Four Generations of Women have been running the Central Avenue House since 1899
“A long line of females have owned and operated this hotel: these savvy women had tremendous drive, resilience, and intelligence and we stand among Ocean Grove’s proud ‘living history’ of women.” -Jennifer Sirois
In 1899, Cora Mae Applegate bought the hotel, had her children there, and she ran it until 1966. Originally called “The Auditorium House”, the inn was one of many hotels to spring up one year after the town was founded in 1869. Cora Mae was quite a character; once the hotel filled up, she would make room for one more guest by renting out her bedroom… she would then sleep on a cot in the back of the lobby! Her favorite greeting to new arrivals was, “go on up and take any room that is open, we’re just camping out here!”
Cora Mae’s daughter, Myrtle Davis inherited the hotel in 1966 and began her second career as proprietor of the Central Avenue House and she ran it for the next 20 years! Myrtle was beloved by town folk and guests alike. In fact, most guests didn’t feel as though they were just staying at a hotel. Myrtle was their friend, and often, guests referred to a stay at the Central Avenue House as simply, “We’re staying at Myrtle’s.”
JoAnne Culp, Myrtle’s daughter enjoyed sharing the hotel with youth groups, friends and family from 1988 – 2000. JoAnne lovingly updated many of the guest rooms. Her terrific old world decorating style can be seen throughout the hotel.
Jennifer Sirois, JoAnne’s daughter has enjoyed carrying on the 100+ year family tradition of welcoming visitors to Ocean Grove since 2000. In the many years with Jennifer at the helm, the hotel has gained a national and international reputation among travelers.
Cora Mae Applegate
“Women Make History at Central Avenue House”
-The Asbury Park Press featured Central Avenue House in a full page release-
OCEAN GROVE – At the Central Avenue House in Ocean Grove, owner Jennifer Sirois (at left), a fifth-generation female hotel owner, sometimes wishes the walls could talk. After all, at 146 years old, they would have a lot to say.
With property and hotel ownership historically being one of the careers open to women in decades past, “my great-great grandmother, Lottie Burr, who was rumored to be a descendant of Aaron Burr, owned The Burrington Hotel on Seventh Avenue in Asbury Park in the late 1870s,” she said. “Then, in 1901, my great-grandmother, Cora Mae Applegate, purchased Central Avenue House in a sheriff’s sale for $2,500 using $1,000 she borrowed from her mother. My grandmother, Myrtle Davis, inherited ownership in 1966 and passed it to my mother, JoAnne Culp, in 1989. My mom then gifted it to me in 2000 so that I could have what I’d wanted all my life – she wanted me to enjoy the hotel and carry on a family tradition because she knew how passionate I was about it,” – Read More –