37. Asbury Park

The Westside From Asbury Avenue to Deal Lake

Asbury Park High School and West Sunset Avenue, Part 2

 

I remember, one autumn morning, as I sat in Nick Merli's Italian class, I looked out the window across the athletic field to Deal Lake and Interlaken beyond. The view was A soothingly beautiful expression of the season.

Image 1.37.3. Deal Lake from Asbury, showing Wanamassa Point and Interlaken.

Actually, I took the above photo just outside the school, a couple of hundred yards west of where I was sitting. The spot with the house on it is the peninsular tip of Wanamassa, where the south branch of Deal Lake divides. The peninsular town of Interlaken is at right (where my family lives). Again I must show you one of my favorite postcards:

Image 2.37.3. Deal Lake again and the towns. The white star shows the location of Asbury Park High School.The red circle indicates the penninsular tip of Wanamassa.

Those of us locals who like old postcards will know that on the tip of Wanamassa there once stood an establishment called Ross Fenton Farm. Few under the age of 60 remember it. It was owned by the husband-and-wife vaudeville team Charlie Ross and Mable Fenton (known as Ross and Fenton).

The opening, in 1899, of their rustic roadhouse-restaurant-nightclub (call it what you please) attracted many of the Weber and Fields vaudeville personalities with whom Ross and Fenton had worked. In 1902, the comedy team sold the establishment and returned to vaudeville. When Charlie died, in 1918, Mable came back to Wanamassa to run the business, which she did until her death, in 1931. Much exciting activity took place there, but I will save an account of it for the Chapter on Wanamassa in the section titled Towns Around Asbury.

Image 3.37.3. Ross Fenton Farm

Well, now ... this is about it for the central westside. We have one more section to cover, the southwest side. This is one of the most interesting areas of Asbury Park, though it often seems a world away... Click on, traveler, to find out what I mean!

 

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