Thursday, July 31, 2014

Boardwalk Tales: General History with Ted Whiting

Ted Whiting, the Seaside Company Vice President of General Services, and I have been emailing over the past few months regarding questions I've had about the Boardwalk's history, specifically buildings that are currently on the 'Walk. Here are the questions and his answers, cleaned up a bit to provide better context and clarity:

Photos of the Plunge, 1907. (Courtesy SC Seaside Co.)
Q: Where were the Plunge changing rooms?
A: They were located at either end of the Plunge itself at Boardwalk level. The women's changing rooms where at the present location of SunShops while the men's were at the other end (presumably inside O'Neil's). (6/7/2013)

Q: Early photos of the Plunge building from the beach show doors on either side of the beach stairs, at beach level, with people walking in and out of them. What were these doors used for? They seemed to exist until sometime in the 1940s or 1950s. 
A: I don't recall noticing two doors.  My personal recollection goes back to the 1950's when there was a single entry to the plunge from the Boardwalk. (7/18/2013)

Q: Are there still Cottage City cottages in the Boardwalk's Beach Parking Lot?
Tent City photos, c. 1905. (Courtesy SC Seaside Co.)
A: Yes, the cottages now known as the Riverside Avenue units got back to around 1904. The originaly Tent City cottages were first built in 1903 and removed when the Casa del Rey was built in 1911. (6/7/2013)

Q: What is the history of the Skee-roll Arcade building?
A: The arcade is built on the site of the 1868 Dolphin Baths. In 1902, the Hanly Baths were opened there and included a massage center, podiatry services, and a general First Aid station which lasted into the early 1930s. An Aquarium House was also somewhere in this area in 1904, though I don't know what it was or how long it was here. The boilers for the Plunge were located in this building until the Plunge closed down in the 1960s, after which they were removed. (6/7/2013)

Hanly Bath beside Entrance 2
in Skee-roll building, 1910s.
(Courtesy Images of America:
Santa Cruz, California
Q: You state that parts of the Dolphin Baths still survive in the Skee-roll building. Would the oldest part be the side closest to the Undertow Deck on the back—basically that blue wall where Whitings' Games is located? 
A: Any remnants of the Dolphin Baths are buried in sand and not in the old operations building itself.  It's hard to say what the oldest part of this building is since so much remodeling occurred over the decades. (7/18/2013)

Q: I don't think I've ever heard of the Hanly Baths. Do you have any more information concerning them? Are they the part of the Skee-roll building between the old Operations Office (previously the Plunge boiler room) that used to be the Food Service Offices?
A: I can't give you specifics as to location of the Hanly Baths other than to say the enterprise was where the operations building is today.  I don't know how much space that activity took up.  A 1912 map shows "turkish baths" in the west section of the space and "billiard and pool" 
Skee-roll building, 2000. (Courtesy SC Seaside Co.)
in the east section.  The woman who operated the baths established a hospital in later years in the Dream Inn parking lot (across the street from the hotel).  It opened as the Hanly Hospital and I believe in the 1940's was taken over by the Adrian Dominican Sisters and the name changed to Sisters Hospital. (7/18/2013)

Q: What is the history of the Water Race building?
A: It was probably built sometime after the Giant Dipper was built since it was not present when the Thompson Scenic Railway was around in 1911. Thus it probably dates to the late 1920s or early 1930s. From the 1950s through the 1970s, the building contained a live shooting gallery, the Greyhound Races, Walking Charlie, and one or two other games. (6/7/2013)

Charles Canfield with Walking Charlie, 1973. (Courtesy SC Seaside Co.)
Q: Regarding the Water Race Building, there appears to be an old false-front peaked roof behind the Break-A-Plate game. I suspect this is the oldest part of the structure. Is it possible that this was moved from somewhere else after the Giant Dipper was built? Also, do any old blueprints of this building exist?
A: I am not aware of blueprints for this building.  The Break-A-Plate location was formally a shooting gallery where live .22 caliber ammunition was used.  I believe the whole building was constructed in place at one time. (7/18/2013)

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