The column that asks how can weather forecasters be wrong about snow when they even predicted how much we would get, although they certainly erred in the right way because we could have gotten 6 inches instead of 3?
By Jack Hummel
Radio: 92.1 FM Saturdays noon to 2 p.m.
U.S. Army: RA13815980
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It’s 44 days until March 15, the date we consider winter to be over, even if we get more snow because the temperatures in the 50s will quickly melt it.
We’re talking sunshine on your face, and thoughts of the upcoming shore season just an hour away and dinner at the Tuckahoe Inn or Crab Trap or Lobster House.
And pizza on the boardwalk.
With cold weather months and months away.
More memories on Seabreeze.
“I can remember when George Grinner had Mae’s for about year.
“We would go down there when he had all-you-can-eat crabs. He hated to see me and Tom Blandino come thru the door. We would eat until he didn’t have any more.
“We do miss it and miss Tom.”
— Alex Dragotta
“I believe the year Jesse James was killed was 1882.
“Pop had a newspaper with it on the front page. On the back was an ad for Seabreeze Tavern.
“Pop gave it to Mae and it was framed and hung just inside the entrance. Wonder what happened to it?
Jesse was killed on April 3, 1882, by Bob Ford, a member of his own gang who hoped to collect the reward.
Sea Breeze used to be a quiet community of seasonal homes, but during the steamboat era in 1877, two enterprising gentlemen from Gloucester bought 120 acres and built an amusement pavilion and steamboat landing.
That same year, steamboat travel between Philadelphia and Sea Breeze began. After these two aspiring businessmen from Gloucester restored an old Civil War boat (named the John A. Warner), a regular service was run throughout the summer to Sea Breeze’s amusement pier.
The resort of Sea Breeze was established in 1877, and catered to steamboat passengers arriving from Philadelphia and Wilmington
At the same time, the Warner House was completed in 1887. It was a 40-room hotel, complete with a well-equipped bar. The hotel became famous for it’s food, attracting day parties from Bridgeton.
At that time, Sea Breeze was a two-hour ride away. The resort provided bathing, fishing, crabbing, billiards, bowling, dancing, quoits, and horseshoe pitching. A merry-go-round delighted the children.
The annual clambake attracted many boats which participated in boat races. All this excitement was short-lived because in 1890, a fire destroyed the hotel.
The Warner House, noted for its seafood, was perhaps the largest and most luxurious building in town, and able to accommodate several hundred guests. In addition to the hotel there were bath houses, a boardwalk, a billiards room, and a bowling alley.
Sometime during the early decades of the 20th century, another hostilery, dubbed the Seabreeze Hotel (as the name came to be spelled more often), was built by Jesse Smith, a one-armed, teetotaling trapper.
The late Rulon D. Brooks took a photograph of the structure (possibly in 1926 when it still may have been in an unfinished state), which reveals it to have been a long, two-story frame building with a single-story porch running most of it’s length.
The newer hotel reportedly burned in the 1940s. Late in 1929, Harry Griffith, then about 50 years old, located there. By the next year Harry began to rent out rowboats to fishermen and also did his best to wet their whistle.
By the early 20th century, Jesse Smith built Sea Breeze’s second hotel, The Seabreeze Hotel.
During this time, Harry Griffith would rent rowboats on the bay, and is alleged to have provided alcohol during Prohibition. As soon as Prohibition ended, Harry went legitimate and obtained a license to dispense alcoholic beverages.
At first, this tavern operated from a barge with a three-room building added to it. Harry, meanwhile, lived in the house built onshore. His daughter, the legendary Mae Griffith, joined the business and by the 1940s added food to the offerings of what came to be called the Seabreeze Tavern that was built on the beach.
Mae continued to operate the popular spot even after her dad passes away in 1960s.The new hotel suffered a similar fate as the Warner House and was destroyed by a fire in the 1940s.
After only a quarter century, the importance of Seabreeze diminished as trains made the Atlantic Ocean coast, which had begun to prosper in the late nineteenth century, more accessible. Residents, however, continued to inhabit Sea Breeze. Today, all that remains of historic Sea Breeze is the remnants of the boardwalk and several piers and houses.
The town was home to a small community of seasonal homes and did not have many year-round residents. There is one road in Sea Breeze, Beach Avenue ,and it is unpaved. There are no marinas or businesses, but Sea Breeze is still used by salt water fisherman and bird watchers.
Information for this narrative was obtained from George M. Cole (Fairton resident).
Safe found in Seabreeze in 1909. It probably belonged to one of the hotels that burned down.
“I betcha Jack Hummel would had known every soul there. ALL of my cousins grew up in Back Neck. They were the Griner Family. My cousin , George Griner, and many other Griners were good friends with Mae.
“I also heard she was a very nice lady. Many parties were held there. My cousin , Carolyn (Griner) Federico was also good friends with Mae.”
— Bonnie McKnight
Supposedly, the best thing about Seabreeze was you could smoke pot and not have to worry about getting arrested.
At least, that’s what a co-worker once said.
Now, we’re not talking about the end that is still inhabited.
On feral cats.
“Everyone in every community has to do there part to help these colony cats. People have to stop draining rescues and SPCA.
“These colony cats have to be a community effort. Everyone must help to TNVR these cats and see that they have food and shelter.
“TNR is the only possible way of controlling and decreasing the cat population outside. So, please, people stop pushing these problems on someone else and start taking responsibility for these outside cats that need your help.”
— Deborah Sharp,
Millville Community Cat Program
“I am cat coordinator for Commercial Twp.
“We had a grant for over a year getting cats spayed and neutered. I personally had signs plastered everywhere.
“I transported over 400 cats for spay and neuter to Cape Cay clinic and coordinated all efforts. My business cards and fliers are posted in the township hall.
“I have had fundraisers posted and attempted to raise funds for TNVR to get more cats done. The township attempted to file a new grant application for spay/neuter, but missed the deadline .
“No one contributes to the fundraising, but everyone wants free.
“We are surrounded with over 4,500 acres of game reserve that is prime dumping grounds for unwanted cats and kittens. Many renters are in our district that also contribute to the huge cat problem. When they move out, the animals stay behind.
“Laurel Lake is a very low income area. Many have lost jobs, lost homes, are single parent households, are grandparents raising the kids of the drug addicted children , etc.
“Cats are the last thing anyone wants to hear about. I have been fighting this fight for many years. Sadly, people continue to look the other way and allow more cats to be dumped or abandoned and won’t take the steps to help the situation.
“Drugs, beer, cigarettes , nights out partying, etc., take first place over doing what’s right and leaving the problem for the next person. Money here is what’s needed, and volunteers
“I am but one person fighting a huge fight, with a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel If anyone has a productive answer, please don’t be shy. Share. Have yard sales and use the money to spay or neuter that cat in your yard , skip a night out and use that $65 for a dinner or drinks to do good for the cats. It’s one night you will miss. Do what ever it takes to make a difference.
“The lives of hundreds of cats depend on you .”
— Carol Hickman/carolscatz,
On the stray dogs chasing a woman’s horses in Pittsgrove.
“Laws on both sides of this issue.
“Even a pet that stays inside your home in my opinion should be microchippped. There is always the potential of poor thing getting out.
“I would bet the lady threatening to shoot is not this upset by an isolated event. Might be a pack of dogs on her property causing damage. No matter, instead of worrying about her, someone close by to her should call animal control.”
— Cindi Stanger Cooke
“Does anyone know someone from Conte’s Pasta?
“Looking to see if we can get them to donate enough for about 30 individuals at Code Blue. Last year, someone brought some in and the guests raved over it.”
— Cindi Stanger Cooke,
Millville Code Blue
“In October, several tax saving measures included in the agreement to replenish the Transportation Trust Fund were approved.
“Tax Savings for Veterans.
“The plan provides an exemption under the New Jersey gross income tax of $3,000 of personal income for any individual New Jersey veteran honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from active duty in the Armed Forces, a reserve component, or the National Guard of New Jersey in a federal active duty status.
“The exemption will apply each year, beginning in the 2017 tax year.”
— Doug Atwell
Dance the night away at Cheers For CHOP, a night Philly’s most fun and philanthropic influencers look forward to all year long!
On Feb. 25, sip cocktails, bid on fabulous prizes and bring down the house with live entertainment by Biz Markie and White Ford Bronco. This year’s event benefits our Division of Pulmonary Medicine. Reserve your tickets today!
— Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
YOU CAN BOOK IT: Pizza at DiLisi’s Wednesday night for a good cause and you can win a basket with a $100 bill in it, or one with a $50 bill and $50 and $25 gift certificates in it, so stop by.