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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

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