Saturday, October 03, 2020

Boardwalk, Wildwood, New Jersey 1972

Years ago I bought two slides from 1972, featuring scenes from Wildwood, New Jersey's boardwalk. The Wildwoods (originally incorporated as a city in 1912) is "...a popular summer resort destination along the Jersey shore". "Its most notable features are its beach and 1.8 mile-long boardwalk, home to the Morey's Piers amusement complex and Raging Waters and Ocean Oasis waterparks owned by Morey's Piers. The boardwalk features a trolley called the "Tramcar", which runs from end to end."

This first photo shows the Sportland Pier, with lots of people on bicycles, which I assume could be rented nearby. It looks like a pleasant way to spend an afternoon with your family and/or loved one. The "Aqua Circus" had a large pool where folks could swim, or watch swimming shows and divers; it also offered live musical entertainment ("The Fantastic Vic Zoble"!).

Here's a vintage photo (scrounged from the Internet).

I found this old postcard, with a photo possibly taken just a few years before my image. Notice the "Tramcars"!

If I lived anywhere near the Jersey Shore, I'd probably want to come here to eat some ice cream, or spaghetti, or fudge. Just put all three in one bowl to save time! We can play some games of chance, hang out with our buddies, look at girls, and generally have a good time.

Just for fun, here are two more vintage postcards!

I hope you have enjoyed your visit to Wildwood, New Jersey.


Nanook said...

Ahhhh - Wild days at Wildwood. I've been there on a couple of occasions a while back. Good times. I love the 'rooftop view' from up atop Laura's Fudge.

Thanks, Major.

"Lou and Sue" said...

I just googled Wildwood and I see that this place still exists. And what I read included the mention of funnel cakes. Major, I'll pass on your spaghetti-fudge-ice-cream, and take a funnel cake with lots of extra powdered sugar, please! I always get one when we go to fairs or carnivals. One of my guilty pleasures.

Major - thanks for this fun trip to Wildwood!


TokyoMagic! said...

This looks like a fun place to hang out!

Sue, how about a funnel cake, dipped in fudge, with ice cream on top, and a bowl of spaghetti on the side?

I see in the black and white image, we have another person grabbing their head (top level of the diving board). That's two days in a row, now. Major, you should make that a recurring theme. And you could award cash prizes to the first reader of the day, who spots those people.

"Lou and Sue" said...

TokyoMagic! With lots of powdered sugar, too!!! :)

JC Shannon said...

I'll take all those goodies and some salt water taffy. Sue, everything is better with extra powdered sugar. The first photo reminds me of the opening of Three's Company. "Come and knock on my door." Thanks Major.

stu29573 said...

Here in D/FW we have the State Fair of Texas every year (except this one, of course). It seems like Wildwood has the same vibe, albeit scaled down quite a bit. By the way, in addition to funnel cakes, you can get just about any food "deep fried." Even beer and butter. For real. Some dishes are good, but some taste terrible. I tend to stick with the safe choices, such as Fletcher's corny dogs, or dirty rice. And, of course, a big bag of salt water taffy to top it off. Great, now I'm hungry...

Andrew said...

Amusement Parks of New Jersey says that Sportland Pier lasted from 1928 to 1982, but more interesting to me is the Flyer in the background of that first picture, a small ride that was on Hunt's Pier, which you can see the sign for in the last shot. My book has this to say about Hunt's: soon became one of the most popular amusement parks in the state, with its high-quality custom-built attractions that were comparable to many of the rides being built at the new corporate theme parks that were just starting to spring up throughout the country. These attractions included Jungleland in 1959, the Gold Nugget Mine Ride in 1960, and the Pirate Ship Skua, one of the last old-style fun houses in 1962. It lasted until 1996, with a failed rebrand for two years after.

Incidentally, you can still ride the "Golden Nugget Mine Ride" at Knoebels in Eastern Pennsylvania, where it's called "Black Diamond" and is now themed to PA coal mining. The Knoebel family saved the abandoned ride in 2009.

zach said...

My wife grew up in NJ in the 60's but they never went that far South. Except when they drove to WDW but she really only remembers the hotel key cards, the Contemporary monorail, Spaceship Earth and the humidity. And boys, she was 14.

I like the proud man in dark pants who looks like he is standing on top of the tram in pic 5.

Funnel cakes are new to the west coast or I've just never noticed. I do love a corn dog when we visit DL. No powdered sugar, Sue. But I will try it on my funnel cake since I like it on beignets and other fried dough.

In the first photo I thought they had taken up the tracks for the tram but then I saw it was a wheeled tram. Duh.

Thanks Major for a view of, what I discovered when visiting for the first time, is a beautiful state.


Nanook said...

@ zach-

That "proud man" was known as Mr. Levitation of Wildwood. It's not exactly alliterative, but he did stop traffic.

JG said...

This place vaguely reminds me of the Long Beach Pike and to less extent, the Monterey Fisherman’s Wharf. No rides in Monterey, but lots of garish signs. Maybe a little bit like SF Fisherman’s Wharf.

Never been back east to this area, but it looks fun. I’ll skip the sweets and the spaghetti.

Thanks for trip away, Major.


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, you are lucky to have visited Wildwood, presumably during better days! Wish I had seen it back then too.

Lou and Sue, I like funnel cakes, but they are often so oily that I don’t feel well afterwards. The last time I had one, my niece and I split one at the Santa Monica Pier. It was enormous, and we had it topped with ice cream! We couldn’t finish it.

TokyoMagic!, I would just mix spaghetti, fudge, and ice cream in one large bowl and stir it all together. Saves time, saves money! You caught me, I am trying out a new thing, people with terrible headaches. Cash prizes, eh? Who’s cash?? I wonder if that pool was filled with fresh water, or sea water.

Lou and Sue, I guess you like powdered sugar. Are those your favorite donuts?

Jonathan, whenever I go to Morro Bay, I like to go into the stores that sell saltwater taffy - they usually have about 50 different flavors available. It’s one of those “once a year” treats, because by the time I’ve reached the last of my bag, I’m usually sick of it!

stu29573, I’ve never been to a state fair, but I’ve been to a few county fairs, including the Orange County fair and the L.A. County Fair. Those are lots of fun, but the last time I tried to go, the traffic was backed up for miles on the freeway; we decided it wasn’t worth it. I’ve heard of deep-fried butter, but not deep-fried beer! Fletcher’s corny dogs… are they not just corn dogs?

Andrew, thanks for the info about the Flyer! Very neat. I think I have one or two other older photos from Wildwood that show some neat old rides, I’m sure you’ll enjoy those when I scan and post them! Interesting about the ride themed to Pennsylvania coal mining, I have a very old pinback button (early 1900s, maybe even late 1800s) for a coal mine ride - I forget where, though.

zach, aw, too bad your wife didn’t go to the shore, we could have gotten some memories from a native! Standing on the roof of a tram is the coolest thing ever. Powdered sugar on a corn dog, I’ll bet somebody has tried it! Yep, a wheeled tram. Probably not a good idea to have tracks on a boardwalk. For one thing, people would trip all the time!

Nanook, “Mr. Levitation” is my personal hero.

JG, I feel like Fisherman’s Wharf tries to be a little more classy, while Wildwood is definitely “old school”. It has a seaside charm, at least it did in those old days - seems like these kinds of places tend to get rundown, and then they close.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Major, my favorite donuts were Dunkin Donuts freshly-made chocolate-frosting-filled powdered sugar donuts - but they stopped making them years ago. (Does anyone remember them?) And now, Dunkin Donuts doesn't sell freshly-made donuts, anymore. I still love their coffee, though.

At least your niece shared the funnel cake with you. I don't share mine!

stu29573 said...

Fletchers corny dogs are just corny dogs in the same way that a Rolls Royce is just a car...

Nanook said...

The one and only time I had a Pennsylvania Dutch Funnel cake was at Kennywood [my favorite amusement park]. It was topped with ice cream, canned strawberries - "in heavy syrup", and canned whipped cream. And it was all washed-down by a large Coke. An instant diabetic coma-! Wow - what an experience. That turned out to have lasted a lifetime, so far...

zach said...

Major, they went to the shore but to places like Asbury Park and Harvey Cedars. Never so far south as Wildwood. They have home movies so it's a kick to see her as a young girl.

Stu29573, I want a Fletchers Corny Dog now. Only in Texas, I assume?

Now I know why there is a powdered sugar shortage.


Melissa said...

I always get a funnel cake at the Sleepy Hollow refreshment stand across from the Haunted Mansion in the Magic Kingdom. Last time I was there a hungry duck sat and watched every bite I took until a little kid tried to pick him up and he honked away. I guess they do mostly waffle sandwiches now, but I think they still do the funnel cakes.

stu29573 said...

Probably only in Texas. They are so popular that Fletchers has sent out food trucks to cities in the areas to make up for the fair not being open!

Major Pepperidge said...

Lou and Sue, those were my FAVORITES! I always got a chocolate cream-filled, or they had a vanilla (or just whipped cream?) filled variety too. My mom and dad took us to church, with the promise of a trip to Dunkin’ Donuts and the newsstand afterwards (where I would buy the latest “Mad” magazine)!

stu29573, I see! They must be quite the treat.

Nanook, ha ha, yes that sounds like enough sugar to last one a lifetime. But when I was younger I could handle something like that with ease.

zach, “…so far south”?? On my map it’s only about another inch away! Why didn’t they drive that extra inch?? You might not have Fletcher’s Corny Dogs, but I’m sure you have access to all kinds of culinary wonders that we can’t get.

Melissa, now that I think about it, I did have a funnel cake at the “Railroad Days” event in Fillmore, California. The line was long, and moved slowly! I split that one with my mom. So I’ve only had two funnel cakes in my life.

stu29573, gosh, I wonder what their secret is? Less roadkill than most hot dogs? I love it when somebody takes a well-known, "common" food item and makes it so well that they become rich.

stu29573 said...

Here is a little info on Fletchers...

Melissa said...

Wildwood: It’s Worth Driving that Extra Inch!

Scott Lane said...

No no no when you go to Wildwood you have to have pizza at Mack's and Curley Fries at Morey's pier. I used to try to get there at least once every summer until I moved to Florida this year. Good memories