Monday, May 4, 2009

The United States Hotel - Long Branch

Most of you have never heard of the Pach Brothers but those of us who love the Jersey Shore owe them a debt of gratitude as they took some of the earliest photographs of the Jersey Shore in existence.
Their specialty was stereographic photography and pictured here is the United States Hotel in Long Branch. This is old school and and dates to the early 1870's. The hotel was built in 1852 and was the quintessential seaside hotel.
Instead of offering the standard fare of the day the owners hired the chef of the noted St. Nicholas Hotel in New York City. There were expansive piazzas with ocean views on three sides of the hotel, a house orchestra for daily serenades and three weekly hops. A well manicured lawn made croquet a favorite of the guests. The proprietor even supplied a life guard for his guests in the era before resorts provided them. All this for $4.00 a night.

Here is some trivia... the hotel had a connection with the Pach Brothers. In the summer of 1866 they traveled to Long Branch to take portraits of the rich and famous and caught the eye of President Ulysses S. Grant, who summered there during and after his presidency. Grant and some of his wealthy buddies funded the Pachs' first Long Branch studio on the grounds of the United States Hotel.

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