Gloucester City History: Our Hollywood
Sunday, June 07, 2015
Opening day of the Gloucester City Park, King Street and the Delaware River (1930's)
by Joe Hargesheimer
GLOUCESTER CITY NJ --Several years ago, there was talk of a project down along the river that would have been called Hollywood East. Well, it never got off the drawing board; but, if it had, it still would not have been the first Hollywood in Gloucester City. Before Camden County built what is now Proprietor's Park, that area along King St. was filled with houses, businesses, and many boat houses and called Hollywood.
The year 1929, construction work begins on the Gloucester City Park, King Street and the Delaware River
That area was also home to the famous Hugg's Tavern. Hugg's was built in 1721; and, as everyone knows,
Betsy Grissom married John Ross there and became Betsy Ross. It is a real pity that county officials did not have the foresight to save the tavern. It was torn down in 1929 to build the park.
The riverfront of Hollywood was filled with boat houses, and I have heard that, during prohibition, more than one load of beer and whiskey found its way into Gloucester by the way of boats coming into Hollywood. In fact, at the time, officals of the county stated that the reason for locating the park where it is was to remove the evil that was Hollywood's boat house district.
The park was opened in the early 30s and operated as a county park until Camden County bulldozed the pool about 25 years ago and gave the park back to the city. While it is sad that the swimming pool and the dance hall over the pool building are now gone, I really think the city has done a fantastic job with the park. There is now a marina, a fishing pier, and a lovely river walk.
If you have not visited the park recently, stop by. You will be pleasantly surprised.
Photo below: Hollywood boat houses along 100 block of Market Street 1920s