31. Asbury Park
From Kingsley Street to Main Street
Deal Lake and Deal Lake Drive
Again my most useful postcard: Deal Lake, showing Deal Lake Drive,
Naturally, Deal Lake Drive is (ahem) on Deal Lake. It trims the southern side of Asbury from the beachfront (where the Monte Carlo Pool used to be) to Main Street. Deal Lake is really a beautiful and fascinating body of water. The picture below shows its easternmost (and widest) section.
Image 2.31.2. The east side of Deal Lake. The nearly empty lot at lower left is where the Monte Carlo Pool would be. The reddish building just above this site is the Kingsley Arms Hotel, on Deal Lake Drive. The Santander Hotel is at upper left. At bottom is the Old Marine Grill, a popular restaurant. At the lower right is the old Loch Arbour Hotel. The town of Loch Arbour and Allenhurst are at right.
The main basin of Deal Lake and the lake's southernmost branch border the entire north side of Asbury Park (unlike Wesley Lake, Asbury's southern border, which stops near Main Street). Two bridges plus the RR tracks cross Deal Lake.
A dramatic shot of Deal Lake, looking west from Ocean Avenue.
The Park Avenue Bridge is nicely shown in the following photo. Deal Lake Drive is at bottom. Edgemont Drive, in the tiny village of Loch Arbor, is across the lake.
The view from
Asbury to Loch Arbour (below) has always been my favorite.
4.31.2. Panoramic view of
Loch Arbour from Deal Lake Drive.
Across the RR tracks, Deal lake's western branches or "tentacles" or "fingers" are intimate with shady coves. The branches carve out the peninsular towns of Wanamassa, Interlaken and West Allenhurst (of which we will hear more in another section).
Image 5.31.2. One branch of Deal Lake, a short canoe trip from the main basin.
Early vacationers in the area - the Lenni Lenape Indians - used to navigate Deal Lake in their canoes, using the branches as "highways" from Wanamassa and other spots out to the beach. Through most of the Twentieth Century, canoeing was popular on Deal and Sunset Lakes. You could even visit neighbors in your canoe. It was the romantic (and sometimes practical) thing to do.
Like Asbury's other lakes, Deal Lake was highly "domesticated" early in Asbury Park's history. It was furnished with a tidy embankment around the main basin, and its original opening to the ocean was closed off. The Lake is capable of being raised or lowered though the use of underwater floodgates near the beach. The foot of Deal Lake was the sight of the New Era shipwreck, in 1854. The was on its way from Bremen to New York. Two hundred eighty-four souls were lost.
Image 6.32.2. The clipper ship New Era.
One more trip is in store for us - Main Street! Lets jump all the way from Deal Lake over to the south side of town near the foot of Cookman Avenue. We will start at this end of Main. (Don't worry, we'll work our way back to Deal Lake.)