The history of Asbury Park is a veritable roller coaster of challenge, triumph and change. In 1871, there was nothing but marshes and sand dunes between the sinful city of Long Branch and the holy haven of Ocean Grove, but for devout Methodist James Bradley, the deserted beachfront was a new Promised Land. Thus, the resort community Asbury Park was born as a wholesome entertainment and relaxation center for middle-class, white Protestant America. From bicycles and baby parades to brawlers and bootleggers, Bilby and Ziegler trace Asbury Park’s cycles of transformation from peaceful resort to raucous amusement park, from empty boardwalk to modern, bustling center of business.
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