In 1914 Long Beach Island was enjoying Victorian splendor, with expanding rail service and the opening of the car bridge, large hotels and amenities were ready to serve the finest from Philadelphia, New Jersey and beyond.
As businesses expanded to meet the demand, so did the need to establish a business and tourism group to represent them; and thus the Long Beach Island Board of Trade, which later changed its name to the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce was formed.
In preparation for the organization's centennial, a 100-year committee was formed last year to commemorate a century of service to the community.
Kicking off this month and continuing right through 2014, the regional chamber along with local business groups and community representatives plan to celebrate 100 of the Long Beach Island Region and the people, businesses and events that helped shape this beloved shore resort area for visitors and residents. It will also provide a regional spotlight on the business and shopping districts of Lacey, Barnegat, Stafford, Tuckerton, and Long Beach Island.
A nostalgic look to the past, will be intertwined with a forward approach, as the Southern Ocean County Chamber plans on sharing the business community story through time lines, special luncheons, 100th Anniversary Escape Guide and Anniversary Cocktail Gala that will gather and recognize the significant accomplishments of the past century by chamber members, community leaders and long time supporters.
Starting tomorrow, May 15, the Chamber office staff welcomes members and visitors to the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to noon for "Coffee with the Chamber" a weekly drop in event scheduled for the entire year.
Enjoy a cup of coffee, look through the dozens of scrap books and photo albums highlighting past events and get updated on new business and activities.
In the fall, WJRZ 100.1FM will begin its coverage of the anniversary countdown by adding some extra promotion and excitement to Southern Ocean business and community events. November 2013 will kick it off, with the Barnegat Chamber of Commerce partnership and promotion Barnegat businesses and history. Look for the chamber's Beyond the Beach television series to making it's mainland debut on SOCTV Comcast's channel 19.
If you are interested in being a part of the 100th Anniversary festivities, please contact the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce at visitLBIregion.com, by calling 609 494 7211 or stop into the visitor center at 265 West Ninth St in Ship Bottom,