How to add a posting below . . .

To add a new posting, send an email to me at with a comment, question, story, photo, observation, etc. It will be posted below, shortly after the email is received. To comment on an existing posting, click on the "comments" command below the posting and type your comment. Your comment will show up immediately.   Pete Stemmer

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Gatling Gun Mystery

The Tuckerton Beacon hosted a column called "Out Of The Past" in the 1930's and 1940s. It was a reprint of news from early Beacons and is a valuable source of information. 

Out Of The Past Mast Head
The Beacon started publication in the late 1880's; however, complete copies of the Beacon are only available from 1916 to the present. It seems that the Beacon Office threw out their copies of the older editions, making the "Out of The Past" columns the only source of pre 1916 area news.

I am in the process of collecting, scanning, and compiling as many "Out Of The Past" columns as I can locate. I have currently collected 411 columns dating from 1890 through 1915. Most are from 1885 through 1909. WhiIe these columns only represent a tiny fraction of the news printed in the original Beacon editions, they are an interesting and valuable resource.  

As I was scanning a June 1, 1898 "Out Of The Past" column, a particular item caught my attention.

Gatling guns were an early form of machine gun. I remember reading that they created great carnage in the Civil War. 

Civil War era Gatling gun

I got to thinking "Why in the world would the Beach Haven Yacht Club place a Gatling gun on catboats out of Beach Haven?" and "Why would it be necessary to defend the harbor which such a deadly weapon?" 

We were involved in the Spanish American War at this time, but what interest would Spain have in the waters around Beach Haven? Were the Gatling guns an overreaction to war time hysteria or is there another explanation? What say you out in the Blog-O-Sphere?

Pete S

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

May all of you out in the Blog-O-Sphere have a Happy and Blessed Thansgiving.

The Old

The New

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

1969 Halloween Parade- Tuckerton Style

Halloween seems to be getting to be a bigger and bigger holiday each year with many towns holding elaborate Halloween parades. 

I was reading an old Tuckerton Chronicle the other day and came across some photos of the prize winners in the 1969 Tuckerton Halloween Parade and thought I would share them with you. You can tell that the costumes were homemade and quite imaginative. No store bought outfits in those days! I was surprised that no one was dressed as a clam, but I suppose that Jim McAnney was a little too old to participate in the parade that year. My favorite is the octopus in the pre-school to 2nd grade division.

The photos were especially interesting to me as I noticed that Connie Sue Briggs, the daughter of Phyllis and Sam Briggs who regularly read and contribute to the Blog, won second prize in the 3rd - 4th grade division. Way to go Briggs family!

Let me know if the photos bring back any found Halloween memories from your childhood.

Pete S

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Rt. 9 Barbershop Info From Clif Brown

Donald Maxwell provided a wealth of information regarding Alice Adams Weber's photo of the old barbershop near the corner of South Maple Avenue which was featured on last Tuesday's Blog. Donald's memory is unbelievable; however, he couldn't recall the name of the couple who lived in the old barbershop building after WWII, only that the husband was a heavy smoker.

The old barbershop on Rt. 9

Well, Clif Brown, who also has a remarkable memory was able to fill in the name of the couple and provided an interesting story that etched the couple's name in Clif's memory some 64 years ago. You could say that it's literally no accident that Clif recalls the couple's names. Read on in Clif's email message below and you will see why.

Pete S

Dear Pete:

Hope I can provide some additional information regarding the New Gretna Barber Shop (NGBS). Without Don Maxwell’s story my mind would have been a complete blank. The Model/year of that Pontiac Joyce is sitting on would have also helped. I had to go into the old shoebox to locate a clipping from which I was able to “ID” s folks who lived there, I think, a little better than remembering his cough. Looking back to that time it proves that New Gretna could not support a bank and two barber shops.

For starters, John and Alice Jarvis were the non-sociable couple who occupied the New Gretna Barber Shop around 1948 plus or minus 3 years. John had that cough, probably caused from working as a wheelwright in a foundry located in Philadelphia. 

I met them by accident, September 18,1948. It was a bright, cloudless moonlit night. The attached Tuckerton Beacon clipping explains it all. Norman Cramer was also a passenger in my vehicle. Neither he nor I or John Jarvis were injured.

Clif Brown (l) and Bob Dawson at the Tuckerton Race Track in  1951.
(Photo courtesy of Clif Brown)

In the late 50’s the old barbershop building was occupied by Bert and Doris who were from Absecon. Doris worked as a bartender in the Rustic Inn when it was operated by Frieda (Loveland) Shedaker. Bert was a brother to Irene Loveland's husband. Doris later worked as a bartender for “Pollock Ann’s” tavern located on the White Horse Pike, Absecon.

Regards – Clif Brown

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Aunt Alice and the Old Barbershop

The other day Steve Eichinger, my history buddy, stopped by to show me a few old Bridgeport and New Gretna photos that he had come across in an old album belonging to his Aunt Alice Adams Weber. Aunt Alice was one of the few old timers who was interested in the history of our area and collected data and old photos which she passed on to Steve.

Alice Adams Weber spent many hours collecting local history and genealogy data which she passed on to her nephew, Steve Eichinger. (Photo courtesy of Steve Eichinger)

Steve Eichinger carries on his Aunt Alice's love of area history and genealogy. (Photo by Pete Stemmer)

I had a good time going through the photos in Alice's old photo album with Steve. He really paid attention to his aunt when he was a child, as he remembered quite a bid about many of the old photos and how they tied in to his family.

One of the photos in Aunt Alice's album caught my attention - the one of the old barbershop on Rt. 9 in the vicinity of the present day New Gretna Munchies deli. I've heard about the old barbershop but had never seen a photo of it.

The photo was taken from the front yard of Curtis Maxwell's house and features Joyce Maxwell, Curtis and Dorothy Maxwell's daughter, and Donald Maxwell's sister.

The focal point of the photo was Joyce Maxwell sitting on the hood of a car parked in front of the Maxwell family house. As luck would have it, the old barbershop can be clearly seen across Rt. 9 in the background. South Maple Avenue, called Eel Street by the locals in the old days, would be to the right of the barbershop.

Joyce Maxwell with the old barbershop building in the background.

I didn't know much about the old barbershop, so I emailed Don Maxwell and ask him about his memories of the old building that has been long torn down. As usual, Don did not disappoint. His reply may be found below.

Memories of the old Route 9 Barber Shop
by Donald Maxwell

The old barber shop started out as a gas station. The property was owned by the Aubor family in Green Bank. They had one daughter, Dolly Aubor, who was a school teacher in the Green Bank school system. She was single all her life, a typical dedicated old maid school teacher. She inherited the property and owned it until the Tuckerton Bank bought it and built a satellite or New Gretna Branch on the property. She was always at the local card parties and hobnobbed with the local school teachers at card parties, PTA meetings etc.

Sometime in the late 40's just before the war, the Aubors had the small building built, and it was a two pump gas station. They leased it to a Robert Steelman from the Linwood-Somers Point area. He ran it for a couple of years until WW2 started and gas got scarse and it closed up.

An Italian barber named Frank Azzorina rented or leased it during the war. He had a barber shop there all during the war. After the war he and his wife gave it up and moved away and it became vacant. They rented Benny and Elaine Allen's home on Adams Avenue, until Benny came home from the war.

Ben and Elaine Allen in front of their Adams Avenue home.
(Photo courtesy of Ben & Elaine Allen)

I remember my brother Jack, as a boy, set some steel traps under the vacant building to catch a fox and instead caught a skunk. He got me to help him to get the skunk out and it sprayed him right in the face and eyes. There was quite a scene when we got home and mom got on us. She finally washed his eyes out with something or other.

Jack Maxwell, a few years before his skunk hunting days.
(Photo courtesy of Donald Maxwell)

After the war a couple of guys rented it for awhile to live there. After that a man and his wife lived there for a number of years. I can't remember their names, as he worked outside of the community and they didn't socialize with the towns people. I remember you could hear him coughing as he was a heavy cigarette smoker. I don't remember anyone else living there, as I moved out and got married and lost touch with the area.

Don Maxwell

Should Donald's account of the old barber shop evoke memories from anyone out in the Blog-O-Sphere, I would appreciate hearing from you.

Pete S