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Destruction Along the Shore

The aftermath in Asbury Park, 1917.
The aftermath in Asbury Park, 1917.

Today in New Jersey history:

April 5, 1778: A combined British and Loyalist raiding party from New York and Sandy Hook destroyed the salt works on the Manasquan River, at today’s Union Landing.

April 5, 1917: A fire triggered by defective wiring broke out at the Asbury Park beachfront Natatorium, a two-story Greco-Roman style indoor bathing pavilion. Within minutes, a huge burst of flames engulfed the structure. Pushed by winds that created an “exploding bomb” of destruction, the fire headed toward the heart of the city, engulfing wood-frame hotels, boardinghouses and residences. By the time courageous firefighters subdued the blaze, four city blocks were destroyed.

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