BES History

The below paragraphs are taken from Grace Trott Roper‘s historical retrospective on how the Borough of Belmar came to be. The original booklet is © Copyright 1978 by Grace Trott Roper, Belmar, NJ and was printed by Hoffman Press, Belmar, NJ.

The first schoolhouse was a one room structure started in 1875, and was built on two lots at 12th and “F” streets. Barrabus Barr was the first teacher. This school was enlarged to three rooms and then moved to 8th avenue and “I” street in 1884. For a number of years it stood as a Taylor Shop and is now the location of Freedman‘s Bakery. When it was moved, a new eight room brick school of two stories copied after the Hall of Independence was built on the 12th avenue site.

In 1909 the school building at 12th and “F” street was found to be inadequate and unsafe. In May of that year an election was held to decide if a new school should be erected. Women at that time were only allowed to vote for Trustees but not for appropriations. Ninty-seven votes against it. The exciting margin of two votes acquired the new school at the cost of $57,000.

It was used as a high school but the growth of the grade school made it necessary to send Belmar pupils to the Asbury Park High School. This was started in 1912. The tuition then being $40.00 a year. As of 1975 it costs $2,200 a year per student. The first graduation class had five students.

The First Parents Day held in the Belmar School was on Jan. 9th, 1939 at 2:30 P.M. Mrs. Ella Rickets, the Principal conducted the meeting and Mr. Thomas B. Harper County Supt. was the speaker.

In 1929 the school was enlarged and improved, eleven classrooms were added making twenty-two in all along with a Gym and an Oil Burner. Over the years an Auditorium and portable classrooms have been added. It is equipped with movie projectors, over head projectors and film strips, projectors. Audio-visual material having become a vital part of the teaching program, all efforts are made to keep the school abreast of the time.

The school has a Library with a professional Librarian in charge, an Art room, Shop and Home Economics rooms where Cooking and Sewing are taught. The school now serves hot lunches in the cafeteria