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August 2, 2014

Vintage Photos of Summer Fun in New Jersey

Here’s a look at the joys of summer in New Jersey. A collection of vintage photos show a variety of summer activities from around the state through the years. From swimming to sailing, fishing to food and just about anything that can be done outdoors.

Youngsters dive into the Rahway River from the riverbank in Cranford in this circa-1891 photo. The site bordered the old Garthwaite Farm. Courtesy of the Cranford Historical Society

Beachgoers are probably enjoying the latest hits on their radio while relaxing on the beach in Wildwood in this circa-1950s photo. Courtesy of

The Watchung Chemical Engine Co.'s annual summer picnic included a pie-eating contest. Pictured are the top finishers from 1961, from left, Bobby Wright, third place, Tom Aldrich, first place and Tommy Wright, second place. Courtesy of Arcadia Publishing

The playground program at the Lafayette School in Highland Park featured an outdoor sprinkler, as shown in this photo from June 1948. Courtesy of the Highland Park Historical Society

It didn't take more than a tree branch and some string to enjoy fishing at Parvin State Park in Cumberland County, as shown in this 1959 photo. Courtesy of the New Jersey Digital Highway

The concrete bridge on Main Street in Manasquan was an extremely popular fishing spot in the early-1960s, as seen in this photo from the period. Courtesy of the Squan Village Historical Society

Aquaplaning was introduced to Lake Hopatcong in the early 1930s. This motorboat is pulling a flat board with a rider hanging on. Courtesy of the Lake Hopatcong Historical Museum

Clementon Lake Park offered daily live entertainment from 4 to 10 p.m.; local children, like these shown in a circa-1930s photo, knew that the sound of the start of the entertainment was their signal to start drying off and heading for home and dinner. Courtesy of the Borough of Clementon

Jack Crane is shown enjoying a lazy float in the John Russell Wheeler Memorial Pool in Linden in this photo taken on Aug. 23, 1948. Courtesy of Arcadia Publishing

Brenda Smith, left is shown with Jean Predmore in Fair Haven in this Aug. 1941 photo. Smith was a champion sailboat racer, winning first prize in 1942 for most points during the racing season. Courtesy of the Monmouth County Historical Association

This photo taken in 1955 shows three youngsters enjoying a swim in the Shrewsbury River in Sea Bright. Courtesy of the Monmouth County Historical Association

A group of boys is shown fishing in the Raritan River behind the Johns Manville plant in Manville in this photo from 1948. Courtesy of Gary Carmon

There's nothing high-tech about launching a boat -- back the trailer and the car into the water and you're ready. This late-1950s photo shows the boat launch at Atlantic Highlands. Courtesy of Arcadia Publishing

These gents have dressed well to enjoy some surf fishing on the beach at Belmar in 1942. Courtesy of the Library of Congress

The Steel Pier was more than just a diving horse; here, Rex the Wonder Dog and Arnette Webster French take a spin on the skis in this circa-1930s photo. Courtesy of the Atlantic City Free Public Library

A diver is captured in mid-air while others wait their turn on the board in this undated photo of the Elm Tree Pool and Tennis Club in West Caldwell. Courtesy of the West Caldwell Historical Society

Anyone raised in South Jersey is immediately familiar with the sight of swimmers and divers on the road bridges spanning rivers and streams, like this circa-1940 photo of the Woodbury Road Bridge in Blackwood. Courtesy of Jack Simpson

You're never too young or too small to sail, as shown in this 1932 model sailboat regatta at the Lake Mohawk Yacht Club. Courtesy of Lake Mohawk Country Club

The first outboard speedboat regatta was held in Union Beach on June 12, 1958. In this photo from the race, Frank Fuller in the Shady Lady is nosing ahead of the Swamp Rat. Courtesy of Arcadia Publishing

In this photo taken at Lake Parsippany in 1941, swimmers appear to pay no attention to the young lady in mid swan dive; everyone seems to be busy going about having their own fun. Courtesy of the Parsippany Historic & Preservation Society

Offshore powerboat racing was a popular attraction in Brielle, as can be seen in this late-1970s photo. Brielle was the starting point for races and parades on the Manasquan River. Courtesy of the Monmouth County Historical Association

A game of parcheesi was a perfect way to pass a summer day at the Irving School playground in Highland Park, as shown in this 1948 photo. Courtesy of the Highland Park Historical Society

A young man performs his own version of water ballet, entertaining swimmers and sunbathers in the Newark Bay near Bayonne in this circa-1915 photo. Courtesy of the Bayonne Public Library

Five young ladies and one lucky lad have stopped at the dock to sit for this 1940s photo taken on Farrington Lake in North Brunswick. Courtesy of the New Brunswick Free Public Library

Water ballet, now known as synchronized swimming, was performed at Normandy Beach, as shown in this undated postcard photo

This wading pool in Willingboro was standing room only on a summer day in 1975. Courtesy of the Willingboro Twp. Manager's Office

The first boardwalk in Seaside Park was built in the early 1900s, when this photo was taken, and was only four feet wide. Destroyed by a nor'easter in 1914, it was rebuilt on pilings. Courtesy of Dorothy Thomas

Memorial Park and Pool in Fair Lawn along the Passaic River is shown in this circa-1950s photo. Opened in 1949, it included areas for picnicking, sports and a sand-bottom pool 3,000 feet in width. Courtesy of the Fair Lawn Historic Preservation Commission

A water slide near Atlantic Highlands was a popular summer swimming spot, as shown in this 1913 photo. Courtesy of the Pach Brothers Collection

The original casino in Deal featured huge adult and children's pools, which were very crowded the day this photo was taken in 1947. Courtesy of the Monmouth County Historical Association

Bathers stopped to ham it up for this 1922 photo taken on the beach at 16th Avenue in front of the Atlantic Hotel in Belmar. Courtesy of John Walsifer

This photo, taken on May 8, 1937, shows a children's sailboat race in the wading pool at Memorial Field in East Orange. Courtesy of

What better place for a messy pie-eating contest than in Lake Hopatcong? That's what's going on in this photo taken at a water carnival in 1950. Courtesy of the Morris County Historical Society



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