Margaret Thomas Buchholz

Surfing began on LBI in the 1930s, but in the 1960s, it was hot.

Doc Cramer was baseball's gift to the major leagues in the 1930s. He was inducted into the New Jersey All Sports Hall of Fame in 1968.

Sinbad, the Coast Guard mascot, on the steps of Kubel's Bar, Barnegat Light.

Long Beach Island Reader

For the last half of the 20th Century, one Long Beach Island publication, The Beachcomber featured observations, essays and literary stories that captured the essence of this Jersey Shore resort island.

The Beachcomber (now a publication of its one-time competitor The SandPaper) was for decades the dominant summer weekly. Fat issues were delivered to every doorstep on the island on Thursday nights, to be read with Friday morning coffee just in time for a weekend at the beach.

More than sixty of these stories, spanning the period between the 1930s and the beginning of the new millennium have been selected by the publication’s former publisher and editor and are included in The Long Beach Island Reader. This 230-page softcover book brings a solid collection of wonderful writing to a new audience in the 21st Century.

The anthology offers an all-encompassing perspective of Long Beach Island – the real LBI we love and hold in our collective memories. It includes our happy, carefree childhoods at the beach, our parents and grandparents making the trip to the shore, our summer foolishness as teenagers, and our pursuits and reflections on what matters as we mature. Those activities may be a little different in different eras, but the experiences (and feelings) are much the same today.

And so, in this collection, there is the poetry of fishing and the beauty of sailing; the life-affirming thrill of surfing; and the ghosts of summer watering holes. There are violent storms and zen-like beachcombing. More textured and reflective than simple accounts of fun at the beach, the stories were chosen from several thousand published over five decades.

There are eye-opening accounts about blowing up a beached whale with dynamite (not just a beach-urban legend!), shark attacks (true), a sea serpent (perhaps), and an aquaplane. There is remarkable natural history, including horseshoe crabs, gulls, terrapins, and a story about preservation of natural, wild shoreline for threatened species habitat. There is the youthful freedom of summer beach parties, the birth of the Surflight Theatre with the legendary Joseph P. Hayes; a tradition of serious sandlot baseball (and a last interview with Roger “Doc” Cramer); and the fun and responsibility of summer jobs.

The lure of Long Beach Island has drawn visitors and new residents for generations. Each generation sees this place with fresh eyes, making discoveries as if for the first time and that is captured in this collection of delightful essays and engaging articles.

The book includes a foreword by Andrea Feld, a former Beachcomber summer staffer, a student in the 1970s, who went on to a career in publishing, including managing editor of Bride's Magazine.

Pound Fisheries operated up and down LBI from the late 19th century until the 1950s.

The "Fortuna" wrecked on the Ship Bottom beach in 1910.

Harvey Cedars on LBI, 1937, by Kinsey Cove

Schooner Lucy Evelyn opens in Beach Haven in May 1949. It burned down in February 1972.

Blowing up a whale that beached on LBI is an iconic tale.

Selected Works

"Tales vastly more interesting, and with a fascinating cast of characters, are told in New Jersey Shipwrecks."
The New York Times
"New Jersey Shipwrecks commands attention with its gripping true tales of life, death, survival and rescue."
Midwest Book Review
"Rather than just giving facts and figures, she adds a human touch. Buchholz writes with a storyteller's skill in recounting this fascinating segment of maritime history."ť
ForeWord Magazine
"Superbly documented... highly recommended."
MBR Bookwatch
"With New Jersey Shipwrecks: 350 Years in the Graveyard of the Atlantic, author Margaret Buchholz continues her tradition of bringing New Jersey coastal history to vivid life through her unmistakably intelligent, attention-capturing writing style and graphically-rich books. Her depth of research is unmatched ... Buchholz can rest easy knowing that her body of work ranks among the best maritime history ever published in the United States."
–John J. Galluzzo, Editor, Wreck & Rescue Journal US Life-Saving Service Heritage Association
"In a marvelous reversal of nature, a daughter gives life to a mother."
–Helene Stapinski, author of Five-Finger Discount: A Crooked Family History
"The author paints a beautiful portrait of a woman ahead of her time ... in prose that flows with the hypnotic ebb of the tides ... I found myself mesmerized as well as charmed."
–Laura Shane Cunningham, author of Sleeping Arrangements and A Place in the Country.
"Memoir captivates with details of trailblazing career woman."
-The SandPaper
"I loved hearing firsthand about Jo’s adventures and experiences. Even though her words were written during another time, they are relevant and timely today. Washington has changed a great deal for the female government employee and we owe our start to brave and exciting women like Jo."
– Krysta Harden, USDA Chief of Staff
“What a wonderful book. I love the way you weave rich material she left behind with your own observations. All to the good effect of recapturing Jo's life. A labor of love, but also a real contribution to history, this story of a latter day Jo from Little Women.”
– Daniel Horowitz Mary Huggins Gamble Professor of American Studies Emeritus, Smith College
"Things have changed enormously along the Jersey Shore…. Charting the vastness of change over two and a half centuries is the signal achievement of Shore Chronicles…. Resonates with the minute details of our shared past…."
From The Star-Ledger
"One of the best documented compendiums ever published of what it meant to be there."
The New York Times
"Just as the title promises; this is a history of wild weather on the Jersey shore...The authors set the scene in colonial history and then take you–with harrowing eyewitness accounts– through the famous modern storms of 1944 and 1962."
–John Mort, Booklist
"As much an adventure story as it is a scientific chronicle of natural disasters."
–Barbara Bogaev, "Radio Times," WHYY-FM
"It should be required reading..."
–Dr. Robert C. Sheets, Director National Hurricane Center, Coral Gables, FL
"It is simply one of the best weather books I have ever seen."
Mariners Weather Log

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