Thursday, February 12, 2009

Throwback Thursday: The Crest in its Glory

Sometimes, you can really luck out on eBay. About two years ago, I came across an auction selling the postcard pictured below, a spectacular aerial view of Wildwood Crest, circa the mid-1960s. I watched, however, as the bidding amount climbed and climbed, eventually escalating out of my range.

I believe it sold for close to $40. Since missing out on it, I had hoped to see a similar card offered again. But, for the longest time… nothing. Then, out of the blue, it pops up on eBay once more about a month back.

Only this time (much to my surprise) the seller was offering a “Buy it Now” option: For just 5 bucks!

(Published by Lynn H. Boyer, Jr., Wildwood, NJ)

Needless to say, I was lucky to snag it. When it comes to some of the steals you can get on eBay, it’s often a matter of chance, coming across the right item at the right time.

From my experience, detailed aerial views of the island, particularly the Crest during this era, are somewhat rare. The most intriguing aspect of this perspective is the number of motels that can be identified, all in their infancy at this point.

There are also still a decent number of empty sand lots, upon which motels would soon be built. All in all, you can pick out about two dozen landmarks (a good number of which are still around) if you look closely enough.

A few details jump out immediately:

- Just below the image’s center is the rising pagoda of the Singapore Motel. It’s an impressive structure today, but I can only imagine how “wild” it must have looked to locals and vacationers alike when it first appeared.

- If you draw a straight line from the Singapore almost all the way to the extreme left, the A-frame peaks of the Casa Bahama Motel are visible. Just north of that, standing all alone in a lot at the northeast corner of Atlantic & Rambler Rd. is the old Oasis Restaurant.

- The general lack of construction between Ocean Ave. and the Beach, for blocks and blocks to the north. I remember hearing that when the Oceanview Motel (then Admiral Motel; right behind the Singapore in this view) was first built, you could stand at the southern edge of the Boardwalk and look straight down toward it with an unobstructed view. This is the first illustration of that I’ve found.

Honestly, this is one of those images that the more you look at it, the more you begin to see. Fortunately, no matter what, we'll always have postcards and other vintage photos like this; visual documentation of the many details of the island from a time before many of us were around, or were too young to be able to take everything in.

And, judging from this pic alone, there was a lot to take in...

On Thursdays, we'll "throw it back" to another time, taking a look at a postcard or old photo from the past. It could be from five, 50, or 75 years ago, or maybe even further back than that. As with any of this blog's features, if you have an image you'd like to submit or an idea to share, please send them along to


  1. Looks like you can see the Lampliter, Mark 1, Saratoga inn, singapore, to name a few in this great picture. What was the mark 1 called? Was it always called that?

  2. You can also see where the Bal Harbour got built. What was the beach front motel in that picture? It was the one that got torn down for the Bal Harbour.

  3. Ah yes, the Bal Harbour! For some reason, I always picture the BH being further south. But, yeah, it's right "behind" the Saratoga.

    I'm pretty sure the motel that was torn down to make way for the BH was the Beach Waves.

    The Mark I was originally the Las Vegas Motel. Not exactly sure when the name was changed.

  4. You refreshed my memory! yes, the mark 1 was called the Las Vegas and the Beach waves gave way to the Bal Narbour! Thanx!

  5. The Las Vegas was changed to the Mark I Motel in 1972 in remembrance of the owner's son "Mark" who passed away that year.