1779 – “Northwind,” an American Privateer burned off Absecon Island. (Absecon Island is now Atlantic City, Margate, Ventnor and Longport).
1924 – In Atlantic City, a three-alarm fire damaged four Virginia Avenue hotels including the Senator, the Wiltshire, the Seaside and the Bothwell. Embers from the fire caused the Steel Pier to catch on fire and gutted its entrance. It was the resorts first major fire in 17 years.
1896 – “Local real estate men report a boom in property in the sand hills below Ventnor,” the Sentinel Ledger reported. “A local capitalist recently purchased thirty-six acres at Oberon for $100,000. The sand hills are being developed and graded, and cottages will be erected.” Oberon is now a part of Longport.
1954 – The Sentinel Ledger reported that Somers Point City Council had approved a resolution to sell 193 acres to the New Jersey Highway Authority for use as a recreation area on the Garden State Parkway. “The site of the proposed area is between Fresh Spring Creek, Mill Creek and Patcong Creek,” the Sentinel revealed. “The area would be maintained by the Parkway Authority, and is open to residents of Somers Point and surrounding communities.”
1970 – The Sentinel Ledger reported that former prosecutor’s aide, William J. Hughes had returned to private law practice after running for Congress and losing the election. Hughes had taken his family to the Caribbean after republican Congressman Charles W. Sandman defeated him by a “razor-thin margin.” Hughes was quoted as saying, “No one likes to lose, but we at least we gave the people a choice this time around.” Hughes gave voters a choice again in 1974 and then served in the United States House of Representatives for two decades. Hughes began practicing law in Ocean City in 1958 and served as town solicitor for Upper Township for two years before running for Congress. He retired from Congress to serve as Ambassador to Panama from 1995 – 1998. The FAA Technical Center in Pomona was renamed in his honor as the William J. Hughes Technical Center. Hughes has come full circle and is again practicing law in Ocean City.
1901 – “The Mays-Landing-Pleasantville county road is nearing completion,” the Sentinel Ledger reported. “The highway is recognized as one of the finest in the State and will prove a valuable connecting link to the county’s system of good roads.”
1911 – Those who preferred crab to turkey were hoping to get invited to R. B. Stites home for Thanksgiving. Stites, who was known for both has fishing and crabbing abilities and returned home with 44 big crabs that he caught in local waters.
1895 – “The Pennsylvania Railroad Company is considering the advisability of making change in the form of paying its employees. It is proposed to abolish the check system and pay the men in cash,” the Sentinel Ledger reported then addressed the problems that had caused the railroad to consider this. “Under the present system, a large amount of clerical work is required in making out the checks every month,” the Sentinel reported then revealed an even greater problem: “A large number of the employees have their checks cashed in saloons, where they, in consequence, spend considerable money before they get out. By this means intemperance is promoted and many of the men are unable to report for duty the next day.”
1931 – With day after day of unseasonably warm temperatures, people were donning bathing suits and enjoying dips in the ocean.
1945 – Investors interested in “two for the price of one” had some interesting choices in Ocean City. Twin semi-detached cottages with three-bedrooms and a bath in each unit were $4,000 for the pair. A 2-family apartment building in the 17th Street Section was $12,000. It featured three-bedrooms and a maid’s room in each unit. A furnished two-family house located a block from the beach was also $12,000.