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Kohr’s Fire 1976

I was a few months from turning 9 years old when this fire struck Kohr’s Original Custard and Whistle Stop at Franklin Avenue & Boardwalk. I remember the plectron tones waking us up, followed by the sounds of the firehouse siren blaring for what seemed like 10-15 minutes. My father ran out the door to the firehouse as my mother and I followed him onto the front steps of our home at 119 Franklin Avenue. We looked one block east toward the Boardwalk, and I remember seeing a tall ball of flames shooting into the air. My mother dressed my brother and sister and we walked with a hurried pace toward the Boardwalk. She was visibly worried about my father. We joined a group of local residents that had formed behind the police line and watched the area fire companies fight the blaze. Women and children pointed out their husbands and fathers (it was an all male fire crew back then) with a sense of relief. And I can also remember the Ladies Auxiliary staging at the fire ground and serving water and coffee.  Not as bad as the 1955 or 1965 fires for sure, but this was a bad fire nonetheless!  From The Dr. Anthony E. & Mary Ellen Vaz Collection.




Casino Fishing Pier After The Fire

From the November 6, 1965, edition of Amusement Business Magazine…The fire referenced in the article is the June 10, 1965, fire. Click your mouse with the cursor over the image to expand the article.

Funtown U.S.A. Circa 1955-60

This postcard is unused so there is no postmark to help pinpoint the year the photos were taken. However, if you watch the Freeman’s Amusement Center Fire video you can see the rides featured in the bottom photo at the end of the video in scenes showing the post-fire reconstruction.  That makes me think that the bottom photo was likely shot at least two months following the June 1955 fire and maybe within the following two or three year period. If you magnify the postcard you can also see a sign for Beachcomber Bar.

Lifeguard Boat Beach Scene

At first glance this photo looks like it could have been shot just last summer, but the hair styles and bathing suits are clues that this postcard was published decades ago. In fact, the card was postmarked in Seaside Heights on August 4, 1964 (before the big fire in 1965).

Casino Pier Views (1960s)

These are miscellaneous views of Casino Pier amusement rides.  The first postcard was postmarked on July 25, 1960, and shows the Jr. Hot Rods.

This Belle Freeman Estate postcard was postmarked on June 30, 1964, and shows the Casino Pier. The small ferris wheel appears again in the subsequent postcard.

View from Kiddie Land at Casino Pier facing south. Postmarked in 1965.

More Jr. Hot Rods and the train.

Another mid-1960s view.  The fire on June 10, 1965, destroyed much of what is visible in this view.

Freeman’s Amusements and Funtown USA Views

The first postcard was mailed from Seaside Heights on September 8, 1964. Evelyn wrote to Mr. & Mrs. B. Wood in Fair Lawn, NJ: “This is a real lazy life. How have you been? If you take a ride down the address is 220 Sampson Ave. Regards from all.”  The south facing view shows Freeman’s Amusement Center before the June 9, 1955, fire.

The second postcard was postmarked in 1968 and shows the new Funtown USA that was built after the fire. Both postcards may be enlarged by clicking your mouse over the image.


Casino Pier Fire (1965)

Greg Kohr also shared this video of the June 10, 1965 fire at Casino Pier.

Freeman’s Amusement Center Fire Video (1955)

Greg Kohr, owner of Kohr’s Original Frozen Custard on the boardwalk, obtained this video from a friend of his. Greg was nice enough to share it with his fellow volunteer firefighters. The video is a very stunning video of the June 9, 1955, Freeman’s Amusement Center Fire.