‘Nude Bathing Allowed Here, Police Keep Out’

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Camden Courier-Post – June 26, 1933

Announcement of Delaware Township’s ‘Humanitarians’ Intention Made to North Camden Civic Group by Target of Pancoast’s Criticism

A nudist bathing “colony” on the muddy banks of Cooper River!

This is the latest plan of Lewis B. Simon, of Delaware township, who attracted attention three weeks ago when he established a petter’s paradise on property owned by him in the township.

At least that is the intention of Simon providing the plain does not encounter legal obstacles, it was announced last night by Frank J. Hartmann, Jr., secretary of the North Camden Civic Association, at a meeting of the association at 939 North Fifth Street.

According to Hartmann, it is Simon’s intention to purchase property along the creek in Camden and place a sign on it bearing the legend:

“NUDE BATHING ALLOWED HERE…

THE CITY ALLOWS IT AND SO DO I.

POLICE KEEP OUT.”

Hartmann declared it was not necessarily a mark of Simon’s extreme liberality, so much as a “satirization of police.” His announcement came as an echo of the arrest of 14 nude bathers, all boys and young men, by police on orders of Mayor Roy R. Stewart last Thursday after Hartmann had complained.

All 14 were released the following day by Judge Garfield Pancoast, who scored those causing the arrests.

“It Is Mr. Simon’s attitude,” Hartmann explained, “that if the city is going to allow nude bathing it may as well be legalized as much as possible.

“We complained to the Mayor, who is director of public safety, about vandalism which has resulted in destruction of property valued at more than $500,000,” Hartmann said. “Yet, there has not been one conviction for vandalism, and nude bathing is considered as more, important. The arrests of those boys were made more to embarrass me than in the interest of morals.

“If police are sincere about any complaints I make, why hasn’t there been one arrest for vandalism? We have a wisecracking judge who compliments offenders, so I wonder if he will be so ready to sanction nude bathing now that Mr. Simon believes in finding some legalization for it?”

Hartmann also protested against a rumored proposal to close the fire station [Engine Company 4] on Vine Street between Third and Fourth Streets.

“That would be a very dangerous move for this section of the city,” he said, “for if a train was shifting on the North Main Street tracks at the time of a fire, we would be left without protection because apparatus would be unable to get through from any other section of the city.”

George Shaw, vice president, also I protested against the removal, declaring that “the fire underwriters are not in favor of it.”

Both men also alleged that North Camden was without sufficient police protection.

Officers were re-elected for the ensuing six months of the year. They are Harry F. Walton, president; Shaw, vice president; Mrs. Ida Pfeil, treasurer; Hartmann, recording secretary, and Miss Elsie Stein, financial secretary.


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