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Library & Archives

Manuscript Collections

Coll. 846
Garfield-Grant Hotel (Long Branch, N.J.)
Records, 1937-1956

Approx. .5 cubic feet, one flat box

Processed by
Jennifer Strain
June 2009

Monmouth County Historical Association
Library & Archives
70 Court Street, Freehold, N.J. 07728

Biographical Note

The Garfield-Grant Hotel was built in 1926. At the time, with 100 rooms, it was the largest year round hotel in the town of Long Branch. In addition to being the largest, it was also the costliest and most-elaborate of the year round hotels.

The hotel was designed by William Van Alen, a prestigious architect known for his design of the Chrysler building. The construction was handled by the Amsterdam Building Company of New York with the total cost of $450,000.

The Garfield-Grant was built after the golden age of Long Branch, and was part of a general rebuilding period for the town after a rally by the Ku Klux Klan chased away many of its residents and visitors in 1924. The town never recovered fully. Today, the Garfield-Grant Hotel exists as the Garfield-Grant Building with the interior converted into office space. The original Renaissance Revival exterior still remains, as well as some of the finishes in the lobby.

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of three ledger books of the Garfield-Grant Hotel. They cover portions of the period from 1937-1956. The collection is approximately .5 cubic feet in size and is composed of one flat box.

Content Description

Book 1 – Labeled “Journal”

Ledger covering the time of June 18, 1937 to September 1945; it contains a record of expenses broken down in one to three month spans. An end of year report for each year on December 31st contains a record of the total revenue/profit and expense for the year. The monthly reports break the expenses down into categories based on what was paid for and where the money went.

While not in the same order, the recorded expenses are nearly identical from month to month, although the amount paid varies. A comparison of the wages paid to staff of the summer and off seasons yielded not much difference. In November of 1938 they were $1,147.17, and in July of 1938 they were $1,181.85.

The entire book was used for the record.

Book 2 – Labeled “Voucher Register, 1951-1953”

A ledger containing a record of check disbursements from May 1950 to April 1953. Each check written by the Garfield-Grant Hotel is listed by recipient, voucher number, check number, and accounts payable. As applicable, the following columns were used to create totals for the type of expense: food, bev., cigars, misc. office supplies, sta+sup, coal, cash advance, laundry (rooms, kitchen, d room, bar, guest, valet), newspapers, coin locks, telephone, advertising, dues + subs, general expense, r + m, water, kitchen misc., bar misc., kitchen gas, light + power, China + glass, frt + ctg. Also, on the far right are the columns Sundry, and item and amount.

Each month in the book covers two spreads. Approximately 60-80 checks were written each month, with the higher number belonging to the summer season. A comparison of the wages paid to the staff in the summer and the off season found that in November of 1950 $2,424.51 was spent, and in July of 1951 $3,868.24 was spent. Payroll occurred approximately twice a month, these numbers represent the total.

Additions to the records in the book are some equations written in the margins and totals at the bottom of each page. Also two printed sections of receipt tape were paper clipped into the book. The first is found on spread 47, March 1952 and the second on spread 52, May 1952. The paper on spread 47 is dated 3/31/52 and is signed L.W.W. The paper on spread 52 is labeled “Do Not Destroy” and it details the accounts payable from January to May of that year.

The entire book was used for the record.

Book 3 – Labeled “Check Disbursements”

Ledger containing a record of check disbursements between March 12, 1955 and August 30, 1956. Each check written by the Garfield-Grant Hotel is listed by date, number, recipient, voucher number, and check amount. As applicable, the following columns were used: discounts, accounts payable, taxes, payroll, petty cash, accrued rental, and sundry.

It is interesting to make note of some noteworthy monthly checks. Every month the hotel paid for newspapers and utilities, and money was also sent to the Otis Elevator Company monthly, as well as money to various individuals, most of whom repeat every month. A comparison of the wages paid to the staff of the summer and off season found $1,653.40 spent in February of 1956 and $1,721.22 spent in July of 1956. Payroll occurred approximately twice a month. These numbers represent the total.

Only one third of this book has been filled, up to spread 21. August 1956 is the last month recorded, and is notable because the second half of the month was filled in by a different hand. It is possible this might have been the last month of the hotel.

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This website was funded by the Marion Huber Trust

Museum & Library, 70 Court Street Freehold, NJ 07728
Monmouth County Historical Association received a general operating grant from the the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State.
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