 1921, Mayo’s only son and executor of his will, Geoffrey, came to Beachwood and Brown’s Mills from his Los Angeles home to “arrange with agents to sell the Mayo holdings in Beachwood, which included desirable lots between Atlantic City Boulevard and the water front.”
A severe thunderstorm, backed by tornado and flash flood warnings, struck the borough and surrounding area late this afternoon.
Producing gusts of winds estimated at up to 50mph with scattershot bolts of lighting and driving rain, the storm downed branches and trees, knocked out utility lines, ripped out porch screens, threw lawn furniture and garbage bins across lawns and streets, and caused minor flooding on borough roadways and along the beachfront.
Emergency services sprang into immediate action, with fire sirens sounding mere moments after the storm erupted.
Residents across the region also whipped into action, calling children in, closing windows and doors, locking screens and tuning in to their radios while, outside, trees bent to unnatural angles, bushes flapped back and forth, and rain shot out from every direction on the compass.
A short while later, it was all over, but many were unsure whether it was merely a small break.
Don Wiesner, a longtime member of the Beachwood Volunteer Fire Company, stood directing traffic at the intersection of Beachwood Boulevard and Nautilus Avenue. Behind him, the boulevard was blocked off to Oak Street, the result of two large trees blown over across the road. He said they had taken down adjacent power and communication lines, resulting in interrupted service for some residents.
Farther up the road, Fire Chief David Petracca and assorted fire company members were seen patrolling the area of another downed tree, this one in the backyard of a resident on parallel Seaman Avenue, on the same block as the firehouse.
Many other residents left their homes to walk, bike or drive to the areas of damage, and before long a crowd gathered at the intersection of Oak Street and Beachwood Boulevard, where they asked one another about who had lost power, or cable, or telephone, or all three. Adding to the sense of mild and unexpected excitement, drivers in slow moving cars craned their necks to get a good look at the closed road and fallen trees.
On the northern side of the borough, near the waterfront, downed large branches were seen lying across the roadways at Forepeak Avenue between Harpoon and Larboard, and at Beacon Avenue almost directly across from the beach entrance next to the historic Nickerson home. Police Chief William Cairns surveyed the Beacon Avenue site with an unidentified public works employee after having checked the boats docked along the water at the community center.
Directly on the waterfront, an anchored sailboat off Windy Cove displayed a torn sail cover, while the area immediately behind the bulkheads was flooded. Bobbing in the water of the cove was some debris, including the long wooden “No Diving” sign from the Beachwood Beach swimming dock. The beach itself was partially flooded.
Nearby, the Pine Beach Borough waterfront appeared largely unscathed while work was seen ongoing behind emergency personnel and fire trucks on East Bayside Avenue in Ocean Gate and at the intersection of Washington and Main streets in downtown Toms River. Roads were closed and vehicles detoured in both cases. The storm also appeared to have damaged one of the long line radio antennas behind the now-defunct AT&T ship-to-shore radio station at Good Luck Point in Ocean Gate.
In all, the fast-moving storm was met locally with an equally rapid response by borough emergency crews and the Beachwood Public Works. Before long, the Beachwood First Aid Company ambulances were garaged, the orange cones disappeared and the buzz of of chainsaws ceased, leaving only the summer night- its chirping crickets, rustling wind, and cooler temperature – to pass softly into the borough.