THIS IS A BIG PAGE ─ with lots of images. SO WAIT FOR IT TO LOAD.

   

     
 
NOTICE: This page is now listed as a reference on, and linked from, Wikipedia's "Oceanside, New York" page.


What you are about to view below is probably the largest collection of photographs of our little town as it was in the 1950s to be found online or anywhere! Like so much that we remember from our youth, many of these familiar places are now gone.

Do these images trigger some sweet memories for you? 
  


Our little town, Oceanside,

New York, was too 

cool to have a town square    
so instead, we had      
a town triangle.
        

  
Click here to examine recently discovered evidence that our own triangle actually      dates back to prehistoric times.       

   
    (The above link provided with permission of  
the copyrightholder, Creators Syndicate, Inc.)  

   

    

    
  

 

Remembrance
    a poem by Andrew Ceroni*

  

I remember special places

Smiling faces, secret spaces.

Memories of times ago,

The greens of spring, and winter's snow.

Treasured thoughts of moments past,

Moments we hoped would always last.

 

They're distant now, but also near,

Just close your eyes and wish them here.

For in your heart, forever traces

Linger of those special places,

Smiling faces, secret spaces.

  

Close your eyes. Let's remember.

 
Copyright 1995, Andrew Ceroni
All rights reserved. Used with permission.

______________

*

Click on the poet's name above to learn how
to buy his best-selling novel, Meridian.


The beautiful pen-and-ink sketch of our familiar town triangle that you see at left was done in 1953 by then local (and now late) artist, Reggie Behl. Click here for a larger version of this and more of Reggie's work created during her Oceanside period and about her life's career.

   
The eastern boundary of the Oceanside triangle, looking north, circa 1955-'56                                           (Photo from Spindrift, 1956 ed.
With the permission from, and credit to. the 1960 Sailors Association Inc.this photo has been on display in the Oceanside branch of the
Community National Bank since it was erected in 2007 on the former site of the Shell gas station at Long Beach Rd. and Windsor Pkwy.
  

 
These two photos of our town triangle appear to have been taken the same day. At the upper left in the shot above, and at the extreme right, is the stately Oceanside National Bank. Although no longer a bank, the building, erected in 1928, remains one of the most beautiful structures ever built in our little town. 

Older photos of the triangle are at the bottom of this page.
    

The western boundary of the Oceanside triangle, circa 1956
(Photo from Spindrift, 1956 ed.)
  

   

 

 

If you had an account at the old Oceanside National Bank in the late 1950s, along with 3% interest on your savings account, you probably got a glass ash tray like the one below:
   

 
 

 

                  Ad from the Oceanside Beacon

(Click to view ads for other local favorites.from the time such as Levin's Pharmacy and Chwatsky's Department Store ) 

  

According to Dr. Walter S. Boardman's The Story of Oceanside, our familiar town triangle (at the intersection of Davison Avenue, South Lincoln Avenue and Long Beach Road) became the center of town between 1900 and 1925, when a trolley line was operated from Jamaica, Queens, through Lynbrook, along Woods Avenue to Oceanside, then by way of Brower Avenue to Baldwin, Atlantic Avenue to Freeport and, finally, to Hempstead. 

 

Originally called "Christian Hook" for almost 200 years,
to advance its position in the oyster industry, our little

 

town came to be known as "Oceanville" in the second half of the19th century and in 1890, by the name of "Ocean Side" (two words). However, beginning as early as 1900, people came to use the one-word version of the name, "Oceanside," interchangeably with the two-word version until around 1918, the when the one-word version was officially recognized by postal authorities. But even for some time thereafter, our little town remained commonly referred to as "Stop 102," which was the name of the trolley station at our town triangle.

        

Below are two images of a familiar sight near the north end of town:

    

Towers Funeral Home

Looking like a grand, 19th century, southern plantation house, one of the most familiar and historical landmarks in our little town has been called "one of the finest examples of Colonial architecture in the East." Gilda GrayIn the Roaring Twenties, it was  the home of famous flapper, Ziegfeld dancer and movie star who, legend has it, created the dance, the Shimmy, Gilda Gray (click for an article about her by our friend, Richie Woods). It still stands in a prominent location at Long Beach and Foxhurst Rds. We knew it only as the Towers Funeral Home, and it is still owned and operated by the Towers family.

  

Here's another familiar sight in the north part of town that no one ever wanted to see (but some of us were born here):

 

South Nassau Communities Hospital, Oceanside Rd., circa 1950 (built in 1928)

  

The next five photos were provided by Andy Southard, Jr. ('51).The first was taken by Andy in 1957, and the remaining four were taken in November 1952 (Copyright 1995 by Andy Southard, Jr., Salinas, CA. Used with permission.)

  

  Northeast corner, Foxhurst and Oceanside Rds.  (That's Andy, age 24, on the right, with his '55 Chevy.)

    

A southbound view of Long Beach Rd. at the triangle
     

And still another southbound view primarily of the east side of Long Beach Rd. at the triangle
    

Also the east side of Long Beach Rd. but just north of the triangle

  

Looking northbound on Long Beach Rd. late 1952 where the Oceanside movie theatre (see second photo below) would soon

be built circa 1954 or '55.

 (Note the Towers Funeral Home again in the distance.)

                                                                                     

A longer shot view of the same site, in the same direction, a year or two later.

  

The Oceanside movie theatre fire in April 1958
(This photo also appeared on the front page of the Oceanside Beacon, August 7, 1958.)

  

The annual Memorial Day Parade was (and is) a tradition in our little town. Here are four Memorial Day Parade photos from our time there. The first is from 1960 and features our Oceanside High School marching band in their "cool[??]," brand new uniforms. (For a special tribute to the memory of the wonderful teacher who led that band beginning in the Fall of 1955, click here.) The second one is from 1957 and features our Oceanside Jr. High School marching band (including many of us as freshmen), and the next two, also from 1957, shows a troop of Brownies marching.  
(The first two photos courtesy of classmate, Ed Chilton, the next two, courtesy of his sister, Maggie.) ,

  

Marching eastbound, approaching Oceanside Rd.

   

Our jr. high band marching southward on Long Beach
Rd. toward the triangle.in the 1957 Memorial Day Parade 

  

 

A Brownie troop in the 1957 Memorial Day Parade also marching southward on
  Long Beach  Rd. toward the triangle (at the same site as immediately above).

 

 

  The same Brownie troop continuing southward on
Long  Beach Rd. in the 1957 Memorial Day Parade 

  

The following four parade photographs were taken on Memorial Day, 1958. The first two were from the window of an office above Chwatzky's and also feature our Oceanside Jr. High School band. 

   

 
 

Remember Jazzbo in those parades  with  his 1929
Model A Ford, the "JAZZMOBILE"? What other Long Island community had its own town clown?

Westward view of the triangle during our annual Memorial Day Parade, 1958
  

   

 

 

Do you know what was in that 
building, say, circa 1939-'40?

 (Click here for the answer.)               

 

 

 

 

Marching south and passing Davison Ave. at the
triangle during our annual Memorial Day parade, 1958

   
      
 

    Two more snapshots of the 1958 Memorial Day Parade as it passed the only diner in Oceanside our beloved Rainbow Diner.

 

Here's a closer view of our Rainbow Diner, a special, classic memory of our youth:

 

These people are members of the OHS class of 1954's Spindrift staff.

(Photo from Spindrift, 1954 ed. (taken circa Spring 1954)

   

The following group of four photos shows that Memorial Day was not the only holiday tradition regularly observed on the streets of our little town during our time there. Every year, together with our local merchants along Long Beach Rd., the Oceanside Recreation Department sponsored a Halloween window painting contest for the kids. Remember that? ((The large photos, courtesy of Maggie Chilton. The small photos are from the Oceanside Beacon.)

  

1958

  
                        

1958

 

1959

  

Cleaning up afterwards, 1958

 
   
Pasetti's
                  (Copyright 2004, Richard Woods. Used with permission.)

The photo at left of Pasetti's, the popular candy store/ice cream parlor/luncheonette on Long Beach Road (just northeast of the triangle), and as indicated, six of the images below, are from the wonderful pictorial history of our little town from its  inception to 1960, Oceanside, by Richard Woods.  
                          

A promotional birthstone mirror from Levin's, circa late 1950s  

   

Levin's Whelan's Pharmacy on Lincoln Ave. that dominated the town triangle's retail center since circa 1930 (and still there

 today) is shown here, circa 1957-'59.

(Copyright 2004, Richard Woods. Used with permission.)

  

The Oceanside Public Library, Davison Ave., as it looked when we were in school together in the 1950s.  However, this
picture was taken in 1941, shortly after it was built.             

(Copyright 2004, Richard Woods. Used with permission.)

   

Another view of our library, pre-1952

 

The following two photos were provided by classmate, Ed Chilton:

 

Southwest corner, Davison Ave. at Oceanside Road

 

Looking east on Davison Avenue from Oceanside Rd., the Cozy Corner Tavern is in the foreground at 

right on the southeast corner. In the left background on the southeast corner at Brower Avenue is Murray's 

  Candy Store and Al's (later Uneeda) Butcher Shop. This photo was likely taken circa 1955 or '56.  Note at left

 (on what was really our little town's second triangle) is the parking lot for the Dairy Queen (out of view.

  

                  The "new" Columbia firehouse, Smith St., 1951 (the year it was built to replace the original on South Lincoln Ave, built in 1905)
and the original home of Temple Avodah

  

The next three photos were taken circa 1959-'60 of the east side of Long Beach Road from the picturesque Pickwick Wine and Liquor Shop (shown at left in the next two photos, below, the first framed in a promotional calendar holder) at Bellevue Avenue to Atlantic Avenue one block south and directly across the street from the GLSC:

    

This is Bellevue Avenue

   

  

         This is Long Beach Rd.                                                        This is Atlantic Ave.

    
The Great Lincoln Shopping Center (GLSC) Grand Opening , summer of  1955.           (Copyright 2004, Richard Woods. Used with permission.)  Although it was Food Fair's ad, pictured two doors away was Woolworth's.  (Click here for a typical Woolworth's lunch counter menu of the time. ) 
  

    




Westbound view of Eriksen's Boatyard, dba Crow's Nest Marina, south of Atlantic Avenue near the East Rockaway LIRR station, (and it is still there) where Mill River and Powell Creek meet

(I worked there during the summer of 1962.)

Location identified by Paul Bayha ('65) and Don Clarke ('55).

(Photo from a post card mailed in 1949.)

    

Ocean Chemists, Long Beach Rd. and Windsor Pkwy., probably circa 1955-'56 
(I worked there, too, in 1961.)

  

An older photo of the candy store known then as the Oceanside Sweet Shoppe (next door to Ocean Chemists)

 

Bristol Motors Ford, just across Long Beach Rd., circa 1955-'56            (Copyright 2004, Richard Woods. Used with permission)

  
An earlier photo of Bristol Motors Ford with a then brand new, 1952 OHS Drivers' Ed. car (That's probably
Earl
Bristol at right, but could that be Principal Charles Mosback at left? Joe Papalia ('54), cousin of our classmate,
Ray Martinis
, believes the man in the car is Robert Sodemann, father of another classmate, Lynn Sodemann.)
  
Lawson Blvd., on the west side of town
Want to catch the L.I.R.R. train to Long Beach today? 

(Copyright 2004, Richard Woods. Used with permission.)

  

    

    
Although we don't know exactly when this particular building was erected, according to the L.I.R.R., the Oceanside station opened in 1897. and according to a collector of historical L.I.R.R. photos, the first photo above was taken January 29, 1919. We do know the structure still looked substantially the same in the 1950s.

To prove it (maybe?), this nighttime shot of our L.I.R.R. station to the right  is believed to have been taken in 1953.

    
 

Destroyed by fire in 1971, the C&J Lanes building (at left, below) was previously known as the Oceanside Bowling Center (not to be confused with the Oceanside Bowl, built circa 1955 on Lincoln Avenue South). But even before that, it was a restaurant/ night club/catering place known in the 1930s as the Long Island Casino (third photo below). It was right across the street from (and apparently competed quite directly with) our beloved Roadside Rest. Their common address, 600 Long Beach Road, was verified by reference to the back of the two advertising post cards pictured below (one from circa 1950 and the older one mailed in 1936). In April 2003, the Oceanside Bowling Center post card was offered for sale online for $250. Did you buy it? 

 

  

 
 

C&J Lanes (on the west side of Long Beach Road, circa 1955.

 
   

      

But everyone knows that when we were kids in the 1950s, the real center of town was not the triangle shown above. No, it was, hands-down, our most popular hang-out, a huge part of our little town's history and culture, one of its most beautiful structures, its most famous business, and its most recognized landmark ─ and a source of part-time jobs for so many of us. No, it wasn't any of those other places pictured anywhere else on this page. It was, of course, (click here):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

....

 
Roadside Rest

    
                                   Photo courtesy of Nathan's Famous, Inc.                                    

Click on the flashing logo, the blurry memory that is the photo, or a hot dog for a tribute to, and brief history of, Nathan's and the Roadside Rest with a larger, clearer version of this photo.

 

Our Nathans' Roadside Rest was famous throughout the greater New York area, but our little town had an even more famous site ─ the world famous Roman Catholic underground church built in 1928 known as the Shrine of St. Anthony.

   
Click here for more about St. Anthony's, including spectacular shots of the March 1960 fire that destroyed the underground chapel

 

Our little town started out in the 17th century with the name, "Christian Hook." But by the mid-1950s, it had become one of substantial religious diversity. Besides the Shrine of St. Anthony, there were many others. 

The following assembly of photos originally appeared in the 1955 edition of a publication called The Oceanside Annual; it was reprinted by the Oceanside Education Foundation in the 2000 edition of the Story of Oceanside (written in 1959-'60) by Dr. Walter S. Boardman. It illustrates the extensive array of houses of worship available in the environment in which we grew up:

  
 

Young Israel of Oceanside, an orthodox
synagogue at Waukena Ave. and Oceanside Rd.
that was built during our senior year (shown
here with its founder and now world famous
author and Torah scholar, Rabbi Benjamin Blech,
in 1966 as it was when it opened in May 1960 )

  
       
Carvel

Grand opening in 1954 of our Carvel in Oceanside at the southwest corner of  Cortland Ave. and Long Beach Rd. 
                                
                                                                         (Copyright 2004, Richard Woods. Used with permission.)

  

Remember the Page Two nightclub across from Carvel (near the southeast corner at Cortland)?

    

Page Two
Long Beach Road, northbound between Waukena and Cortland, circa 1958-'59

 

 

( See the big cone mounted on top of Carvel?)        Long Beach Rd., northbound from Waukena, circa 1958-'59

(Notice, a foreign sports car we didn't see many of those then, did we? )
   

Yacovelli's Oceanside Gulf, southeast corner, Long Beach Rd. and Waukena, as it looked after expanding it in 1957

(My dad worked there for over 10 years, and briefly, I did, too, circa 1958.)

  

The  Maple Grove                                                             Long Beach Rd., southbound from Waukena, circa 1958-'59

  

In the south end of town, on Mott St., just east of Oceanside Rd., at the end of Bedell Creek was a small but legendary inlet commonly called  the "elephant's hole." It was so named because in the late 1920s through most of the1930s, elephants (that's right elephants) from a neighboring zoo (that's right a zoo in fact, the largest private zoo in the world at the time, owned by banker, Charles W. Beall) were periodically marched across Mott St. and Oceanside Rd. to be bathed.

 The "elephant's hole" was near my house, and I remember going there frequently as a child during summers in the early '50s to catch blue shell crabs and sometimes, to dig for clams. Although many Oceanside children commonly swam in it  then, my mother wouldn't let me swim there because she heard it was polluted. (That did not stop her, however, from eating the crabs and clams that I got there.)

  
   
    Two views (dates unknown) of the legendary "elephant's hole" (Copyright 2004 and 2013, respectively, by Richard Woods. Used with permission.)
  

Here's another couple of fond summer childhood memories for some of us:

 

 

 

 
Of course, our little town had several seafood restaurants that featured local clams. Among them were Bigelow's at the north end of town and at the south end, Meyer & Kronke's, Rudy's Fish & Chips and one more favorite:
  

This was Peter's Clam Bar, So. Long Beach Rd., circa 1950


Also at the very south end of town, you must remember
Oceanside's connection to big industry: 

Oil City, So. Long Beach Rd.,  a seaport and storage area used by several oil companies

  

But for more hours than we spent in the Rainbow Diner, at Carvel or even at the Roadside Rest (whether before or after it was Nathan's), or in any of those other places pictured above or all of them combined, we spent most of our teenage days in the two buildings shown just below.

  

The first photo below was also of one of the most beautiful buildings in our little town and, although it appears on many other pages all over this website, this page would not be complete without it (or without the next one).

  

HOME OF THE
SAILORS
   

 

Our own Oceanside High School, on Brower and Skillman Aves., as it was from 1955, when it was
 built, until its first expansion in 1963, which unfortunately completely covered its original stately facade.
(Photo from Spindrift, 1960 ed.)

 

 

When this building on Castleton Ct. first opened in 1936, it became the home of Oceanside High School until September 1955, when it became Oceanside Jr. High School. The first year we were there (1954-'55), however, was the only year it served dual duty as Oceanside Jr.-Sr. High, while our high school building, shown just above, was under construction.

   

This photo was taken sometime before we arrived when the jr. high was still next door in what we called "Central School No.1,"
and when there was no south wing (
see next photo below)

 

These next two photos of the same building are older; they were taken when it opened in 1936 (at left) and became the then brand, new Oceanside High School and again in 1948 (below). If you look closely at the right side of each photo, you will notice it shows that the south wing wasn't there yet. When the new wing opened in 1954 (the year we first attended it), it was known as Oceanside Jr.-Sr. High School). The next
year, the expanded building became just  Oceanside
Jr. High School.

  

 

As with much of western Nassau County, Long Island, the post-war suburban explosion in the early to mid-1950s was a time of remarkable residential development and growth in our little town and elsewhere nearby. Below are some examples of the types of homes most commonly built in Oceanside during that period of its most rapid development.

 

The first two shown below were small, plainly designed, low-priced houses, offered mostly to first time buyers in the early '50s by Sunmore Homes, built by Gibson Builders in the area generally bounded on the east by Fulton Ave. continuing a couple of blocks west and on the north and south, respectively, by Weidner and Montgomery Aves. Among the advertising claims made for these homes were:

    
  • Do you enjoy water sports? Long Beach is only 8 minutes away ... Jones Beach only 15 minutes ... and the delightful boating and fishing facilities of Oceanside are practically in your back yard.
  • Do you love country living? Lovely parks and playgrounds are within easy reach ... you thrive in country-fresh air and unobstructed sunshine.
  • Do you insist on city convenience? Two of Oceanside's famed schools are nearby ... shopping is right at hand ... and the L.I.R.R. station is only 3 blocks away.
   

   
 

2-bedroom cape cod at $10,990

  3-bedroom ranch at $11,990   
  

Below is an example of a typically larger, more elaborately designed, "split-level" home of the type that dominated regional development beginning around 1955 (when this one was built in our little town by Walco Homes):
 

 

  
"And as I walked along the thoroughfare,
there was music playing everywhere
...
Oh, what a feeling!"
   

Paul Anka, 1960  

 

Many little streets on this map are unlabeled, and some of the names are hard to read, but surely you can find your own personal "Memory Lane":

  

  

And although they weren't officially in our little town, the following scenes were nearby enough to be among our fondest adolescent and childhood memories. For example, just to the northeast, at Foxhurst Rd. near Grand Ave. in Baldwin, was Silver Lake:

  

This location instantly evokes the same teenage memory for all of us but it was not during daylight!
(It was our favorite "make-out" spot.)

  

 Also in Baldwin (a little more northeastward on Sunrise Hwy.) was a great party place (at left) for wedding and bar mitzvah receptions and for Sweet Sixteen parties for the daughters of more affluent families.

And many of us remember being taken as little kids, a little further eastward on Sunrise Hwy. in Baldwin, to enjoy the carousel and other amusement rides at Nunley's  (below). Click here to find out about a a book about Nunleys, with lots of pictures of Baldwin.

  

  

Before the Oceanside movie theatre was built (circa 1954 or 1955), we usually went north to the next town, Rockville Centre, to see a movie in the old Fantasy Theater on Park Avenue. 

And for a quick 15 hamburger, we could stop at Wetson's on Sunrise Highway (also in Rockville Centre) ...

  

or over the line to the south of our little town, on Austin Blvd. in Island Park, at Joseph's Hamburger's.

  

Also on Austin Blvd. in Island Park, was the western-themed Texas Ranger, a popular landmark that served "Rangeburgers," which many say were the best.
 

Photo from Echo, Long Beach High School's yearbook, 1958 ed., taken circa 1957 or 1958, before the TR was expanded.

  

And when we were old enough, we all got our most wonderful summer memories on the boardwalk and the beach that was only about 4 miles to the south in Long Beach. (Sadly, in late 2012, our beloved Long Beach boardwalk, then 105 years old, was totally destroyed by Superstorm Sandy. It has since been rebuilt.)

  
Click here for a whole page of memories of the Long Beach boardwalk in the 1950s.
  
  • Click here for more information on the history of our little town.
  • Click on the Beacon masthead below for more historical material and memories from the 1957-1960 pages of .
        
  • Register (free) on OCEANSIDE, NY, MEMORIES  message board, and join the online fun sharing memories of our little town.
  • For the latest online news from home, go to the Oceanside HERALD.
     
  • For a broad spectrum of information about local businesses, events and government services available in our little town, go to.

A postcard featuring the triangle, southbound view, circa 1939-'40

It's an A&P!

 

Here's another southbound view of the triangle, probably even older, say, mid-'30s.

Notice the familiar police booth prominently in the center, and to the west, the first Columbia firehouse on Lincoln Ave. South. The firehouse was old then (built in 1905), and the building is still in use.
  

And a close-up of the northwest corner, Davison and Lincoln Aves., circa 1935

  

 Commissioned by Levin's Pharmacy, also, circa 1935

 

Looking east on Davison Ave. when our town triangle was known as "Trolley Stop 102"
Could be the oldest photo of our triangle?

 

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