The following is an example of the regional history features often created for Jersey Shore Hurricane’s website, JSHN.org, and shared across social media. Above is an archived photograph I recreated into a pseudo-1980s videogame graphic to evoke the era.
Welcome to JSHN’s Waves from the Past, a browse through shore history’s dustbin of dog-eared and digitized postcards, snapshots, video clips and more.
Today we peek into the history of an instantly popular subject, a famous-to-infamous “dark ride” of the Jersey Shore that spooked and excited many before its untimely demise at the hand of “Lucifer’s flames” in 1987: the Haunted Mansion of the Long Branch Pier.
The feature here, headlined “Former Beachwood Clerk Captured Iconic Photo Three Days Before Attacks” when originally published in 2011 and 2015 on the anniversary of the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks, put a spotlight for many on the woman behind what has become one of the more widespread images of the World Trade Center in the years since it was destroyed. Each year published, it drew many multiples in average site traffic and continues to provide a good source of information for the snapshot’s story today.
The following article, headlined “Beachwood Reverses Decision, Declares Trick or Treating on Oct. 30th” when published in September 2015, covered a suddenly intense community debate over the traditional trick or treating date. The issue was so hot that the public outcry, coupled with inquiries made for the write-up, caused a reversal in decision even before the final version was published.
This unexpected feature, appearing early December 2014 under the headline, “Downtown Partly Darkened by Utility Pole Crash on Water Street,” came to be from being in the right place at the right time. Moments after the end of a township council meeting, I was framing a photo of the holiday lights sparkling on the tall municipal tree when everything went dark in complete silence the moment I pressed the shutter. After gaining my bearings, I was able to pinpoint the source of the outage by following movement at the adjacent firehouse and thereafter captured a downtown different from any normally seen by the public.
The following, originally headlined “Beauty by the Sea: Boro Group Turns Tragedy into Triumph,” appeared in September 2014 and highlighted one of the multitude of local volunteer organizations who improve this area from behind the scenes each day.
This feature, published November 2014 and originally headlined, “Veteran Homecoming: Toms River Firefighter, Pfc. John D. Mount,” garnered widespread attention and included an exclusive interview with the serviceman and his father, the latter of whom was chief of the township fire company.
The following article was published in September 2014 with the headline, “Toms River Fire Co. No. 1 Gathers in Spirit of 9/11,” and incorporated the speeches made by officials as well as comprehensive photography of the event.
The following article, originally headlined “County Fair FLOP: Rides Closed on Camp Day,” was published in July 2014 and called out the greed behind several county officials’ reasons for refusing children access to rides, with no warning, on the fear of losing money. It, along with the multiple photos showing the virtually deserted and shuttered campgrounds and bored children, resulted in the rides this year being very open for all campers the next year, 2015.