The volume of summer mail caused the post office to open a new facility in the same year. Over ten thousand postal cards were mailed from the Highlands, in excess of any previous record in one weekend. Just over the bridge from Highlands, Highland Beach excursion resort was booming! In John King’s article ‘Penny Post Cards Preserve the Past,” he reminds us of Will Sandlass’ entrepreneurial spirit. He saw a golden opportunity to promote the Sandlass Pavilion through producing “Souvenir Postal Cards” and join the fad in the early years of the twentieth century to increase the visibility of his resort: “He publicized his resort across the river on Sandy Hook with more than two-dozen self-published scenes of people cavorting in the river or ocean waters… Usually local photographers like Foxwell took the photographs for the private publishers such as Johnson (Highlands Pharmacy) and Sandlass.
ALONG THE SHORE, HIGHLAND BEACH, N.J., MELRAH SOCIAL CLUB, 1907
These were sent to Dresden, Germany, for color lithographic printing with about a year turn-around time from initial photograph to actual display and sales. These images captured the attention of the day tripper making plans for a sojourn to the shore. Receiving the “Wish you were here!” cards piqued more interest in popular destinations, and this personal advertising sparked a longing for more time at the beach. Lazy days among the houseboats, tents and bungalows afforded a perfect playground for anyone wishing to get away from the heat and hectic pace. Power yachts and canoes cruised the shores by the scrub marshes filled with nature’s wildlife, providing ample room to make this one of the most popular resorts of its day. According to contemporary reports, it was hard to find a rendezvous with more houseboats moored in one harbor in the late 1880s than the one between Highlands and Highland Beach.
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 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