Welcome to Historic Downbeach, The Current’s weekly feature that looks at the histories of Ventnor, Margate and Longport. Each week, we get a chance to learn or reminisce, courtesy of the Downbeach area historical societies. See more at shorenewstoday.com.
Since its founding in 1882, Longport has been the home of five hotels and two motels. Two of those buildings remain today as condominiums.
Built by the Boice family in 1895 at 15th Avenue, the Hotel Devonshire was plain but stately without the usual elaborate Victorian features. The architecture of the hotel reflected the early summer residents’ belief that both parsimony and extravagance should be avoided in Longport.
The Hotel Devonshire was open from June through September with rates of $12 to $15 a week. Meals at the Devonshire featured locally caught fresh seafood and vegetables grown on the mainland and delivered to Longport by boat. Oysters were harvested near Absecon and brought by trolley from Atlantic City to the depot at 16th Avenue and the bay.
This photo of Margate’s City Hall, at 1 S. Washington Ave., was taken in the 1930s and illus…
The hotel burned down at the height of summer in July 1913. The land at 15th Avenue was then deeded to the borough, resulting in the large beach cutback that reaches to Beach Terrace.
The Atlantic County Historical Societies Roundtable is planning a discussion of early hotels of local small towns both on the mainland and on Absecon Island. The public will be invited to attend the evening talk when the date is announced later this fall.
The Longport Historical Society Museum is housed in a 1939 Coast Guard station and is on the New Jersey and National historic registries. For more, visit longporthistoricalsociety.org.