Thursday, April 24, 2014
The History of Interlaken
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Reproduced from a photograph appearing in the original prospectus of the Interlaken Land Development Company in 1890, The Interlaken Farm was home of the Interlaken founders Dr. Francis and Fannie WeldThe history of the Borough of Interlaken, starts in 1667 when Gavin Drummond purchased a tract of land from the Lenape Indians.  The land was originally included in Ocean Township which seceded from the vast Shrewsbury Township in 1849. Ocean Township, at that time, included what is today Eatontown, Neptune Township, Neptune City, Avon, Bradley Beach, Ocean Grove, Asbury Park, Allenhurst, Deal, Long Branch, West Long Branch, Loch Arbor, Interlaken, Monmouth Beach, Sea Bright, and Oceanport.

 In 1888, a Boston Physician, Dr. Francis Weld and his wife Fannie, fell in love with the area and purchased It is believed that this pho-tograph taken in the mid 1950's depicts the winners of the Annual Christmas Decoration Contest stand¬ing infront of the first Bor¬ough Hall. the 364-acre tract. They established Interlaken Farm, named after a similar peninsula in Switzerland (Interlochen – between the lakes) that they had just visited.

In 1890, Dr. Weld formed the Interlaken Land Company to convert his farm into an exclusive residential community.  With the exception of Bridlemere, the east and west avenues ending in “mere” were named after lakes in England’s northern district.  The cross streets, Iona, Staffa, Westra, Scarba, Barra and Rona, were names from the Scottish Hebrides Islands in the Irish Sea.

This The initial efforts to establish the community failed due to strict building codes that specified the construction of large dwellings only. The property then passed to the International Trust Company of Boston.  In 1905 they hired the Stormfelz-Lovely-Neville Company to continue building efforts.  As part of their vision for Interlaken, the new developers constructed the stately stone gates at the eastern entrance on Grasmere Avenue.This photo taken shortly after the construction of the new borough hall in 1958 depicts Borough Clerk, Robert Adams seemingly reflecting on the beauty of the new meeting room.

Under the new management company, the community grew, and attracted numerous writers, artists, and musicians who found the quiet location around Deal Lake an inspirational setting.

 

The first Mayor and Council of Interlaken took their seats on June 26, 1922. When Interlaken seceded from Ocean Township, pessimists predicted that the baby Borough would not be able to support itself.  The Borough remains today a strictly residential community, just as the original developers intended.

 

 

Marie A. Sylvester – Around Deal Lake, Arcadia Publishing 1998

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