A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Friday, July 18, 2014

History: Ye Cottage Inn, Keyport (1906 - 2012)

Ye Cottage Inn was a restaurant located at the mouth of Luppatatong Creek, aka Oyster Creek, at 149 West Front Street in Keyport. The restaurant was destroyed in Superstorm Sandy in late October 2012 and the building razed.

In later years, the restaurant boasted that it was established in 1906, and a local history dated the restaurant's origin at about 1915, but the earliest reference I could find in local newspapers was 1926. To be sure, the issues of The Matawan Journal for the second half of 1906 are not available and I haven't viewed issues of The Keyport Weekly from the time period, but why there are no references to Ye Cottage Inn in the twenty years between 1906 and 1926 is a big question.

Some locals have told me the last iteration of Ye Cottage Inn was actually a composite of several restaurants that used to be in separate, neighboring buildings. One of the buildings was said to have been the former Burlew's Restaurant.

William E Burlew (July 1904 - August 1989) was proprietor of Ye Cottage Inn in the mid-1920s, between a short stint running the Keyport Fishery (1918 - 192X) and nearly 40 years (1928 - 1966) operating Burlew's Restaurant, according to his obituary in the 23 Aug 1989 edition of The Middletown Independent. The photo (right) is of the Original Burlew's on West Front Street in Keyport.
The 24 Nov 1926 edition of The Red Bank Register announced that Emanual Einzinger, of the Keyport Dry Goods Company, treated his staff out to dinner at Ye Cottage Inn.

The 21 Dec 1928 edition of The Matawan Journal contained an advertisement (image, left) in which Burlew's Restaurant invited people to celebrate New Year's Eve at their establishment - music, dancing, fun for all, and a turkey dinner, all for $3.50.

The 19 Aug 1932 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 1 col 2) reported that Jacob Rippen, proprietor of the Original Burlew's Restaurant on Front Street in Keyport, was appealing charges that he had punctured the tire of a patron of Ye Cottage Inn because the patron's car was parked on his lawn. A fine of $25 was in the offing.

The 19 Jun 1936 edition of The Matawan Journal said Jacob Rippen had applied to Matawan Township for a liquor license as Original Burlew's Inc.

By 1940, Arthur C Schultze and his wife, Virginia (Griffin) Schultze, co-owned Ye Cottage Inn.

Virginia D Griffin, age 6 NJ, lived at 109 Broadway in Keyport in the 1920 Federal Census and was enumerated in the household of her father, William L Griffin, 47 New York, a steam fitter at a chemical plant. Also in the household were her mother, Allie, 44 NY; her widowed grandmother, Isabella W Chipman, age 80 NY; and Virginia's older sister, Mabel D Griffin, age 17 NJ.

Virginia was born 29 August 1913 in Keyport, the daughter of Mr and Mrs William L Griffin of Broadway in Keyport. Virginia died on 27 June 1944 at Allenwood Hospital in Allentown after a six-month illness. (Source: Virginia's obituary in the 29 Jun 1944 edition of The Matawan Journal, pg 2 col 1)

The 1940 Federal Census showed Arthur C Schultze, age 35 Germany, living on Front Street in Keyport with his wife Virginia, age 26 New Jersey, and their daughter Virginia, age 4 NJ. Arthur and his wife were both listed as proprietors of a restaurant. Daughter Virginia attended Penn Hall Preparatory School in Chambersburg, PA, and the University of Miami in Miami, FL. She married Rex Crawford, according to the 10 Mar 1955 edition of The Matawan Journal.

According to the 18 Oct 1945 edition of The Matawan Journal, a former busboy and two of his associates, ages 14, 17 and 18, all of Keyport, allegedly attempted to hold up Ye Cottage Inn on 23 July 1945. Arthur's sister, Mrs Ella Kurica, of 727 Charles Street, Perth Amboy, was shot twice -- once in the neck and once in the back -- after she recognized one of the young men in a rear passageway of the restaurant. Arthur, proprietor of the restaurant, was shot in the head when he came to her aid. A cashier was severely beaten.

While all survived the ordeal, Ella was in the hospital for months recuperating and suffered paralysis in one leg due to her spinal injury. Doctors assessed she would remain crippled the rest of her life. The shooter was brought up on additional charges when he reached age of majority and was due to leave Rahway Reformatory, according to the 20 Feb 1947 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 4 col 5).

Arthur's sister Ella Kurica, 34 Germany, lived in Perth Amboy in the 1940 Federal Census along with her husband, George Kurica, 36 NJ, a machinist in ship repair, and their children Charles, 15 Germany, and Julia, 11/12 NJ. Ella lived in Keyport in 1935 while George lived in Perth Amboy.

Ye Cottage Inn ran a Christmas advertisement in the 22 Dec 1949 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 4 second section, or pg 10 of 12). Arthur C Schultze was listed as proprietor.

Ye Cottage Inn, under proprietor Arthur Schultze, was open to the public only two days after the devastation of Hurricane Donna, according to the 22 Sep 1960 edition of The Matawan Journal.

Tom Lucas was the proprietor of Ye Cottage Inn, according to the 16 Sep 1965 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 9 first section, col 6).

The 20 Sep 1997 edition of The South Amboy-Sayreville Times (pg 3) featured Ye Cottage Inn as the Business of the Month.The article said the owners for the past eight years (c 1989) have been George Hilas, Mihal Hilas and George Vouloumanos. The manager was Denise Wolf.


I will continue to research Ye Cottage Inn's origins and will update this article as appropriate, but there is enough information at this point to warrant publishing my results to date. I welcome comments or emails with additional information, corrections, leads, references and/or photographs that could clarify the YCI story.


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