Retro Fair Haven Kindergarten

Fair Haven Youth Center kindergarten p.m. 1965-66. Class Photo
Fair Haven Youth Center kindergarten p.m. 1965-66.
Class Photo

Recent talk about kids moving on up to full-day school and into middle school from elementary prompted a look back to what Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect thought was the first kindergarten class in Fair Haven at Knollwood School.

It turns out that we were wrong. Many people responded saying that they had attended kindergarten at Knollwood and what was Willow Street School in those earlier years.

We’re not sure if it was that things got switched around a lot back in the late 1950s and into the mid- to late-60s or if, perhaps, it was the morning classes that attended Knollwood and Willow Street or the kids were just split among classes due to that Baby Boom, but we do know that there was a rope and kids were walked to kindergarten at the Youth Center in the borough in 1965-66.

So, the Retro Pic of the Day is a look back at that afternoon kindergarten class to which yours truly, your editor, was toted daily at the tender young age of 5. Yikes.

There are a few familiar faces in this photo. Some are still in the area. One is a popular funeral director. Another just recently wrote a book and has a younger brother who is a popular landscaper/photographer.

Oh, and the teachers were Mrs. Oliverson and Mrs. Wikoff (sp?).

Recognize anyone?

— Elaine Van Develde

Clinging Jellyfish: The Facts

With the rise in rampant fear looming over the dime-sized clinging jellyfish’s sting to people recreating in the Shrewsbury and Navesink rivers that border the Rumson-Fair Haven peninsula, Fair Haven officials have issued a fact sheet advising people of the jellyfish’s characteristics and where they thrive.

Here it is …

The Clinging Jellyfish (Gonionemus vertens) is a small hydrozoan jellyfish about the size of a dime that can be found in bay and estuarine waters.


Clinging jelly sh are native to the Paci c Ocean. They were introduced to the eastern Atlantic Coast as early as 1894 in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, but can be found from Maine to North Carolina. Clinging jelly sh thrive in temperate regions, and can be found in sheltered shallow bay and estuarine waters where tides are not strong enough to dislodge them.

They prefer to cling to vegetation and other substrates (e.g. shells) during the day. They typically feed at night in the water column on small marine animals (zooplankton), but have been observed during the day. They are not typically found in coastal ocean waters.


This is a small jelly sh that only grows to about 25 mm (1 inch) in diameter, but it can expand to about three inches in diameter. They have 60-90 tentacles that contain the nematocysts or stinging cells.


Although they have not been previously reported in New Jersey waters, their presence here may be a recent introduction, or they may have gone unnoticed in the past. They do not produce large populations as do some other jellyfish, but can be found in local areas in small to moderate numbers.

Continue reading Clinging Jellyfish: The Facts

Focus: People of ‘R-FH Retro’

It’s been two years since Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect’s (R-FH Retro) domain names were registered and, bit by bit, publishing began.


In those two years, myriad locals at community events have been captured by this founding editor’s lens.

Check out our most-viewed shots of the people and events of the Rumson-Fair Haven area since the inception of the hyperlocal news and features site that ties the treasured past of the area to the present.

Thank you for supporting Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect! Stay tuned for many more special local news spotlights to come!

Retro R-FH Retro

Yes, friends and fans, it’s been exactly two years since Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect (or R-FH Retro, for short) registered its domain name and got started.

It’s been a great two years, sharing news, features and photos from the past and present with all of you!

So, to honor the first days of the website, we are posting the first photos posted on The very first, and featured photo, was a look from the dock of Eventide in Sea Bright looking onto the shores of Rumson. The other (below) is a photo of the Navesink River and Oceanic Bridge from the shores of Victory Park in Rumson.

Thank you all for your support and patronage of R-FH Retro. We look forward to bringing you more news and looks back than ever in the coming year.

Reach out to us at [email protected] and find out how you can advertise on the site for a nominal fee and support the continued flow of news, features and photos at no cost to readers.

Thank you and enjoy! Here’s to the view from this beautiful peninsula we all call home!

With all thoughts good and hyperlocal,

Elaine Van Develde

publisher/founding editor

Draft Ocean Action Plan to be Unveiled

From the Monmouth University Urban Coast Institute …

Monmouth University will serve as New Jersey’s site for the unveiling of a historic draft Ocean Action Plan for the Mid-Atlantic region on July 14.

The draft plan is the product of nearly three years of deliberations and stakeholder outreach by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body (MidA RPB), a group composed of federal agencies, tribal entities, the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and the states of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

The plan will recommend strategies and actions for improved coordination among those entities with the goal of safeguarding the region’s coastal ecosystems, cultures and economies.

In 2010, President Obama established a National Ocean Policy (NOP) which called for greater collaboration among states and regional authorities on marine issues and supported the formation of regional planning bodies to develop ocean plans for their respective territories by the end of 2016. The MidA RPB is one of eight such groups nationally to have been formed for this purpose.

“The ocean is getting busier all the time with activities such as beach recreation, fishing, shipping, sand extraction and boating,” Monmouth University Urban Coast Institute (UCI) Director Tony MacDonald said. “In the coming years we’ll see the introduction of offshore wind farms and much larger cargo vessels as a result of the Panama Canal’s expansion. A regional planning approach of this kind is necessary to avoid conflicts between these activities and keep the ocean safe and clean for all users.”

The open house will provide participants an opportunity to learn about the plan, ask questions and provide feedback that will be considered for a final document that is submitted to the federal government for adoption in the fall.

The event will be hosted by the Mid-Atlantic Council on the Ocean (MARCO), an organization formed by the governors of the five coastal states represented by the MidA RPB. The UCI has partnered closely with MARCO on several projects, most notably the development of the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal (, an interactive ocean mapping and information site that will serve as one of the core data sources for the Plan.

The event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on the second floor of Pozycki Hall. Parking is recommended in lots 13, 14 or 15.

The draft plan will be posted online at in early July. Additional public open houses will be held on July 12 in Virginia, July 19 in Maryland, July 20 in Delaware and July 27 in New York. A public webinar for the Plan will be held on July 11. Further details on those events can be found at

Scene Around: Sea Bright Skeletons in the Jeep

Skeleton beach buds in Sea Bright Photo/Jennifer Weber-Zeller
Skeleton beach buds in Sea Bright
Photo/Jenifer Weber-Zeller
Skeleton beach buddies cruising in Sea Bright Photo/Jennifer Weber-Zeller
Skeleton beach buddies cruising in Sea Bright
Photo/Jenifer Weber-Zeller

Summer has started. Beach weather has been prime lately.

And while getting some beach time in at Sea Bright Public Beach, an area resident caught a glimpse of two Jeep-cruisin’ dudes who look like they got fried right to the bone, but were loving every minute of it.

Check out the view of these buddies Rumsonite Jenifer Weber-Zeller caught from the back and side of the Jeep that got these two to their sun-filled siesta destination.

Have you seen them around the towns?


Fair Haven Update: More House on Church Street

It was March of 2015 when the Fair Haven Planning Board approved a three-home subdivision on the .54-acre swath of land where the Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion long stood, the namesake of Church Street.

The church was demolished seven months later, in October. Now, the last and largest of the three homes built by Kolarsick Builders, a 3,000-square-foot residence, is nearing completion. The other two have For Sale signs out front.


There is no remnant of a church remaining on Church Street, except the name of the street. While old-time residents of the street that fronted River Road with the Church of the Holy Communion have expressed chagrin over the change, experts had testified before the Planning Board that the church was a bit of an architectural shambles and not preservable.

The subdivision was deemed by the board to be the only viable option for the site, as the church function on the property had been stagnant since it was put on the market in October of 2010. After being shown a reported 43 times since (between 2011 and 2014) and for various uses, the subdivision was deemed the most appropriate fit by the Planning Board.

Residents, who long lived on the street and have remained friends over the years, want to know what it’s looking like without the namesake church.

Here it is, folks …

— Elaine Van Develde



Retro Fair Haven Kindergarten

That first year of school has always been a major milestone.

In Fair Haven, kids in the 1960s walked on a rope to kindergarten at what was called the Youth Center, now the Fair Haven Police Station.

The rope was traumatic for those of us who weren’t allowed to walk beside our best friends. And the official lady toting the rope-load of us, Mrs. McDaniel, was kinda scary to us little cretins.

Continue reading Retro Fair Haven Kindergarten