|Before segregation ended in Atlantic City in the late 1950s, the Northside was the epicenter of the resort’s Black community. By providing alternatives to the Boardwalk restaurants, lodging and entertainment centers that Black tourists were denied entry into, the Northside thrived. One of the oldest and most well-known Northside hotel establishments was the Hotel Ridley, which stood at 1806 Arctic Avenue. Margaret and Alonzo Ridley were entrepreneurs from Baltimore who came to Atlantic City in the 1890s to get into the boarding house business. Initially, they provided seasonal lodging for Black workers who came to Atlantic City in the summer months. In 1900, their business had grown enough to open the Hotel Ridley, which remained a popular Northside spot until the 1950s. The Northside Board of Trade’s Annual Installation meeting was always held in the Ridley, and “Aunt Maggie’s” Ridley Rolls were a hit at the hotel’s restaurant. Maggie Ridley also founded the Northside YWCA, and was one of the founding members of the Jethro Memorial Presbyterian Church. Hotel Ridley later operated as Ridley’s Cottages before closing around 1954.|
For more information, see these resources in the Atlantic City Free Public Library, Atlantic City Heritage Collections:
| The Hotel Ridley's advertisement in the 1936 Atlantic City Board of Trade publication.
From the Atlantic City Heritage Collections, H.Book.BoardofTrade1936.HotelRidley.
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