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Normandy Inn History

The Normandy Inn was originally a summer rental home built prior to 1889 for the Audenreid family of Philadelphia. The building was first located at 104 Passaic Avenue on the corner of First Avenue, Spring Lake. A late 19th Century brochure of Spring Lake Beach rental properties described the Audenreid "cottage" as a fully furnished house with parlor, library, dining room, kitchen, butler's pantry, laundry, and hot and cold water. There were five bedrooms on the second floor, three on the third, and a trunk room in the fourth floor tower. The rent was $1200 per season.

In 1909 the building was purchased by Oliver H. Brown, who had it moved to Tuttle Avenue, where he had purchased several lots from Rufus & Edgar. Mr. Brown had architect Warren Conover (of New York City and Freehold) enlarge the Audenreid home with a three story rear extension, including an enlarged dining room and kitchen. The architect specified that the new work replicate the old so as to retain the fine level of craftsmanship evident in the original structure. It is a testament to that approach of "respectful renovation" that the building now appears to have been constructed all at one time.

The purchase of this property was an early one for Mr. Brown, who was to later have widespread real estate holdings in Spring Lake. He was a local business man whose Third Ave shop supplied summer "cottagers" with essentials such as "furniture, carpets, matting, bedding, crockery and imported fine china, glass, bric-a-brac, etc." Mr. Brown gained prominence in the town and eventually became mayor. The Spring Lake Community House evolved through his donation of the land and building.

At the time that the "cottage" was being enlarged, Miss Elizabeth Johnson ran it and the neighboring Johnson House as "first class boarding houses in the summer season" for Mr. Brown. Miss Johnson eventually purchased nos. 21 and 23 Tuttle Ave. from Mr. Brown's estate in 1927 and continued to operate them as the Johnson Cottages until 1936, when they were purchased by Mildred Burke. The structure was renamed The Normandy Inn in 1946 when Frank and Alice Heilos purchased 21 Tuttle Ave. from Ms. Burke.

Since its renaming, The Normandy Inn has changed ownership six additional times. George D. Watson operated the Inn until it was purchased by John and Clair Dettmar. The Dettmars sold the inn to George and Ruth Able who operated the inn for many years. They are responsible for most of the "private baths" now in the building. Following the Ables were the O'Keefes who operated the inn for two years. Susan and Michael Ingino, with their daughter, Beth, ran the inn from 1982 to 2000. The many nineteenth century furnishings and decor reflect their interest in preserving the elegance of the inn's Victorian origin. There are only two pieces of furniture in the inn today that were present when the Inginos purchased the inn.

The new owners purchased the Inn in Jan 2001. The Normandy staff awaits your arrival eager to make your stay a memorable one! Your stay at our New Jersey Inn will truly be one to cherish and to remember!