A DAY AT THE BEACH!
The fortunes of Highlands and Highland Beach were intertwined in the early days. Highland Beach was a perfect site to answer the needs of an emerging population in the Gilded Age. Conspicuous leisure had become the basis of social status in America for the wealthy and middle-class. As the masses of visitors poured into Highlands and Highland Beach on steamboats and railways, the town and the resort grew in proportion. The bridge connected the town to the resort on Sandy Hook which became a lifeline to prosperity.
With over seven decades of providing summer fun for thousands of people, this place was nearly paradise for those who came here to rest and relax. – Chris Brenner, documentarian
Times changed through the decades. When William Sandlass passed away in 1938, his son and wife took over the business operations at the resort. In July 1939, the war was looming and the U.S. Army base at Fort Hancock started to surge. William Sandlass’ foresight in changing trends was reflected in his son’s decision to modernize the resort as an answer to the transitions occurring in transportation. The road expansion into Ft. Hancock allowed greater troop access during the build-up to WWII. It also forced the family to move the Bamboo Bar tavern/Sandlass living quarters to the other side of the resort. The Bowling Alley was detached from the back of the Bamboo Bar/Sandlass residence and placed across the street in the location of the former Bamboo Garden. The 1908 bamboo wood from Jamaica had been stripped from the Bamboo Garden.
In 1941, Henry Sandlass re-purposed the wood in the new and modern “Bamboo Room” tropical night club. The South Seas style represented a revival of the famous Bamboo Garden conducted on the same spot. At the time, a local news article reported that the new interior of the tropical cocktail lounge was fashioned after the Titchfield Hotel in Jamaica, West Indies, where the Sandlass family had visited. A local artist from Highlands, James Allerdice, painted murals depicting the South Seas surrounding the walls of the dance floor. Palm trees adorned the room filled with bamboo tables and chairs. Thousands made memories there on warm summer nights from 1941-1961.
Learn more about Highlands and Highland Beach. Stories and artifacts of a bygone era await you in Gallery 1 at the Twin Lights Museum. Read the recent book, Sandy Hook’s LOST Highland Beach Resort, found in the museum store recounting a fanciful era in a town glittering with stars from Broadway and the early years of silent film.
SANDY HOOK’S LOST HIGHLAND BEACH RESORT
THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS GIFT FOR THE HISTORY HOUND ON YOUR LIST!
TLM Museum Store Online, Order Here! https://www.twinlightslighthouse.org/product-page/sandy-hook-s-lost-highland-beach-resort
ARCADIA PUBLISHING & THE HISTORY PRESS