The Only Elephant in the World You Can Go Through and Come out Alive

April 1, 2012 § Leave a comment

“In the late nineteenth century, “elephant hotels” became a fad, and three were built along the New Jersey/New York Coast.

Lucy, the first, built in 1881 in Atlantic City, was used as a real estate gimmick to market land in the southern section of the resort, which later became Margate. The next was Elephantine Colossus, which was constructed in 1884 in Coney Island, New York, and boasted thirty-four guest rooms. The Light of Asia was built the same year in Cape May. The former was lost in a fire in 1896, and the later was razed in 1900. As Coney Island became associated with disreputable behavior, its elephant hotel was used for a time as a brothel. “Seeing the elephant” became synonymous with an adventure that you would not discuss with your wife or children.”  Emil R. Salvini, Jersey Shore: Vintage Images of Bygone Days. 2008 (Connecticut)

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