OUR HISTORY

In 1889, William Ringold and John L. Long bought an empty six block tract of land from ocean to bay, known as Cranberry Hill for $5,000. They built four cottages on the land in the summer of 1890 for the Ringold and Long families - and also the a third family (the Wallacos). Soon thereafter, Ringold's daughter, Josephine, while walking along the beach on a beautiful clear day with the west wind blowing, noticed a spray of rainbow colors resulting from the combinaiton of wind, sun and ocean spray. She suggested changing the name of the area from Cranbberry Hill to Spray Beach. This change was widely accepted by all.

The largest of the four cottages, a three story clapboard frame house was in 1890 turned into a 12-bedroom hotel, known as the Spray Beach House. Within several years, around 1902, it was improved with a large three story toward the ocean along 24th street, containing 40 additional rooms.

By the 1920's and 1930's the Spray Beach House had become a favorite with the same families who came from all over and returned year after year. Each room had an oil lamp and candles. Each room was furnished with an iron double bed and cots for the children, an oak dresser, and a wash stand with a bowl and pitcher. Bathrooms and water taps were in the hall.

There was a ballroom on the first floor, which was the site of weekly Saturday evening dances with a small orchestra. The hotel had a tiny one-block boardwalk between 23rd and 24th streets with a pavillion. A lawn tennis court was also constructed for the use of the guests.

In 1944 a major hurricane caused considerable damage to the structure. The hotel was sold twice in the next 10 years and renamed the Cranberry Lounge. In the mid 1960's, it became one of the livliest night spots on the island until in 1968 when the hotel was sold at auction and demolished the following year.

A new structure was erected in it's place, which after numerour renovations is now the Spray Beach Hotel.

Article source: Long Beach Island Museum