Douglas Marsden Jr. 1980's
Park in its period of decline from about 1984-1988.
Every summer my family would visit my grandparents who had a
house on Shark River. And my sister and I would literally beg
my parents to take us over to Asbury
Park to go on the Ferris Wheel or to the carousel or
the other miscellaneous rides. My Personal favorite memory is
my first trip through the Asbury Park Circus Fun House. That
was probably round 1988 or 87, my last trip there. I remember
my dad commenting how this place would be gone within the next
few years and how we would never come back, sure enough he was
right it was gone in the next 3 years. 2 Years ago, my friends
and I visited the aging Asbury Boardwalk, and I was distressed
at the conditions of the once majestic boardwalk. My friends
had never been to Asbury while it was still opened up so I
pointed out all the former highlights. When I look at the
photos of the desolate boardwalk now I try not to focus on the
bad points but rather I see an area still loaded with promise.
I can see a bustling boardwalk, rides and amusements to rival
seaside. I can see people from all races, creeds, and walks of
life bringing their children there to experience the fun and
beauty of this historic place on the Coast
Summer night on the Boardwalk - Rick
family vacationed in Ocean Grove from at least 1955 when I
was born until I was 16 or 17 years old. Every night
after a long day on the South End beach we would walk up to
Asbury to go on the rides and walk through the shops.
There are so many things I remember! The gold ring on
the merry-go-round in the Palace, the grouchy old man who
ran the push arm machines in the Palace. They were
enclosed in glass so you could see the prizes spinning round
and round. We would put our fingerprints all over the
glass just to rile him up. Also in the Palace was the
Tilt-a-Whirl, The Funhouse, the Rock-o-Plane, the big Ferris
wheel and of course Ski Ball. In later years the put
up the self propelled cage ride by the lake where the little
motor boats were. After the Palace we would go back
out on the Boardwalk and go up as far as Convention Hall.
Once past Convention Hall there was only one or two more
shops and then deserted Boardwalk. We would head back
home, maybe grab a piece of taffy or a Waffle and Ice Cream.
Just before you got back to OG there was a little nook where
you could buy what seemed like any flavor soda in the world
for a nickel. It was set up like an automat with each
flavor behind its own door. Remember the guy who drew
portraits in a little building in front of the North End
Hotel? (Zad or Zack?) I remember the Casino
being on fire and watching it burn from the beach.
I’d love to hear from any one with more memories. Thanks,
Kingsley Arms Hotel
I remember Asbury when it was
alive. I owned the Kingsley Arms Hotel for two years and lived
in Asbury for that time. It was the an amazing two years.