Before it was known as the Lord House lifeguard station, the building near Fourth Avenue and the boardwalk was the Ortley Inn, serving the island’s earliest tourists with a place to stay, warm meals and plenty of opportunities for fishing and swimming.
After connecting with members of the Lord family on Thanksgiving weekend last year, the Friends of Ortley Beach organization decided to commemorate the building’s history, and chose this weekend for the ceremony during which a plaque marking the site’s historic value will be placed.
Shorebeat reported on the Lord family and history of the building in a story published in November 2016. The ceremony will be held at the Lord House this Saturday, May 6, at 10 a.m. In attendance will be members of the Lord family, the last known owners of the building and surrounding land, as well as Toms River Township officials.
“This is the first step of many small projects that we hope to undertake which will revitalize the barrier island community as we continue to rebuild from Hurricane Sandy,” said Sharon Quilter-Colucci, the organization’s president. “We are a resilient beach town with a rich history and deep neighborhood roots in the community.”
Established originally as the Ortley Inn in the late 1880’s, the Lord House was subsequently destroyed by fire in 1922. The Lord’s family, grandfather Arthur, purchased the rights to the business and built a single-family home. Toms River Township (then Dover Township) acquired the land in the late 1960’s and constructed a parking lot. The lifeguard station was added later.