“In a little sleepy hollow town called Atlantic Beach, a group of people came together in an uncertain world to do something wonderful that would benefit generations to come.  Those people who joined together in the spirit of community to create a place of peace, beauty and family togetherness.  This is their story….”

“In the early spring of 1936, a group of residents from Forest Hills and Kew Gardens contacted Mr. William L. Austin to build a small beach club on his available land. Mr. Austin owned some land adjacent to what is the oldest beach club in the United States, the Lawrence Beach Club in Atlantic Beach.  Committees were formed and a membership of 150 was guaranteed for the first year and 250 members for the second year.  A Certificate of Incorporation was filed on or about May 26, 1936 and the Forest Hills Surf Club was born. ”

“On the vacant land the necessary cabanas and cabins were built and a seasonal lease was signed on June 2, 1936.  There were originally 26 cabanas and 150 bath houses.  The official opening day was July 4, 1936.  The opening season was so successful that the following year Mr. Austin enlarged the building and erected 55 more cabanas and additional bath houses.  The cafeteria was enlarged and the seating on the porch and dining area was increased.  In September of 1937 the membership was listed at 500. ”

“In 1940, The Ocean Club of Forest Hills was incorporated.  Although the founding members were from the Forest Hills area, as the years went by, members from many other communities were accepted.  In March of 1940, The Ocean Club of Forest Hills entered into a three year lease with the Atlantic Beach Sales Corporation with an option to buy the property, plus an additional strip for tennis courts.  In spite of war time restrictions, the Club continued to flourish.  Because of gas rationing, members were permitted to stay overnight.”

“On August 20, 1944 the property was purchased with a down payment of $25,000.00 and a mortgage of $175,000.00.  The tennis courts were available for purchase at an additional cost, but the membership decided not to purchase the courts.  However, in February of 1952, the same land was purchased for the tennis courts.  To raise capital, the club offered members the option to purchase certificates at a cost of $25.00 per certificate with a maximum of 6 certificates.  At this point, we became an owner membership.”

“On May 29, 1959 the name was officially changed from The Ocean Club of Forest Hills to The Ocean Club Inc.  A parting of the ways over whether a bar should again be permitted on the premises led some members to form The Forest Hills Surf Club on additional vacant land owned by Mr. Austin near what is now The Atlantic Beach Club.”

“Looking back over the years The Ocean Club has endured many storms, weather related and otherwise.  We have weathered these storms only to emerge stronger than ever in our commitment to remaining a family oriented club.”

“This Board of Governors is proud to be the caretakers of the commitment made by the founders of the Club to provide our membership with a place to call home in an atmosphere that fosters the values of family and friendship.  It is our wish that our members and their families continue to be blessed with years of sunny days at The Ocean Club and hope you take advantage of this summer of celebration to share your memories of former members and stories of summers’ past with your neighbors at the club to keep the history of the club alive for many generations to come. ”