Riverfront Tour - 42 Sites, One Mile
more to come soon
22 Central Avenue - Davis Drugstore - "The Deli"
This commercial building was originally the Davis Drugstore run by
Dr. Davis of Camden in the late 1880's. In 1923, it became Browne's
Bakery, selling fancy baked goods. A kitchen was added to the back that
was eventually transformed into living quarters. In the 1940's it became a
Deli and has remained so. As was the fashion, little ornamentation was used
on this commercial building which still retains its original cedar shingles.
The Stanwood Store, originally across
the street, opened in 1887 and
advertised "Everything for the Home, Yacht, Stable or Garden". Later Mr.
McKaig, a carpenter, operated a store here where he sold groceries, hardware and coal.
An old postcard, The Deli is on the left, the Sunwood Store or McKaig's is on the right.
18 Central Avenue - The Edwards House
The Edwards House was the residence for Edwin "Eddie"
Edwards of the Edwards Stage and Livery down the street. His wife,
Sarah Jane Applegate, was a dressmaker. One of their daughters,
Olive, became a milliner and operated a hat shop in the front of
the house. Across the street there was an A&P grocery store around
the turn of the century in what is now an empty lot.This simply
designed house with deep gables framing arched windows and
gingerbread trim is characteristic of the Carpenter Gothic Style.
A 1996 Photograph
17 Central Avenue - The Hallock House
The second building from the right
was built to be the home of Judge
Morris Hallock. He was an amateur
photographer and used a rear
outbuilding as his studio. He later
married and moved to 46-48 River
Ave., #20 on this tour. The next
owners, the Viereck family, managed
the movie house across the street, and
the famous Viereck's Ice Cream Parlor
that was next door to the south, now
an empty lot. In 1894 Arthur E.
Stokes opened a pool hall in the
building that was to become Viereck's
Ice Cream Parlor.
14 Central. Avenue - The Mathis Building
Built in 1879, this is the oldest intact
storefront in Island Heights.
Originally the building functioned as
the Edwards Stage and Livery; Mr.
Edwards would meet arrivals of the
train and transport visitors and their
luggage to their destination. The
Mathis Store was a branch of The
Mathis Company of Toms River
selling "drugs, medicines, chemicals,
dye-stuffs, fancy articles, brushes,
patent medicine, perfume and
stationary". Dr. Charles B. Mathis
combined with Henry Clay Glover to
market Mathis' cure for "mange", a
skin disease in dogs, under the name
of Glover's Mange Cure. Through
the years this building has housed a
drugstore, restaurant, confectionery,
newsstand, grocery, bakery (the ovens
are still in the basement), general store,
cigar store, barber shop, ice cream
parlor, meeting place, Methodist
Church Hall, toy store, antiques
emporium, art gallery, florist and craft
gallery. The gambrel roof, originally
a Dutch Colonial characteristic, was
used frequently in Shingle Style
buildings such as this one. The
gambrel roof allowed for a much
roomier upper level than the more
steeply pitched roof of the Queen
Anne or Gothic Revival Styles.
From left to right in this photo are numbers #5, #6 and #7
12 Central Avenue - Drugstore and Comfort Station
This building is architecturally
significant for its Classical Revival
features, including a wide cornice.
An unusual practical feature is an
inverted double roof, intended to
catch rainwater. Dr. Henry Hill Davis
had a drugstore in this building and
Miss Lippincott later had a novelty
store. It was at one time owned by the
community. It was a "Comfort
Station" which was a term used to
describe a public restroom. It also had
a reading lounge.
10 Central Avenue - The Island Heights Post Office
This building was probably built later than the surrounding buildings and is best remembered for
housing the Island Heights Post Office for many years. The right side of the building is an addition.
8 Central Avenue - The Island Heights Movie House
This was originally the location of the
Island Heights Movie House run by
the Viereck family. The building
features an overhang housing the
former projection room. It was later
an ice cream parlor. A descendant of
the Viereck family is the current mayor
of Island Heights.
9 Central Avenue - Bogart House
This house was built around 1880 for Rev. John Simpson, an original incorporator
of the Island Heights Association and its first Superintendant.
He lived here with his family during the early years of the camp meeting.
In 1879 he applied to Washington to start a Post Office and he acted as the
first postmaster from his house. The house functioned as a transportation
hub when Simpson's son would take visitors back and forth across the river
before the train came to Island Heights. In 1889 the kitchen housed
the first school of 37 children taught by Minnie Simpson Bogart who lived
here with her family after her parents moved to Van Sant Avenue to be
closer to the Methodist Church. Rev. Simpson was the first pastor after its
construction in 1882. (Simpson was also the first mayor of Island Heights
after it became a borough.) The window in the front gable of the house is
purely ornamental; it is curtained, but has plaster behind it. Down the
street on the corner was the Tudor Ice Cream Parlor, which became a popular
River Avenue at Central Avenue, Island Heights Pavilion
Originally on this site was a steamboat landing, the structure was more like
a long shed. The two story Pavilion was built later. The Pavilion initially
housed Sunday evening camp meetings known as "Dock Services".
At that time the second floor was accessible by stairs and sitting upstairs
watching the boats became a popular activity. The Pavilion was also used
for dances with live orchestras and bands, and it became the home of the
traditional Labor Day Games. Visitors could come to Island Heights by boat,
land at the Pavilion, and go right to the Island House, the first hotel in
Island Heights built in 1880. It was located diagonally across from the
Pavilion. The hotel later became the Riverview and then the Edgewater
Hotel, undergoing several additions, until it burned down in the winter of 1986.
The early steamboat landing building was replaced by the Pavilion
70 River Avenue - The Milne Cottage - "The Island Queen"
This house is presumed to have been completed in 1886 because when the
current owners had the cedar roof shingles removed, they found some
initials and 1886 carved into the wood. It was probably built for Charles I.
Fireng of Camden, the Mime family being the second owners. The house
has been named "The Island Queen" by its current owners. This large and
complex Queen Anne Style "cottage" was erected after the initial camp
meeting era, when grander houses were built. This house includes
many Queen Anne devices including a spectacular 3 story octagonal tower,
and clearly announces that it comes from wealth and taste, and possibly
from the architectural talent of Henry Pettit from Philadelphia who also
designed #15 on this tour. The recent efforts of meticulous restoration
were rewarded with the Annual Preservation Award from the Ocean
County Cultural & Heritage Commission.
66 River Avenue - The Graw Cottage
Rev. Jacob Graw, founder of the Island Heights Association, built this house
in 1879. It was Graw's vision that led to the development of Island Heights.
It is featured as the cottage of John G. Vogler, Jr. in a 1888 publication with
gingerbread trim and two story porches with decorative railings. It
was very common to hang hammocks on the porches even in the smallest of
the camp meeting cottages to relax and take in the surroundings. It was
remodeled in the 20's and now has a Colonial Revival appearance.
64 River Avenue - Thomas Perrin's Cottage
The house was built around 1879, shortly after the founding of Island
Heights, for Prof. Thomas Perrins, Esq. of Girard College in Philadelphia.
Originally the house had a full 2 story porch on the south and east sides and
gable ornamentation. Perrins also owned the Perennial Hotel which
stood on the corner lot next door.
River Avenue - The Island Heights Yacht Club
The original building, built in 1900, was set on pilings in the river and could
only be reached by a boardwalk. When the building was expanded to reach the
street, the original facade was duplicated. The building has always maintained a
Colonial Revival Style with Shingle Style influence. The Yacht Club was
organized as a result of a meeting at Arbutus Lodge (#15 on this tour) on
July 28, 1898, and its owner, Charles Webb, became the first commodore of
the Island Heights Yacht Club. The objectives of the Yacht Club were "to
promote yachting and rowing, and to foster athletic sports upon the water."
In l899, women were allowed to join as members of the Ladies Auxiliary and in
1982 women were allowed to become full voting members of the Yacht Club.
Riparian rights were purchased from Thomas Perrins in 1900 for $100. In
1901 members raced against Bay Head and Seaside Park Yacht Clubs, and in
1914 it was one of the four founding members of the Barnegat Bay Yacht
Racing Association. The original burgee seen on the left of the cover
was changed in 1901 to the burgee on the right of the cover which is still in
16 Oak Avenue - Johnson Cottage
The back of this Gothic Style cottage
was an original camp meeting cottage
moved from East Camp Walk and
was added on to. According to legend,
Mr. Atkinson, who lived in Arbutus
Lodge (#15 on this tour), gave this
house to his captain/chauffeur, Mr.
Ben Johnson, as a wedding present.
His daughter, Adelaide Johnson
Hintz, remained in the house until
she died in the 1980's.
A 1996 photograph
60 River Avenue - Arbutus Lodge
Designed by Philadelphia architect Henry Pettit, designer of the Main
Exhibition Hall Building at the
Philadelphia Centennial in 1876. He built it for himself around 1888,
but may have used it for a rooming house. The house was later owned
by Charles Webb, the first commodore of the lsland Heights Yacht Club, whose
members met here from 1898 until 1900 when the IHYC clubhouse was
built across the street. The original table used for the meetings is still used
in the house today. Albert Weist Atkinson, from Merchantville, later
bought the house. He was one of the founders of the Victor Talking Machine
which eventually became RCA Victor. Atkinson too became commodore of
the IHYC in 1910. This elegant Queen Anne Style house features oriental
motifs, inside and out. This was not common to the vernacular architectural
style of island Heights, but it was popular elsewhere during the Victorian era.
A postcard view of Arbutis Lodge
58 River Avenue - T. I. Gifford Cottage
This house, c.1880, has undergone numerous stylistic changes from its
inception as Neo-Jacobian to Queen Anne and finally Vernacular Queen
Anne with the front porch now enclosed. T.I. Gifford summered
here and lived in Camden in the winter where he had two grocery
stores. He owned the Maple Inn, one of three hotels in Island Heights. It
was located around the corner on Maple Avenue, but it is no longer
there. The restaurant was popular not only with the guests, but with the
local cottagers as well.
From the Island Heights Herald Illustrated Issue of 1895
56 River Avenue - C. E. Hendrickson House
This house was built around 1880 for Charles Hendrickson, a lay
incorporator of the Island Heights Association and in 190 lhe became a
New Jersey Supreme Court Justice. Between 1876 and 1887,
Hendrickson was a lay delegate to the New Jersey Annual Conference of the
Methodist Church. He also was one of the authors of the Methodist
Hymnal. One of his descendants still lives in town. In 1886 the house was
sold to William Lodge who, in 1888, became the second mayor of the
borough of Island Heights. Most of the original ornamentation has been
changed and the riverside tower removed, but the house still retains
elements of the Vernacular Queen Anne Style.
54 River Avenue - Van Sant Cottage
Built in 1878, this was the first
substantial cottage erected outside of
the camp meeting cottages. It was
built for Rev. Samuel Van Sant, one
of the original incorporating clergy of
the Island Heights Association and its
Vice President. It was the first house
with a basement and legend states
that an Indian skull was found during
excavation. The "privy" was built in
the back, which was typical of the
period. One of their sons, Howard
Van Sant, operated a Real Estate and
Insurance office on Central Avenue
in Island Heights. Howard also wrote
a book entitled, Barnegat Pirates. The
widowed Susannah Van Sant sold the
house to the Gardner family furnished,
in 1898, and the house had been
passed through the women in the
family until 1997. The postcard above
shows how the house was altered from
the Carpenter Gothic Style to the
52 River Avenue - Van Sciver Cottage
This c. 1890 house was possibly built
for a Mr. Price as mentioned in a
booklet entitled Island Heights and
Windsor Park 1888. (published in
1888) but it is known for owner Van
Sciver, the Philadelphia furniture
magnate. The house is very well
designed, possibly by an architect,
because there is a view of the river
from every room. The original
carriage house is now a separate
dwelling at 17 Maple Avenue.
This postcard has, from left to right, #19, #18,
#17, #16 and #15. See also the picture
48 River Avenue - Gowdy/ R. Shoemaker Double House
This unusual double house was built
around 1879 by James Gowdy, one
of the founders of the Island Heights
Association who was a resident of
Toms River and had a real estate
office there. Originally the two sides
were nearly identical with both
entrances facing the south. At one
point there was a fire on the eastern
side, and in the 1920's the western
side was modernized, in the Colonial
Revival Style accounting for the
present differences. Judge Morris
Hallock moved here from Central
Avenue after he married a wife 42
years his junior. In 1882, she used it
as a "private rest retreat" for semi-invalids, convalescents and nervous
patients. The ornamentation is gone,
but the original varied gabled dormers
42 River Avenue - Adam Augustus Wood House
This is a rare example
of a fully developed Bungalow Style house in Island
Heights. It was built around 1910 for
Adam Augustus "Gus" Wood who was
a Philadelphia interior designer. His
wife, Anne Brancato Wood, was the first woman to be elected to the
Pennsylvania Legislature (1932) and first female Speaker of the House.