While the coastline has changed both geographically and demographically,
the lure of the shore has not.... Throughout, the entries remain as fresh as a sea breeze. .. A wonderful resource....”

—Library Journal

Shore Chronicles

Diaries and Travelers' Tales
from the Jersey Shore 1764-1955

Edited by Margaret Thomas Buchholz

368 pps., 50 historical photographs and illus. , index, bib.

$16.95 softcover
ISBN 0-945582-77-3
$26.95 hardcover with dustjacket ISBN 0-945582-58-7
Softcover $16.95



For millions of people, summer means travelling to the New Jersey Shore. Every generation brings a new perspective and a new sense of discovery to this beloved region. Every visitor returns home with tales of their experience along this 127 mile long sandy coastline of boardwalks and beaches.

At the dawn of the new millennium, Shore Chronicles: Diaries and Traveler's Tales From the Jersey Shore 1764-1955 enlightens contemporary shore-lovers with fascinating historical perspective. Illustrated with 50 historic photographs, etchings and fine art images, this comprehensive collection begins with adventure travel in 1764 when the shore (and much of New Jersey) was still a wild frontier. The book concludes in 1955 with the opening of the Garden State Parkway, which brought exponentially more visitors - and rapid development - to the Jersey Shore.

A total of 50 accounts comprise the book. Writing by such well-known figures as John J. Audubon, Walt Whitman, Robert Louis Stevenson, Stephen Crane and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is included. But, perhaps most interesting are the selections from private journals, letters, and diaries from unknowns vacationing or visiting the shore.

As fresh as their experiences are to shore visitors each year, most activities here are timeless — the fundamental attractions of the seashore resonate throughout time. Yet it is stunning to read how different the landscape and environment was before development.

Edited by Margaret Thomas Buchholz, who is co-author (with Larry Savadove) of Great Storms of the Jersey Shore , with a foreword from renowned New Jersey historian John T. Cunningham.

Shore Chronicles joins two other acclaimed Jersey Shore literary anthologies published by Down The Shore Publishing — Shore Stories: An Anthology of the Jersey Shore , a collection of contemporary writing, and Under A Gull's Wing: Poems and Photographs of the Jersey Shore — in a trilogy of extraordinary writing about this region.


From Library Journal:
"Buchholz, co-author of Great Storms of the Jersey Shore, has collected reflections on the New Jersey shoreline from diaries, letters, and magazine and newspaper articles. The 50 entries span 1764 through 1955, the year the Garden State Parkway opened. While the coastline has changed both geographically and demographically, the lure of the shore has not. The chroniclers include the famous (e.g., Stephen Crane, Robert Louis Stevenson, and John James Audubon), unknown wide-eyed vacationers, and writers on assignment from newspapers. It is particularly interesting to read different accounts of the same place, such as Walt Whitman's and Arthur Conan Doyle's descriptions of Atlantic City. Throughout, the entries remain as fresh as a sea breeze. This book is a fine chronicle of the development and discovery of the pleasures of the shore. A wonderful resource for regional collections; recommended for both public and academic libraries."

— Thomas O’Connell, Murray State Univ. Lib., KY,
Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information

From Booklist:
"Dozens of fascinating accounts.... Glimpses of ‘everyday life,’ as manners and mores evolve over the decades, make Shore Chronicles a real eye-opener."

From the Bergen Record (8/8/99):
"A captivating history of the shore and the people who made it."

From New Jersey Monthly:
"A fascinating collection."

From The Star-Ledger:
"Things have changed enormously along the Jersey Shore…. Charting the vastness of change over two and a half centuries is the signal achievement of Shore Chronicles…. Resonates with the minute details of our shared past…."

From the Beach Haven Times:
"For most tourists and year-round residents, the post-Parkway Jersey Shore is all we know. It takes a
remarkable book like Shore Chronicles to make past incarnations of our favorite places real."

From US1 (weekly, Princeton):
"A glorious romp along the Jersey Shore…. A magic carpet to a simpler time."

From The Ocean Star:
"Readers can now take a look at the original magic that hooked Shore visitors and see how
it has continued to lure them back year after year…. Unique and intriguing."

From the Atlantic City Press (8/19/99):
"It is fascinating."


1947, Atlantic City: More and more, there seems to be doubt in the minds of the people who run the resort as to whether the Atlantic Ocean, which, after all, was the boardwalk’s original raison d’etre, constitutes as much of a spectacle as the boardwalk itself. The clusters of benches that have been thoughtfully placed at intervals along the ocean side of the boardwalk for tired pedestrians to rest upon, free of charge, face not the soothing expanse of water but the bustling promenade, with its stream of rolling wicker chairs propelled by stooped Negroes, and the long row of hotels, penny arcades, Oriental-rug bazaars, neon signs, skeeball parlors, soda fountains, bars, bathhouses, hot-dog-and-cold-drink stands, handwriting-analysis booths, restaurants, and shops of all kinds that flank its landward edge.

— E.J. Kahn, Jr.

1952, Ocean City: I was assigned to Twenty-sixth Street, known as the Kelly’s Beach because that notable family’s summer house was just in back of it. Here we didn’t have to worry about importuning passing girls for lunch since one of the traditions of the Twenty-sixth street station was that the Kelly’s kitchen maid sent lunch up to the stand each day, a practice probably begun when Jack Jr. was a stalwart of the Ocean City Beach Patrol.       

— Edward Brown


MARGARET THOMAS BUCHHOLZ is co-author of Great Storms of the Jersey Shore, author of New Jersey Shipwrecks: 350 Years in the Graveyard of the Atlantic, and editor of The Long Beach Island Reader, Shore Chronicles: Diaries and Travelers Tales from the Jersey Shore 1764-1955, and Josephine; From Washington Working Gril to Fishermans Wife. Her essays about the shore have also been included in anthologies and collections. Buchholz was publisher of the Long Beach Island newspaper the Beachcomber from 1955 to 1987. She currently lives year-round in her childhood home in Harvey Cedars, New Jersey, on Barnegat Bay, where her family has been coming since 1833.

Box 100, West Creek, NJ 08092
e-mail downshore@gmail.com • (609) 812-5076 fax (609) 812-5098

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