Picture of the Day No. 16 “A Moment In Time” – 1938 – Stone Harbor, N. J.

No. 16 

It’s almost as if this first Stone Harbor photo can speak for itself!  What do you think, and if it could speak, what does this photo say to you?

Nicely framed and taken at the covered pavilion located at 96th Street and the beach, this photo captures a relaxing moment for two people overlooking and enjoying the Stone Harbor beach on a summer day in 1938.

Aside from the tranquility of this scene, there are a couple of notable features worth mentioning in this north-facing image.  In addition to the obvious promenade or wooden boardwalk skirting the water’s edge, you should be able to see the manned life guard stand in the near distance just about a block away.  In addition, further in the distance in the upper left of this photo is a building with a cupola.  That two-story structure located at 89th Street was called “The Nautilus” and was built around 1930 and over the years served as an apartment house.  According to Stone Harbor Museum historian Jim Talone, Diller and Fisher Realtors rented these apartments in the early 1930s for $100 to $180 a month.  Rents for a half season went for $325 and up.  It was advertised that all apartments accommodated 6 persons and all units faced the ocean.  Moreover, the building was most convenient because it was actually situated on the boardwalk, was easily accessible to the beach and the ocean and was in reasonable walking distance along the boardwalk to the 96th Street business and shopping area.  “The Nautilus” also became a popular place because it was affordable and offered great views of the beach as well.

This second image is a close-up view of “The Nautilus”sporting its distinctive cupola.  As you can readily see the cupola appears as a small structure built on top of the roof to serve as an observation post overlooking the expansive views of the beach and the ocean.  Although the apartment house did survive the Great Atlantic Storm of 1944, its cupola did not.  Also lost at that same time was Stone Harbor’s entire boardwalk and fishing pier which resulted in a pronounced change causing a significant visual impact on the resort’s shoreline.  The years left for “The Nautilus” are now numbered and in 18 more years, it too would disappear from the scene.

Finally the last image shown here depicts a rather isolated “Nautilus” apartment building around the late 1950s.  Obviously, the boardwalk is long gone and this structure offers a stark reminder of another time as it certainly stands out alone on the expanse of the Stone Harbor beach.  What is new is the wrap-around porch or deck with its distinctive “port-holes” resembling that of a ship or sailing vessel.  Then just a few years later, the Ash Wednesday Storm of 1962 decimated the entire building, washed it off its pilings and the structure was no more.