The Heart of Town

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The Schealer Guest House in 1949...








Rooming houses, hotels and Bed & Breakfasts have always been the heart and soul of the Beach Haven experience.

A place to call home while you enjoy the front porch or the back bay.

Some of these vacation spots have stood the test of time while others have fallen to flame or famine.

The Schealer House on Amber Street (above left) as pictured in a 1949 postcard, looks pretty much the same now as it did fifty years ago. A "new" fire escape adds an extra measure of safety today. These photos were taken standing in the middle of Amber Street, next to Bicentennial Park.


Saint Thomas Catholic Church in 1946







The postcard (above left) shows the Saint Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church as it looked back in 1946. Today (above right) the familiar shaped building still stands on Beach Street but is no longer home to the congregation. The photo was taken standing on Fourth Street.








An early 20th century photo of Saint Thomas Aquinas Church and Rectory from another angle, this time at Third and Beach Streets, is compared to a 1999 photo taken from the same spot standing in the middle of Third street. Today, the Rectory is but a memory, as it has been replaced with a modern home. The current use of the St. Thomas Aquinas Church building is unknown to me but it appears that the former stained glass windows are now boarded.








Just how wide the expanse is of Bay Avenue is memorable to anyone who has ever tried to cross at a traffic light. The postcard at left, from the 1940's, shows a simpler time at the intersection of Bay and Engleside. A time when no traffic signals provided you the right of way. A time when telephone poles and a web of wires didn't clutter your view of the sky. But, it was still a time when photographers took their life in their own hands, standing in the middle of the street to capture the image. Note, in the old postcard, that a car has just brushed by the photographer! And note the odd yellow stripe in the center of the road which curves eastward as it reaches Engleside Avenue!


SPECIAL REPORT: The rarest of rare Beach Haven Collectibles!

Over the years, Beach Haven souvenirs have included items like postcards, pennants, salt & pepper shakers, T-Shirts, you know - the whole gamut of tacky items.

But not many people know that at one time, people were walking around town with paper money in their pocket that had "Beach Haven" printed right on it! That's right, imagine having a completely legal $20 bill with "Beach Haven" printed on the bill! Well, believe it or not, that's the way it used to be seventy years ago. It was called "National Currency" and the Beach Haven National Bank and Trust Company was responsible for it being issued.

National Currency first began to appear in circulation in the 1860s in a large note format. This type of currency was issued by nationally chartered local banks. These notes were meant to replace other types of currency issued by local banks not chartered by the Federal Government. It was reasoned that if a bank had the backing of the government, the value of their paper currency would not fluctuate with economic health of the country.

Prior to 1861, if a bank went out of business - the currency issued by the bank would be worthless. However, with the support of the federal government, treasury authorized "National Currency" notes would remain in use at their face value even though the bank had ceased to exist as an economic institution.

National Currency Notes continued to be used after the conversion to the currently familiar small bills in 1928. These small size notes were issued from July, 1929 to May, 1935. Out of the 14,000 nationally chartered banks, over 10,000 different banks had currency issued in their names. In 1935, the issue of these notes were halted when the securities used to back them were called in for redemption.
There are only twelve examples of this rare Beach Haven National Currency known to exist. Currency collectors covet these rare bills as they try to fill their collections for a particular state or town. The notes were typically printed in $5, $10, and $20 denominations (and some banks issued a $100 denomination). The low serial numbers on the bills illustrated above indicate that probably not many of these bills were printed. Talk about a limited edition serial numbered collectible! Prices on National Currency have risen dramatically recently.


Copyright 1999-2012    Bruce A. Clark   SixOfOne AT netreach DOT net

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