80 Years

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Jones Beach State Park - 80 Years of Service : 1929 - 2009

Jones Beach State Park, most renowned of all Long Island State Parks, derives its name from Major Thomas Jones who as legend has it, was a pirate and came to Long Island in 1692, then built near Massapequa, the first brick house on Long Island and eventually acquired a total of 6,000 acres. He owned part of what is now Jones Beach because around the year 1700 he established a whaling station on the outer part of Jones Beach.  Major Jones died in 1713. In 1929, the large tract of land given to Thomas Jones and his wife Freelove , along with subsequent purchases by Major Jones, officially became Jones Beach State Park, as part of the New York State Park System through the dedication from Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the nautical vision of Robert Moses.

The park opened on August 4, 1929 during a huge sandstorm. On that day Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt, former Governor Alfred E. Smith, and at that time Commission President Robert Moses, were principal speakers.

Its success and popularity were immediately apparent. In 1930, the first full year of operation, a million and a half people visited the park. In July 1931, the West Bathhouse with swimming and diving pools opened. The Wantagh Causeway soon became overcrowded and serious traffic delays occurred every Sunday. On November 3, 1931, the Town of Hempstead voted to convey to the State all of Short Beach, the area between the Park and Jones Inlet, together with a right of way for an additional causeway from the mainland, near Freeport, to the Park. This eventually became the Meadowbrook Parkway.

Swimming as always been the top attraction. Few places offer facilities for such fine surf bathing, stillwater bay bathing and swimming pools with diving and wading pools.  Thousands are also attracted by the other facilities for healthful recreation. There are volleyball courts, deck tennis and shuffleboard courts, 18-hold pitch and putt golf course, miniature golf, softball diamonds, Basketball courts, Children's playground, picnic areas, miles of surf fishing areas, fishing docks and a boat basin, outdoor dancing and a two-mile long boardwalk. In addition, the Annual Air Show, Fireworks Spectacular, Concerts, Sports programs, and other outdoor entertainment are presented.

Nearly 1/2 Billion visitors have enjoyed Jones Beach over the last 80 years.

It is rare to find a public project that is so immense, complex and visionary, unless the creator of that project is the master builder himself, Robert Moses. Rarer still is that the project, eighty years after its inauguration, is still serving its huge constituency with enormous popularity, and very much along the lines first conveyed by its originator. Such is the case with Jones Beach State Park.

Jones Beach, the largest public recreational bathing park in the world, is a landmark of New York State's matchless system of nearly 200 state parks and historic sites, and a crown jewel of the Moses Legacy. From swimming to golfing, from volleyball to softball, from fishing to bird watching, from gazing at the stars in the sky to watching the stars on stage at the Amphitheater, there is no other place like it in the world. Jones Beach, one of the most visited state parks in the country, is also the most magnificent beach in the world.

 

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Comments (16)Add Comment
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written by news, July 10, 2013
think Robert [ur=http://www.google.com]googleMoses would be appalled at the condition of the upkeep of his beautiful park. The showers SUCK, the paint on the buildings is chipping and peeling, you have all these employees with [ur=http://www.google.com]google nothing to do half the time. You can't even go for a walk at west end 2 because it would cost millions of dollars to do so according to the state. Feild 6 decied to make the shower room smaller WHY??? People have [ur=http://www.google.com]google
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written by liz shoop, June 24, 2011
Summer employees at Jones Beach do care and are the glue holding the park together. Most do work hard to keep the beachfront and boardwalk free from trash and debris. The numerous trash cans and barrels that line the boards and the beach don't empty themselves! It is amazing that some patrons can't walk five feet to throw their trash (especially dirty disposable diapers) into a trash can. With a reduced summer staff, the gardening team does a great job planting and maintaining the flower beds and planters. It is too bad that some patrons feel it is their right to uproot or trample plants, and throw trash into the flowers and shrubs. If only all patrons would be considerate and follow the posted rules about alcoholic beverages, bicycles and skateboards, scooters and rollerblades, pets and loud radios.
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written by Ron Keeler, March 22, 2011
WOW, 80 years in 2009. I remember the 20th anniverary in 1949. Several of us kids who were working at the West Bathhouse as countermenbusboys, cashiers and line girls (JBCC) were sent upstairs to bus the tables and otherwise help out at the celebration party being held there. I remember seeing Govenor Thomas Dewey there.
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written by ed hardy shirts, August 04, 2010
I think Robert Moses would be appalled at the condition of the upkeep of his beautiful park. The showers SUCK, the paint on the buildings is chipping and peeling, you have all these employees with nothing to do half the time. You can't even go for a walk at west end 2 because it would cost millions of dollars to do so according to the state. Feild 6 decied to make the shower room smaller WHY??? People have to change in a bathroom stall! At least the lifeguards are great.
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written by guest, August 04, 2010
What makes Jones Beach so special aside from the beauty of the water , etc., is the fact that it doesn't have a boardwalk of tacky little shops. You can find those on almost all beaches from here to Florida. Jones Beach is a refuge for people to relax and just end enjoy the sun. No blaring radios and bicycle riders on the boardwalk in the summer. Although lately we've seen people abusing this,they think they are in Long Beach where bicycles are allowed. Please keep this beautiful beach as it is, and not let it succumb to being just another tacky beach ,once it does it will be gone forever :O(
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written by Sandy Williams, July 12, 2010
Like many of the NY State facilities, there is no real maintenance allowed to be done by state workers.
Instead the state hires expensive contractors to do major renovations or capital projects when conditions get really bad, be it highways, parks, pools, parking lots, bridges, highway lights that are out for years, and other facilities.
State workers, those with the skills and the maintenance titles, would be lower cost and the work would be done with greater pride because they DO CARE about the facilities they are responsible for but policy in Albany and in the local Counties and cities prevents their involvement as real workers.
It is a shame and as taxpayers we should be annoyed more than we are !
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written by a guest, December 20, 2009
You can't even go for a walk at west end 2 because it would cost millions of dollars to do so according to the state. Feild 6 decied to make the shower room smaller WHY??? People have to change in a bathroom stall! At least the lifeguards are great.
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Grammar
written by Jeanine, September 15, 2009
Three times the author of this "80 Years" article wrote "it's," when it should be "its."
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written by Lynn Montuori, August 21, 2009
I love Jones Beach! Every time I go there with my family, I feel as though we are on vacation. We are so lucky to have this magnificent place right in our "backyard".

I hope the "Trump" project gets resolved soon. If it doesn't work out, maybe small business owners should be allowed to set up shops along the boardwalk (t-shirt sellers, food stands, etc... along the lines of Ocean City Maryland). It may be better for our local economy to offer such opportunities to the "little guys" rather than lining the pockets of the "the big guy".
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written by John Geoghan, August 14, 2009
I think Robert Moses would be appalled at the condition of the upkeep of his beautiful park. The showers SUCK, the paint on the buildings is chipping and peeling, you have all these employees with nothing to do half the time. You can't even go for a walk at west end 2 because it would cost millions of dollars to do so according to the state. Feild 6 decied to make the shower room smaller WHY??? People have to change in a bathroom stall! At least the lifeguards are great.

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