Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Waterfront- Lunch- Dinner-Ball

For the visitors from New-York and New-Brunswick who were unprovided with baskets,

Part 3

Although the number if those present was very considerable, yet almost all bathed. They came for it, and they meant to have it. When the steamer Wyoming, chartered by Mr. McDowell of New-Brunswick, came alongside the pier with another five hundred merry-makers, the folks in the water received the new-comers with shouts of welcome and screams of laughing waterF1ainvitation. The passengers had a great advantage over the others, however, for they put on their swimming attire in the steamer’s staterooms, and walked leisurely down the landing into the water. By 12 1/2 o’clock almost every one had flouted and splashed to her or his heart’s content, and there was a general exodus and a scramble up the somewhat steep hill to the concealment of the wagons. In a very little time the bathers emerged flushed and rosy, and looked charming in their handsome muslin and silk dresses. White muslin with blue sashes appeared to be the prevailing taste, though there was of course, abundant variety. And very lovely did these New-Jersey girls look, in their modest toilets, with their long hair spread out to dry upon their rounded shoulders, with rich color of health and animation in their cheeks, and their bright eyes lighted up with pleasurable excitement. They formed groups and chatted with girls of their acquaintance, and occasionally asked of a passing young man if there would be a good chance for a dance.  Soon their parents recalled them to the wagons, and huge baskets waterF2awere lifted out.The long tables that had been placed in the grove by the proprietor were taken possession of and were covered with snowy table-cloths. Then great loaves of brown bread were brought out, with roast chickens, already dismembered, roast geese, enormous pickles and huge huckleberry pies. Many of these tables were well furnished with silverware, in the shape of heavy forks and spoons, for these frolickers were, for the most part, substantial farmers, owning their land. On some boards there was the local champagne, known as Jersey cider, and on others, the peculiar apple jack, a strong spirit distilled from cider, colorless to the eye, but very fiery to the tongue, and heavy to the brain. The whole waterfront of the Englewood Grove is an oyster-bed and a fisherman of the place had a stand there and sold natives which were uncommonly good, with a fine salty relish, like the little Shrewsburys. Many of the farmers commenced their meal by a mess of these mollusks, which were sold at incredibly cheap rates, and remarked that Amboy oysters were good every month in the year.

For the visitors from New-York and New-Brusnswick who were unprovided with baskets, there was admirable dinner at the Eagleswood Hotel, where the guests had such a roast lamb as the metropolis seldom offers. There was excellentwf2a bottled porter, good claret, good sherry, and plenty of fine fruit, with very tolerable ice-cream for the ladies. After the meal the visitors promenaded up and down the front piazza, and listened to the band which by this time had arrived from Perth Amboy. In rear of the hotel there was an excellent dancing platform, which was soon crowded by the ladies and their beaux when they heard the music.Then  dancing was commenced with vigor and lasted until sundown.. The visitors by boat went at 5, the visitors by rail had to leave at 6, but the country folks maintained the ball until absolutely compelled to retire by their stern parents.

While the young people swept through the mazy figures of the quadrille, or twirled through the eddies of the waltz, the seniors sat in retired groups and talked eaglew1of the prospects  of Perth Amboy. It seems that the vigorous exposure of Tammany by the Times, and its denunciation of Carnochan’s Quaran-tine atrocities have awakened great expectations in the Perth Amboyian breast. The good people believe that the merchants will not long endure such treatment, and that commerce, like a flood tide, will return to bless the streets of their ancient town. Though these great expectations will probably never be realized, yet as a Summer resort, Eagleswood is undeniably one of the most charming spots in the country, and will always be crowded.


The above Article was from the New York Times in 1871. More to come at a later date on “The Waterfront” and Eagleswood.

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