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Chief Bill Polhemus Passes

Bill has been known as “Sheriff Polhemus” for many years now, but he was known as “Chief” by the Seaside Heights police department and community before he retired and moved on to county government. Bill was also a member of the Seaside Heights Volunteer Fire Company for many decades, among numerous local organizations he belonged to, and was a strong supporter of Ocean Air Support Squadron (a volunteer flight organization that I am associated with that serves the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department).  Bill’s loss is sad news for our community. Condolences from all of us to Bill’s wife “Aggie” – Councilwoman Agnes Polhemus – and to his daughter and grandchildren.

Bill was one of the town’s few remaining links to the pioneer days of Seaside Heights. His grandparents, Mr. Samual McNicholl and Helen Gallagher McNicholl, resided along what was later named Dupont Avenue even before Manhasset Realty carved the town into lots and started selling. Bill’s father was a local contractor and built many of the early homes and commercial buildings in town.

Living directly across the street from Bill and Aggie during my high school years was always interesting, especially when my sister and I threw one of our Saturday night parties when Tony & Mary Ellen were out of town. But I’m fairly sure that he never ratted me out! In later years, I enjoyed our conversations about Seaside Heights history. He had so many personal memories and great stories he loved to tell. I learned something new from him every conversation.

Viewings for Bill will be held at the Timothy Ryan Funeral Home, 145 St. Catherine Blvd. in Toms River, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday.  The funeral service will be held at the same location at 11 a.m. Friday. Bill will be buried at Ocean County Memorial Park.

Here are some photos of Bill from The Terry Groffie Collection, The Dr. Anthony E. & Mary Ellen Vaz Collection, and the Seaside Heights Volunteer Fire Company Museum Collection. You can enlarge the images with your mouse.

040_75th   003Polhemus_1

Nate Ready For Anything  170

Jody’s Pancake House

Jody’s Pancake House on the Boulevard.  This photo appeared in a campaign handout during the 1977 election.  My father was elected to his first term on Borough Council that year with Agnes Polhemus and John Jennings (who served as tax collector back when it was still an elected position). 










Courtesy of Dr. Anthony & MaryEllen Vaz.

Vote for Camera Vaz Fierro November 1992

My father, Tony Vaz, was sworn in last week to the Seaside Heights Borough Council to fill the vacancy left after Joann Duszczak passed away on December 28th.  He previously served on Borough Council from the 1970s until 1992.  In November 1992, I successfully ran for office with John Camera (who now serves as the Borough Administrator) and Arthur Fierro (who is president of the Property Owners Association of Seaside Heights).  The following image is the cover of one of our election campaign pieces.   

Chairmen of the Boards

There is nothing particularly historical about this Asbury Park Press newspaper clip from January 1976, except that it shows my friend George Shenewolf, who lived for many years at 32 Franklin Avenue, and me on the boardwalk with our skateboards when we were both eight years old. As our jackets and hats tell, I was a NY Jets fan, while George always faithfully rooted for the Miami Dolphins.