THIS IS A BIG PAGE ─ with lots of images. SO WAIT FOR IT TO LOAD.


NOTICE: This page is now listed as a reference on, and linked from, Wikipedia's "Oceanside, New York" page.

What you are about to view below is probably the largest collection of 
   photographs of our little town as it was in the 1950s (or earlier) to
found online or anywhere! Like so much that we remember from
    our youth, many of these familiar places are now gone.

    Do these images trigger some sweet
  memories for you? 


Our little town, Oceanside,

New York, was too 

cool to have a town square    
so instead, we had      
a town triangle.

Click here to examine recently discovered evidence that our own triangle actually dates back to prehistoric times.  
(The above link provided with permission of the copyrightholder, Creators Syndicate, Inc.)  



    a poem by Andrew Ceroni*


I remember special places

Smiling faces, secret spaces.

Memories of times ago,

The greens of spring, and winter's snow.

Treasured thoughts of moments past,

Moments we hoped would always last.


They're distant now, but also near,

Just close your eyes and wish them here.

For in your heart, forever traces

Linger of those special places,

Smiling faces, secret spaces.


Close your eyes. Let's remember.


Copyright 1995, Andrew Ceroni
All rights reserved. Used with permission.



Click on the poet's name above to learn
how to buy his best-selling novel, Meridian.


The beautiful pen-and-ink sketch of our familiar town triangle that you see at left was done in 1953 by then local (and now late) artist, Reggie Behl. Click here for a larger version of this and more of Reggie's work created during her Oceanside period and about her life's career.

The eastern boundary of the Oceanside triangle, looking north, circa 1955 (Photo from Spindrift, 1956 ed.)
With the permission from, and credit to, the 1960 Sailors Association Inc.this photo has been on display in the Oceanside branch of the Community National Bank since it was erected in 2007 on the former site of the Shell gas station at Long Beach Rd. and Windsor Pkwy.

These two photos of our town triangle appear to have been taken the same day. At the upper left in the shot above, and at the extreme right, is the stately Oceanside National Bank. Although no longer a bank, the building, erected in 1928, remains one of the most beautiful structures ever built in our little town. 

Older photos of the triangle are at the bottom of this page.

The western boundary of the Oceanside triangle, circa 1955
(Photo from Spindrift, 1956 ed.)




If you had an account at the old Oceanside National Bank in the late 1950s, along with 3% interest on your savings account, you probably got a glass ash tray like the one below:



                  Ad from the

(Click to view ads for other local favorites of the time like Levin's Pharmacy and Chwatsky's Department Store ) 

According to Dr. Walter S. Boardman's The Story of Oceanside, our familiar town triangle (at the intersection of Davison Avenue, South Lincoln Avenue and Long Beach Road) became the center of town between 1900 and 1925, when a trolley line was operated from Jamaica, Queens, through Lynbrook, along Woods Avenue to Oceanside, then by way of Brower Avenue to Baldwin, Atlantic Avenue to Freeport and, finally, to Hempstead. 

Originally called "Christian Hook" for almost 200 years, to advance its position in the oyster industry,

our little town came to be known as "Oceanville" in the second half of the19th century and in 1890, by the name of "Ocean Side" (two words). However, beginning as early as 1900, people came to use the one-word version of the name, "Oceanside," interchangeably with the two-word version until around 1918, the when the one-word version was officially recognized by postal authorities. But even for some time thereafter, our little town remained commonly referred to as "Stop 102," which was the name of the trolley station at our town triangle.


Below are two images of a familiar sight near the north end of town:

Towers Funeral Home

Looking like a grand, 19th century, southern plantation house, one of the most familiar and historical landmarks in our little town has been called "one of the finest examples of Colonial architecture in the East." Gilda GrayIn the Roaring Twenties, it was  the home of famous flapper, Ziegfeld dancer and movie star who, legend has it, created the dance, the Shimmy, Gilda Gray (click for an article about her by our friend, Richie Woods). It still stands in a prominent location at Long Beach and Foxhurst Rds. We knew it only as the Towers Funeral Home, and it is still owned and operated by the Towers family.


Here's another familiar sight in the north part of town that no one ever wanted to see (but some of us were born here):


South Nassau Communities Hospital, Oceanside Rd., circa 1950 (built in 1928)


The next five photos were provided by Andy Southard, Jr. ('51).The first was taken by Andy in 1957, and the remaining four were taken in November 1952 (Copyright 1995 by Andy Southard, Jr., Salinas, CA. Used with permission.)


Northeast corner, Foxhurst and Oceanside Rds.  (That's Andy, age 24, on the right, with his '55 Chevy.)


A southbound view of Long Beach Rd. at the triangle

And still another southbound view primarily of the east side of Long Beach Rd. at the triangle

Also the east side of Long Beach Rd. but just north of the triangle


Looking northbound on Long Beach Rd. late 1952 where the Oceanside movie theatre (see second photo below) would soon be

built circa 1954 or '55.

 (Note the Towers Funeral Home again in the distance.)


A longer shot view of the same site, in the same direction, a year or two later.


The Oceanside movie theatre fire in April 1958
(This photo also appeared on the front page of the
, August 7, 1958.)


To the right and immediately below are two photos taken on Long Beach Rd. circa 1950-'51. Some say one or both of these could be a special event of the Oceanside Volunteer Fire Department called a "Bug House Parade," but they could be Memorial Day Parades.

Immediately following these are two older shots taken at the triangle in the late '30s, also possibly of a Memorial Day Parade .




As we all remember, an annual Memorial Day Parade was (and still is) a tradition in our little town, probably our foremost symbol of community spirit and patriotism. Next are four Memorial Day Parade photos from our time as kids in Oceanside. The first is from 1960 and features our Oceanside High School marching band in their "cool [??]," brand new uniforms. The second one is from 1957 and features our Oceanside Jr. High School marching band (including many of us as freshmen), and finally. the last two, also from 1957,  show a troop of Brownies marching down Long Beach Rd.


Marching eastbound, approaching Oceanside Rd.


Our jr. high band marching southward on Long Beach Rd.
heading toward the the 1957 Memorial Day Parade.
(For a special tribute to the memory of the wonderful teacher
who led that band beginning in the Fall of 1955,
click here.



A Brownie troop in the 1957 Memorial Day Parade also marching southward on
  Long Beach  Rd. toward the triangle (at the same site as immediately above)



  The same Brownie troop continuing past the triangle southbound
on Long  Beach Rd. in the 1957 Memorial Day Parade


The following four parade photographs were taken on Memorial Day, 1958. The first two were from the window of an office above Chwatzky's and also feature our Oceanside Jr. High School band. 



Remember Jazzbo in those parades with  the "JAZZMOBILE," his 1929 Model A Ford,? What other Long Island community had its own town clown?


Westward view of the triangle during our 1958 Memorial Day Parade


One  of our prettiest Sailors, Mary Ann Acierno, dressed for the parade (1957 or '58)

Do you know what was in that 
building, say, circa 1939-'40?

         (Click here for the answer.)  

Marching south and passing Davison Ave. at the
triangle during our 1958 Memorial Day parade



Two more snapshots of the 1958 Memorial Day Parade as it passed the only diner in Oceanside our beloved Rainbow Diner.


Here are two more early views of our Rainbow Diner, a special, classic memory of our youth:


                                                                                                                                  Circa 1954 (Photo from Spindrift, 1955 ed.)


These people are members of the OHS class of 1954's Spindrift staff.
(Photo from Spindrift, 1954 ed.)


The following group of four photos shows that Memorial Day was not the only holiday tradition regularly observed on the streets of our little town during our time there. Every year, together with our local merchants along Long Beach Rd., the Oceanside Recreation Department sponsored a Halloween window painting contest for the kids. Remember that?
The two small photos below are from the ; the large ones were provided by Maggie Chilton (OHS '65).con









Cleaning up afterwards, 1958


Levin's Whelan's Pharmacy on Lincoln Ave. dominated the town triangle's retail center since circa 1930 (and is still there today), shown here, circa 1957-'59.                                                                        (Copyright 2004, Richard Woods. Used with permission.)

                             (Copyright 2004, Richard Woods. Used with permission.)

The photo at left of Pasetti's, the popular candy store/ice cream parlor/luncheonette on the east side of Long Beach Rd. (just north of the triangle), and as indicated, six of the images below are from the wonderful pictorial history of our little town from its inception to around 1960, Oceanside, by Richard Woods.  

A promotional birthstone mirror from Levin's, circa late 1950s  





Also north of the triangle, on the east side of Long Beach Rd. (between Davison and Merle Avenues), was M.R. Hoffman Jeweler


Looking east on Davison Avenue from Oceanside Rd., the Cozy Corner Tavern is in the foreground at 

right on the southeast corner. In the left background on the southeast corner at Brower Avenue is Murray's 

  Candy Store and Al's (later Uneeda) Butcher Shop. This photo was likely taken circa 1955 or '56.  Note at left

 (on what was really our little town's second triangle) is the parking lot for the Dairy Queen (out of view).


Southwest corner, Davison Ave. at Oceanside Rd.




The Oceanside Public Library, Davison Ave., as it looked when we were in school together in the 1950s.  However, this picture
was taken in 1941, shortly after it was built.
                                            (Copyright 2004, Richard Woods. Used with permission.)


Another view of our library, pre-1952


The next three photos are courtesy of the Oceanside Public Library:


  Oceanside Shoe Repair and Jack's (later Dom's) Barber Shop, south side of Davison Ave., looking east to the library, late 1946


  Davison Ave., looking west toward Long Beach Rd.., late 1946


The Great Lincoln Shopping Center shortly after Food Fair opened in 1955. Other major stores included F.W.
Woolworth and National Shoes. (Note the U.S. Post Office to the right.)


From one of our favorite places in the Great Lincoln Shopping Center.

Click here for a typical Woolworth's lunch counter
menu of the time.

Food Fair's grand opening in the Great Lincoln Shopping Center (GLSC), summer of  1955, NW corner, Atlantic Ave. and Long Beach Rd. (Copyright 2004, Richard Woods. Used with permission.)


The next three photos were taken circa 1959-'60 of the east side of Long Beach Rd. at Bellevue Avenue to Atlantic Avenue one block south and directly across the street from the GLSC.  Note the picturesque Pickwick Wine and Liquor Shop (which appears at left in the first wo photos, below, with one framed in a promotional calendar holder).


This is Bellevue Avenue



         This is Long Beach Rd.                                                        This is Atlantic Ave.

The "new" Columbia firehouse, Smith St., 1951 (the year it was built to replace the original on South Lincoln Ave, built in 1905) and
the original home of Temple Avodah


Westbound view of Eriksen's Boatyard, dba Crow's Nest Marina, south of Atlantic Avenue near the East Rockaway LIRR station, where Mill River and Powell Creek meet

(I worked there during the summer of 1962.)

Location identified by Paul Bayha ('65) and Don Clarke ('55).

(Photo from a post card mailed in 1949.)


Two views, Oceanside Beach Boat Basin


Ocean Chemists, Long Beach Rd. and Windsor Pkwy., probably circa 1955-'56 
(I worked there, too, in 1961.)


An older photo of the candy store known then as the Oceanside Sweet Shoppe (next door to Ocean Chemists)


Bristol Motors Ford, just across Long Beach Rd., circa 1955-'56                (Copyright 2004, Richard Woods. Used with permission)

An earlier photo of Bristol Motors Ford with a then brand new, 1952 OHS Drivers' Ed. car (That's probably Earl Bristol at right, but could that be Principal Charles Mosback at left? Joe Papalia ('54), cousin of our classmate, Ray Martinis, believes the man in the car is Robert Sodemann, father of another classmate, Lynn Sodemann.)



Lawson Blvd., on the west side of town  (Want to catch the L.I.R.R. train to Long Beach today?) 
(Copyright 2004, Richard Woods. Used with permission.)



A familiar view of the train platform, taken in 1960


Although we don't know exactly when this particular building was erected, according to the L.I.R.R., the Oceanside station opened in 1897. and according to a collector of historical L.I.R.R. photos, the first photo above was taken January 29, 1919. We do know the structure still looked substantially the same in the 1950s.

To prove it (maybe?), this nighttime shot of our L.I.R.R. station to the right  is believed to have been taken in 1953.


Destroyed by fire in 1971, the C&J Lanes building (at left, below) was previously known as the Oceanside Bowling Center (not to be confused with the Oceanside Bowl, built circa 1955 on Lincoln Avenue South). But even before that, it was a restaurant/ night club/catering place known in the 1930s as the Long Island Casino (third photo below). It was right across the street from (and apparently competed quite directly with) our beloved Roadside Rest. Their common address, 600 Long Beach Road, was verified by reference to the back of the two advertising post cards pictured below (one from circa 1950 and the older one mailed in 1936). In April 2003, the Oceanside Bowling Center post card was offered for sale online for $250. (Did you buy it? )




C&J Lanes (on the west side of Long Beach Road, circa 1955.



But everyone knows that when we were kids in the 1950s, the real center of town was not the triangle shown above. No, it was, hands-down, our most popular hang-out, a huge part of our little town's history and culture, one of its most beautiful structures, its most famous business, and its most recognized landmark ─ and a source of part-time jobs for so many of us. No, it wasn't any of those other places pictured anywhere else on this page.

It was, of course, (click here, and scroll down):























Roadside Rest


                                   Photo courtesy of Nathan's Famous, Inc.           

n the flashing logo, the blurry memory that is the photo, or a hot dog for a tribute to, and brief hthan's


And shortly before it became in 1959, the Roadside Rest  


Our little town started out in the 17th century with the name, "Christian Hook." But by the mid-1950s, it had become one of substantial religious diversity. And although our Nathans' Roadside Rest was famous throughout the greater New York area, our little town had an even more famous site ─ the world famous St. Anthony's Roman Catholic Church, also known as the underground Shrine of St. Anthony,  built in 1928, which burned in March 1960.

Click here for more about St. Anthony's, including spectacular shots of the March 1960 fire that destroyed the underground chapel

Besides the Shrine of St. Anthony, there was an extensive array of other houses of worship where we grew up in our little town. The following assembly of photos originally appeared in the 1955 edition of a publication called The Oceanside Annual; it was reprinted by the Oceanside Education Foundation in the 2000 edition of the Story of Oceanside (written in 1959-'60) by Dr. Walter S. Boardman




Not built yet when the foregoing montage was made (in 1955), Young Israel of Oceanside, our little town's
first orthodox synagogue opened at Waukena Ave. and Oceanside Rd. in May 1960
                (Copyright 2004, Richard Woods. Used with permission.)


Remember the "weeping" Maddonna in our little town that drew crowds and media attention for several days, mystifying everyone including clergy, scientists, engineers, and art experts? It started on April 12, 1960, in the home of Peter and Antonia Koulis at 2832 Oceanside Rd. on the southwest corner of Merle Ave.  According to a report, "witnesses included Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholics, Protestants and Jews." It was the second of three weeping Madonnas reported in the area within  months of the March 1960 St. Anthony's fire (coincidence?).

Click here for some contemporaneous coverage of these events. Newsday


Grand opening in 1954 of our Carvel in Oceanside at the southwest corner of  Cortland Ave. and Long Beach Rd.
                                                                         (Copyright 2004, Richard Woods. Used with permission.)


Remember the Page Two nightclub across from Carvel (near the southeast corner at Cortland)?


Page Two
Long Beach Rd., northbound between Waukena and Cortland, circa 1958-'59



                                                                                                              Long Beach Rd., northbound from Waukena, circa 1958-'59
Notice the big cone on top of Carvel in the distance and a foreign sports car we didn't see many of those then,,did we? )       


Yacovelli's Oceanside Gulf on the southeast corner of Long Beach Rd. and Waukena, after expanding by 2 bays it in 1957

(My Dad worked there for over 10 years, and briefly, I did, too, circa 1958.)


The  Maple Grove, Long Beach Rd., southbound from Waukena, circa 1958-'59




In the south end of town, on Mott St., just east of Oceanside Rd., at the end of Bedell Creek was a small but legendary inlet commonly called  the "elephant's hole." It was so named because in the late 1920s through most of the1930s, elephants (that's right elephants) from a neighboring zoo (that's right a zoo in fact, the largest private zoo in the world at the time, owned by banker, Charles W. Beall) were periodically marched across Mott St. and Oceanside Rd. to be bathed.

 The "elephant's hole" was near my house, and I remember going there frequently as a child during summers in the early '50s to catch blue shell crabs and sometimes, to dig for clams. Although many Oceanside children commonly swam in it  then, my mother wouldn't let me swim there because she heard it was polluted. (That did not stop her, however, from eating the crabs and clams that I got there.)

    Two views (dates unknown) of the legendary "elephant's hole" (Copyright 2004 and 2013, respectively, by Richard Woods. Used with permission.)

Here's another pair of fond summer childhood memories for some of us:






And a grown-up memory originally occupied the site of OHS, then moved across the street to the south for housing development, renamed South Bay Country Club and then closed and bankrupted by Hurricane Sandy, now open again on the southwest corner of Skillman and Waukena Avenues as the Golf Club at Middle Bay.


Of course, our little town had several seafood restaurants shown below that featured clams. The granddaddy of them all, however, little Bigelow's, was (and still is) just past the north end of town on Long Beach Rd. at Sunrise Hwy.  in Rockville Centre:


Bigelow's, with everything still virtually the same (except the prices), including the great food, after more than  80 years (since 1939)

 and at the south end were Rudy's Fish & Chips, Meyer & Kronke's, and one more favorite, Peter's Clam Bar:

This was Peter's Clam Bar, So. Long Beach Rd., circa 1950



Also at the very south end of town, you must remember Oceanside's connection to big industry: 

Oil City, So. Long Beach Rd.,  a seaport and storage area used by several oil companies


But for more hours than we spent in the Rainbow Diner, at Carvel or even at the Roadside Rest (whether before or after it was Nathan's), or in any of those other places pictured above or all of them combined, we spent most of our teenage days in the two buildings shown just below.


The first photo below was also of one of the most beautiful buildings in our little town and, although it appears on many other pages all over this website, this page would not be complete without it (or without the next one).





Our own Oceanside High School, on Brower and Skillman Aves., as it was from 1955, when it was built, 
 until its first expansion in 1963, which unfortunately completely covered its original stately facade.
(Photo from Spindrift, 1960 ed.)



When this building on Castleton Ct. first opened in 1936, it became the home of Oceanside High School until September 1955, when it became Oceanside Jr. High School. The first year we were there (1954-'55), however, was the only year it served dual duty as Oceanside Jr.-Sr. High, while our high school building, shown just above, was under construction.


This photo was taken sometime before we arrived when the jr. high was still next door in what we called "Central School No.1," and 
when there was no south wing (
see next photo below)


These next two photos of the same building are older; they were taken when it opened in 1936 (at left) and became the then brand, new Oceanside High School and again in 1948 (below). If you look closely at the right side of each photo, you will notice it shows that the south wing wasn't there yet. When the new wing opened in 1954 (the year we first attended it), it was known as Oceanside Jr.-Sr. High School). The next year, the expanded building became just  Oceanside Jr. High School.



The suburban housing boom of the 1950s in our little town:


As with much of western Nassau County, Long Island, the post-war suburban explosion in the early to mid-1950s was a time of remarkable residential development and growth in our little town and elsewhere nearby. Click here for some examples of the types of homes most commonly built in Oceanside during that period of its most rapid development.



"And as I walked along the thoroughfare,
there was music playing everywhere
Oh, what a feeling!"

Paul Anka, 1960  


Many little streets on this map are unlabeled, and some of the names are hard to read, but surely you can find your own personal "Memory Lane":


Not actually in our little town but nearby!

Although they weren't officially in our little town, in addition to Bigelow's (shown above) the following scenes were nearby enough to be among our fondest adolescent and childhood memories.

For example, just to the northeast, at Foxhurst Rd. near Grand Ave. in Baldwin, was Silver Lake, where many of us went ice skating in the winter and parked our cars in the evening to enjoy other activities:


This location instantly evokes the same teenage memory for all of us but it was not during daylight!
(It was our favorite "make-out" spot.)


Also in Baldwin (a little more eastward on Sunrise Hwy.) was a great party place (at left) for wedding and bar mitzvah receptions and for Sweet Sixteen parties for the daughters of more affluent families.

And many of us remember being taken as little kids a little further eastward on Sunrise Hwy. in Baldwin to enjoy the carousel and other amusement rides at Nunley's (below).


Click here to find out about a a book about Nunleys, with lots of pictures of Baldwin.


Going north to the next town, Rockville Centre, we often went to see a movie in the old Fantasy Theater on Park Ave. (below, at right) before the Oceanside movie theatre was built (circa 1954 or 1955). 

Or for a quick 15 hamburger, we could stop at
Wetson's on Sunrise Hwy.


For a better meal, we could go to the Pantry Diner on Merrick and Long Beach Rds. (pictured here circa
late 1956 or '57), also in Rockville Centre:



We could go over the line to the south on Austin Blvd. in Island Park, to Joseph's (at left), below, another place for 15 hamburgers:



Or go to a popular western-themed landmark, the Texas Ranger (at right), also on Austin Blvd., that served the more expensive "Range-burgers," which many say were the best.

Photo from Echo, Long Beach High School's yearbook, 1958 ed., taken
1957 or 1958, before the TR was expanded.

When we were old enough, however, we all got our most wonderful summer memories on the beach and boardwalk in Long Beach, which was further to the south but only about 4 miles away:

Click here for a whole page of memories of the Long Beach boardwalk in the 1950s.

Sadly, in late 2012, our beloved Long Beach boardwalk, then 105 years old, was totally destroyed by Superstorm Sandy (but it has since been magnificently rebuilt).

Going deeper into history (before our time) in our little town:

A postcard featuring the triangle, southbound view, circa 1939-'40

It's an A&P!


Here's another southbound view of the triangle, probably even older, say, mid-late 1930s.

Notice the familiar police booth prominently in the center, and to the west, the first Columbia firehouse on Lincoln Ave. South. The firehouse was old then (built in 1905)

And a close-up of the northwest corner, Davison and Lincoln Aves., circa late 1930s


 Commissioned by Levin's Pharmacy, also, circa late 1930s


Another view showing the Oceanside National Bank at right, circa late 1930s


Looking east on Davison Ave. when our town triangle was known as "Trolley Stop 102"
Could be the oldest photo of our triangle?

  • Click here for more information on the history of our little town.
  • Click here for a photographic tour of Oceanside in 2001.
  • Click on the Beacon masthead below for more historical material and memories from the 1957-1960 pages of .
  • Register (free) on OCEANSIDE, NY, MEMORIES  message board, and join the online fun sharing memories of our little town.
  • For the latest online news from home, go to the Oceanside HERALD.
  • For a broad spectrum of information about local businesses, events and government services available in our little town, go to.


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