Asbury Park

Asbury Park has a vibrant and rich history…along with some drama. So here’s what you may know:

A great source for AP History is the Asbury Park Historical Society.

They share that Bradley paid $90,000 for the property in 1871 and named it after Francis Asbury, the first bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church in America.

From the very beginning Bradley instituted very progressive and innovative designs into Asbury Park, including a boardwalk with pavilions; electrical and trolley systems; an artesian well; wide, tree-lined streets; parks and churches, and a thriving oceanfront and business district.

More than 600,000 people vacationed in Asbury Park annually in the city’s early years and the city flourished from later part of the Victorian era to the 1960s.

In 1880 Coney Island impresario George C. Tilyou opened up his Steeplechase amusements on Ocean Avenue and brought his iconic and smiling Tillie face to Asbury Park. In 1888, the Palace Merry-Go-Round was installed at the corner of Lake Avenue and Kingsley Street and many other amusements and attractions soon followed.

In 1929 the current Convention Hall and Casino building were begun and the city became a cultural and shopping destination, not only for fine stores but for movies, theater, and concerts.    

From the early days of John Philip Sousa and Arthur Pryor, through the big band and jazz and blues era, to contemporary musicians like Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, and Southside Johnny, the city has more than its fair share of musical history.

Clubs along Springwood Avenue on the city’s Westside were frequented by the likes of Billie Holiday, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton and many other jazz and blues greats.

What you may not know:

Intrigue surrounding the Morrow Castle

Ghosts in the Paramount Theatre as well as other locations


First concert in Convention Hall didn’t end well


Other great sources for Asbury Park History are:

Helen Pike

Daniel Wolf

The Stephen Crane House

Asbury Park Public Library