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

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Some Early 1960's New Gretna Businesses

This is the last in a series of Blog entries from the September 4, 1960 "2nd Annual Power Boat Regetta Souvenir Program". 

A few New Gretna businesses placed ads in the booklet. I thought some of you out in the Blog-O-Sphere might enjoy seeing the ads with an accompanying photo from my files. I added a few questions to test the memories of old New Gretna-ites who might be reading this blog. 

Eddie's Market in downtown New Gretna.

What present day business is located in the old Eddie's Market building?

Belk's Esso Station in background of the 1976 Bicentennial Parade

What business was and still is across the street from the old Esso Station?

Who can remember Helen and John's last name?

The New Gretna House in the 1960's

The Rustic Inn was built by Frank Cramer and had many owners over the years. Can anyone name some of these owners, other than Frank Cramer and Frieda Shedaker?

 The Soroccos and Dot Cramer (left)

Does anyone know the Sorocco's first names and where they lived in New Gretna? Who was Dot Cramer?

What present day business is on the location of Sorocco's Luncheonette?

Capt. LaRue Mazelle

What was the name of LaRue's party boat?

Well, that ends our little Power Boat Souvenir Program New Gretna business tour and quiz. I hope it brought back some pleasant memories. Check back for answers to the above questions.

Pete S

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Bass River Marina Comes To Town

Last week we talked about garvey racing sponsored by the Tuckerton Fire Company and the September 4, 1960 "2nd Annual Power Boat Regetta" Souvenir Program.

Throughout the booklet, local businesses placed ads to support the garvey races and to solicit business. One of these ads from a New Gretna start up business caught my attention.

It appears that the Bass River Marina was under construction in the fall of 1960 with plans to develop a "Boatmen's Paradise" that would be "The Finest Marina on the East Coast". They sure were lofty goals! I'll leave it up to those out in the Blog-O-Sphere who were witnesses to the marina's birth to judge whether those goals were met.

A subsequent ad from a 1963 New Gretna Minstrel Show program shows that the marina, indeed, may have met their high expectations. They offered a wide variety of services to boat enthusiasts, some of which were not generally available in the area at that time. 

It's hard to believe that the early 1960's were fifty years ago. Somehow, it seems like only yesterday. The following photo was taken in the mid 1960's along Rt. 9 in New Gretna. The Bass River Marina building is on the left, looking very much as it is today. Some wooden boats were displayed for sale along Rt. 9 which was concrete. The Garden State Parkway bridge, crossing over Rt. 9, is in the rear.

The Bass River Marina on Rt. 9 in New Gretna

The next photo, taken from a slightly longer distance from the marina shows additional boats for sale. The sign across from the marina announces "Custards Last Stand". This would be an earlier version of today's Patio Drive In which still sells custard.

The Bass River Marina on Rt. 9 in New Gretna

The last three photos of the marina were taken in the mid 1960's. Other than the older style of and the preponderance of wooden boats, the marina's moorings, like the Rt. 9 building, look pretty much as they do today. The Great John Mathis house, a bit of history that no longer exists, can be seen in the background if you look closely.

The marina with the Great John Mathis house
in the background just right of center. 

Another view of the marina with the Great John Mathis
house in the background to the right.

A good view of the floating docks

That ends our 1960's tour of the Bass River Marina. Any information those out in the Blog-O-Sphere may have about the marina or the Great John Mathis house during the 1960's would be appreciated.

Pete S

Sunday, September 8, 2013

J. Mason Price and the 1960 2nd Annual Power Boat Regatta Souvenir Booklet

The Tuckerton Seaport sponsored its annual wooden boat show this past weekend. Unfortunately, I had other commitments, so I was unable to attend. 

I did; however, stumble across an interesting April 4, 2010 Atlantic City Press article about the "Wasp", a 1960's racing garvey that was being rebuilt by Ron Spodofora at the Tuckerton Seaport.

Ron Spodofora looking over the "Wasp"
at the Tuckerton Seaport
(Atlantic City Press Photo)

(Atlantic City Press Photo)

The "Wasp" was built in 1960 by J. Mason Price, considered by many to be the father of garvey racing in our area. Ever resourceful, Mason used a beer keg for the "Wasp's" gas tank. One wonders who had the pleasure of emptying the keg so that it could be used in the "Wasp's" construction.

J. Mason Price aboard the "Wasp"
(Atlantic City Press Photo)

Coincidentally, I was visiting with Shirley Whealton, my good history buddy, just before the weekend. I always enjoy our visits, as she often surprises me with a "history goody" to scan for my collection. Again, she didn't disappoint. She loaned me a 1960 souvenir booklet for the "2nd Annual Power Boat Regatta" sponsored by the Tuckerton Fire Company that she got from her brother, Malcolm Burd, who was a member of the Tuckerton Fire Company that year.

I eagerly looked through the booklet for a mention of J. Mason Price and the "Wasp". Sure enough, there was Mason Price, Sr. mentioned with a G-24 entry. While the "Wasp" was not specifically named as his boat for the race, the Atlantic City Press photo of Mason on the "Wasp" clearly shows the "Wasp's" official number as G-24. So, it appears that Mason was racing the "Wasp" that day!

The follow was the racing schedule for the day.

The racing program also included a list of flag signals used by the racing officials so that the spectators could better understand what was going on during the races. They remind me of today's NASCAR races.

It would be interesting to know if Mason won his race that day. Perhaps there is someone out in the Blog-O-Sphere who might remember. If so, let's hear from you. I would also like to hear from anyone who remembers attending the Tuckerton garvey races in the 1960's.

Pete S

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Boardwalk Empire, New Gretna and the E. Kirk Loveland Connection

The new television season will be starting soon, and Boardwalk Empire will be continuing into its third season. 

It's a popular show in the New Gretna area as it deals with nearby Atlantic City around prohibition times. Many New Gretna families moved to Atlantic City to take advantage of the variety of economic opportunities that were not available in little old New Gretna, so it is not surprising that there are ties between Boardwalk Empire characters and New Gretna families.

I came across an interesting obituary for E. Kirk Loveland the other day and couldn't help thinking about Boardwalk Empire

Kirk was born in New Gretna and moved to Atlantic City where he became a successful entrepreneur. The obituary points out a Boardwalk Empire connection, if the reader is savvy enough to notice. Normally, I would point out the connection, but I thought it would be fun to see if anyone out in the Blog-O-Sphere can find it.

E. Kirk Loveland
Photo courtesy of Sara Mathis Guertler

E. Kirk Loveland tombstone
in Hillside Cemetery, New Gretna
Photo by Pete Stemmer

Tuckerton Beacon - September 3, 1936

E. Kirk Loveland's summer home on the corner of Amasa Landing
Road and Rt 9 in New Gretna where the wake was held.
Photo courtesy of Sara Mathis Guertler

Now that you've read the obituary, can you point out the connection between E. Kirk Loveland and Boardwalk Empire? If you can, let's hear from you.

Pete S