The Seaview Excursion House was not only one of the earliest lodgings in Atlantic City, but also an epicenter of activity in the resort’s first decades. Beginning in 1869, visitors to the city got off the train at the Excursion House, which soon became the southern terminus of the new Boardwalk. The Excursion House provided several accommodations for visitors that were unavailable elsewhere at the time, such as the only guarded beach in Atlantic City. (An official city lifeguard service would not be established until the 1890s.) The area surrounding the Excursion House, on the block of Pacific Avenue between Missouri and Mississippi Avenues, was leased out to businesses and amusements, providing the framework for the model of the Boardwalk tourism business. One of the earliest ferris wheels, a complex contraption known as the “Epicycloidal Diversion,” opened in front of the Excursion House in 1872. When the railroad terminus was moved further south, a new Excursion House was built in 1889, but the old one had been so popular that visitors simply got off the train, hopped on Atlantic City’s new streetcar service, and rode right back to the old one! The Seaview Excursion house continued to operate until the mid 1890s.   H084.Excursion001
 

For more information, see these resources in the Atlantic City Free Public Library, Atlantic City Heritage Collections:

Local History Subject Files – Hotels
“By the Beautiful Sea,” Heston Coll. 974.985Fun
City Directories

 An undated photograph of the Seaview Excursion House, with horses and buggies lined up outside.
From the Atlantic City Heritage Collections, H084.Excursion001.

 

 

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