Site recognized as more than a store


To the travelers on their way to and from Pasadena's beach resorts in the 1920s and thereafter, Lipin's Corner was like an oasis.

The store, located at the intersection of Mountain Road and what is now Long Hill Road, sold soft shell crab sandwiches, cola, gasoline and supplies to those traveling just off the main road.

The store left such an imprint that decades after it closed in 1944, folks still call the intersection Lipin's Corner.

Yesterday, County Executive Janet S. Owens put a marker at the intersection and honored the Lipin family.

"I'm very proud that we are putting up this sign to mark one of the historic crossroads in the county," she said. "This is a road and a spot that for anyone who has lived in the county for more than a generation, they know Lipin's Corner and we thought it was important to honor the history of this site."

And even more recent arrivals, such as Suzanne Galford, owner of Suzanne's Florist on Mountain Road at Lipin's Corner Plaza, know the community lore.

"Back when this place was just a bunch of woods, there was Lipin's," she said. "At that time, it was about the only place around here for groceries."

The store served not only travelers looking for food or fuel but the Federal Aviation Administration too.

John Lipin, the store's owner, kept a red light burning in the top window as a beacon to mark the flight path between Washington, D.C., and New York.

When Lipin paid the electric company $1,000 to bring power to his store, it allowed other beach communities to tap into the lines. A year later, according to Lipin's son, former state Sen. Alfred Lipin, the electric company ran lines down to Gibson's Island.

Lipin said he never learned why his dad opened the store back in 1918, but he remembers tourists hopping off buses and ordering up crab cake sandwiches. Out front, paperboys hawked the news.

On hot summer days, people would gather to watch parachute jumpers at a nearby airfield. And as a boy, Lipin pumped gas. He said that his father was a hardworking man who wanted to make sure that his family was successful and that the community was served.

"We [Lipin and his children] are proud of our father and grandfather and thankful that he did everything he could," he said. "He started off at Lipin's corner, and now it's a landmark."

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