No. 59 – A snapshot from the past!
This brief account relates to a circa 1911 photo retrieved from the Stone Harbor Museum archives and the identical image as it is also portrayed on a published vintage Stone Harbor post card of that same era.
It’s rather apparent that the casual moment captured in this photo reveals a woman, perhaps the mother or grandmother, standing by the water’s edge holding her umbrella and talking with 2 children. One can only ponder just what was being said in the moment of that conversational exchange. Notice also the 2 girls are wearing some sort of footwear or shoes so just maybe they were not attired with actual swimwear or bathing suits and were rather wearing beach clothing only. What do you think?
In the distant background you will notice several features including the wide beach and the bathing pavilion with its distinctive cupola.
Next, this non-postally used post card features the same scene as shown and discussed earlier. An added element here includes a somewhat lengthy descriptive caption on the face of this post card. The caption reads as follows: “The beach at Stone Harbor, N. J. regarded as the most perfect beach on the Atlantic Coast: 270 feet between high and low water, over 7 miles long, hard packed sand formation and offering the safest and most enjoyable bathing and automobiling”.
Think about the fact that back in the decade of the 1910s, automobiles were permitted to be on the broad Stone Harbor beach and were even allowed to participate in sanctioned or authorized race events on the beach. There were even motorcycle races that from time to time were conducted on the beach and some vintage Stone Harbor post cards will depict and confirm that as well. Today, all unauthorized vehicles are prohibited on the Stone Harbor beaches but apparently there are still 19 New Jersey beaches that allow vehicles on a beach but only with a permit and obviously only at certain times of the year or off-season.