Spring Lake isn’t what most consider when thinking of the ‘Jersey Shore’ and with good reason. One county north of the hullaballoo of Seaside Heights lies Monmouth County and in the southeastern section is the borough of Spring Lake. It is much like a time capsule of the Victorian era.
The New Jersey Leisure Guide describes Spring Lake as …”affectionately referred to as the ‘Irish Riviera,’ … a small beach resort town with huge Victorian houses, manicured lawns, tree-lined streets, flower-filled parks, and a well-managed beach that’s never been corrupted by honky tonk.”
The town grew up around the body of fresh water that is its namesake. Spring Lake is fed by fresh water springs. The area started out as a sleepy seaside farming community but by the 1870s it was transforming itself into a summer resort. From the mid 1850s, Spring Lake enjoyed status as a summer destination for those of wealth and privilege from New York and especially, Philadelphia. It rivaled the development of Newport, Rhode Island and Bar Harbor, Maine. Spring lake incorporated as a borough on March 14, 1892.
Many fine examples of Victorian architecture still exist in Spring. There are 11 Victorian bed and breakfast inns and boutique hotels located in this town of less than 4,000 year-round residents. They were built circa 1870 to 1888. (Eastern USA Visitor) Here are a couple of places to see if you visit Spring Lake.
The Martin Maloney Cottage is located on Morris Avenue. Martin Maloney was an Irish potato famine refugee who came to the United States with his parents in 1854. He is notably known for improving a “gasoline burner which became widely used in street lighting.” (Slieveardagh) The cottage is all that’s left of the Maloney’s Ballingarry Estate. It is an example of Queen Anne architecture. The cottage added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 26, 1992. It is also in the New Jersey Register of Historic Places.
Another fine example of Victorian architecture and charm is the Normandy Inn, also known as the Audenreid Cottage. It was built before 1889 and was a summer rental home of the Audenreid family of Philadelphia. (Normandy Inn) The building started out on Passaic Avenue but was moved in 1909 to its current location on Tuttle Avenue when it was purchased by Oliver H. Brown in 1909. Warren Conover was retained to design a three-story rear extension after it was moved. His work on the home was seamless leaving behind a building that looks like it was built the way it now stands.
Spring Lake retains much of its Victorian charm. Its beach is pristine and the boardwalk unencumbered by commerce. The summer population isn’t that much larger than the other three seasons. Downtown boasts many quaint shops and dining opportunities. It is easy to envision the inhabitants of yesteryear when walking through the neighborhoods.
What fun it would be to experience Spring Lake wearing fashions inspired by the era!
Cort, Leigh. “A Jersey Shore Sojourn to Spring Lake.” Vacation, Visitor and Travel Information – Spring Lake New Jersey. Eastern USA Visitor, n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2017. <http://www.easternusavisitor.com/spring-lake.htm>. http://www.leighcortpublicity.com/
“Martin Moloney – Emigrant -.” Slieveardagh Rural Development. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2017.
“The Normandy Inn History.” Normandy Inn History | The Normandy Inn | Spring Lake, NJ | USA. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2017. <http://www.normandyinn.com/history.htm>.
“Spring Lake, New Jersey – A Visitors Guide.” New Jersey Leisure Guide. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2017. <http://www.new-jersey-leisure-guide.com/spring-lake.html>.
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Maloney Cottage and Normandy Inn, Dmadeo