Profiling The Communities Of The New Jersey Shore

By: Betsy Old

Whether you are considering a permanent move to the Jersey shore, renting for the summer, or just planning a short getaway, there is a perfect community for you and your family. Each of the following locations has a unique blend of history and modern flavor that attracts tourists and new residents alike.

Allenhurst

The Allen family farm was purchased in 1895 and the .028 square mile land area of "Allenhurst" was formed. Allenhurst has become one of the wealthier towns on the New Jersey Shore. The large Victorian and Tudor-Style homes, as well as the small-town feel of the neighborhood today make Allenhurst a desirable place to live and to visit. The picturesque town has small shops, an award-winning bakery and fine restaurants while a nearby lake offers fishing and canoeing. A popular place in Allenhurst is The Beach Club. Situated at the end of Corlies Road, the beautiful club has pools and a restaurant open during the summer.

Asbury Park

Beginning as a vibrant New Jersey shore resort community in 1870, Asbury Park has set trends and produced cultural icons throughout the 20th century. Legendary Asbury Park has played a significant role in people's memories of summer fun and the very best of what a tightly knit creative community can be. Because Asbury Park is historically charismatic and culturally appealing, the current renaissance is a logical continuation of a century of challenges, revival and growth. In Asbury Park's downtown and new boardwalk, the pulse of activity is visible with many new restaurants, galleries and shops. Old buildings being reclaimed, renovated and restored are attracting homebuyers and investors from across the nation. Come to visit our beloved "City by the Sea".

Avon-by-the-Sea

Incorporated as "Avon-by-the-Sea" on March 23, 1900, this lovely seaside town is a great place to swim & relax in the summer sun. Plenty of fine restaurants, shops, Victorian homes and a beautiful boardwalk and beach make Avon one of New Jersey's most relaxing spots. Don't miss the famous Macaroon Shop on Main Street.

Belmar

Originally named "Ocean Beach", Belmar was founded in 1872. In 1889, the town was re-named Belmar, which is French for "Beautiful Sea". Today Belmar is one of the most active towns on the Jersey Shore as it attracts many families and singles during the summer. Belmar's large marina, great fishing and boating as well as fabulous restaurants make Belmar a desirable place to be. A mid-summer Professional Volleyball Tournament on July 8th through the 10th adds to the appeal of this summer destination spot.

Bradley Beach

Founded in 1893, Bradley Beach is an oceanside playground with many choices of recreational activities including: a boardwalk and lovely beach, miniature golf, summer concerts and dances. This small town has an unusually large number of diverse restaurants and clubs. In 1679, legend has it that Captain Kidd anchored his vessel off of what is now Sylvan Lake and buried his treasure between two trees on today's Brinley Avenue. Today, the year-round population is 5,000 and soars to 30,000 during the summer months.

Brielle

Present day Brielle was founded in 1664 and in the late 1800s Brielle started to become a summer resort when cottages and hotels were built along the Manasquan River. In 1881 a group of investors formed the Brielle Land Association. Interestingly, the name Brielle derives from a town in Holland as the area reminded the founders of the coastal towns of Europe's North Sea and English Channel. Having no oceanfront, Brielle is well known for many recreational opportunities including fishing, a nationally renowned golf course and its' marinas which host many commercial and charter fishing boats.

Eatontown

Slightly under 6 square miles, with a population of about 14,000 people, Eatontown is one of the largest towns on the Jersey Shore. It's long and intricate history began in 1670 when Thomas Eaton, a Quaker, came from Shrewsbury to develop this new land . In 1873 the New Jersey State Legislature made the name of Eatontown official. Because of its central location, Eatontown became a camp and communications center during the war. The camp was renamed after Alfred Vail in honor of the New Jersey inventor who helped develop the Morse telegraph. Many innovations were developed at what is now known as Fort Monmouth including aircraft radar detection and walkie talkies. Old Indian trails are a crossroads for modern travel and the Monmouth Mall, built in 1959 on a former farm, is the center of town. The war made it necessary to train large numbers of telegraphers and other communications personnel.

Interlaken

Founded in 1888, Interlaken was originally a 364-acre farm. In 1890, the Interlaken Land Development Company was created and plans for a residential community began. Throughout its history, Interlaken remains what it still is today - a quiet residential community of approximately 400 families. Many of the present homes were built in the early to mid 1900s by artists, painters, sculptors and writers who found the idyllic community, between the lakes, to be the perfect setting for their creative spirits. Surrounded by Deal Lake, within walking distance to the beaches, local shopping and transportation, Interlaken remains an idyllic residential community.

Lake Como

First settled in 1693, the borough of Lake Como, just south of Belmar, was formally established in 1924. One of the first settlers was Jeremiah Newman who began his life as a farmer. When people started flocking to the seaside town Jeremiah began selling off parcels of his farm for $1 an acre. Today Lake Como has a thriving beachfront which offers a boardwalk, shops, boating and many restaurants.

Little Silver

It is said that Little Silver got its name after a village in Devonshire England. Settled in 1667, early residents were farmers, fishermen and merchants. Separating from Shrewsbury in 1923, Little Silver today is a residential community that features river boating, public tennis courts, beautiful parks and the Post Office Museum. A historic site is The Parker House which is over 350 years old.

Loch Arbour Village

Lined with majestic trees and beautiful Victorian homes, Loch Arbour is the only village, and smallest town, in Monmouth County. Spanning only two blocks wide and five blocks long, Thomas White purchased the land in 1820 from Jacob Corlies. Loch Arbour was incorporated in 1957 and was previously part of Ocean Township. Bordered by Deal Lake and Allenhurst, Loch Arbour's name comes from "Loch" meaning "Lake" and "Arbour" meaning "Trees". Within walking distance of the beach, shops and restaurants, Loch Arbour empitomizes a quaint seaside village

Long Branch

One of the largest cities on the Jersey Shore, Long Branch was very glamorous in its early days as it attracted many wealthy New Yorkers, as well as more notorious adventurers like Diamond Jim Brady and Lily Langtree. Presidents Grant, Hayes, Harrison, McKinley, Wilson and Garfield all summered in Long Branch. During the 1920s, Long Branch declined in its popularity due to gambling laws restricting this popular past time. Currently Long Branch is experiencing a revival which can be seen along the waterfront with many new buildings being constructed, many restaurants and an active nightlife.

Monmouth Beach

Dating back to 1668, Monmouth Beach was first purchased by Eliakim Wardell. In 1842, Wardell's great grandson Henry sold one of the lots to the U.S. Life Saving Service and in 1865 sold the rest to Arthur V. Conover. Mr. Conover and other investors founded the Monmouth Beach Association in 1871. Oceanfront homes were built and the community began to thrive. Many of the original 19th century Victorian homes still exist alongside new contemporary properties making Monmouth Beach an idyllic seaside resort.

Neptune Township

Incorporated in October of 1881, Neptune was named after the Roman God of the Sea. During the last decade, Neptune has significantly grown residentially, commercially and in technological advances. A prestigious addition has been the Jersey Shore Medical Center which is an affiliate of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Township highlights include the Jumping Brook Golf Course, great restaurants, Shark River Park (in Shark River Hills) which features a walking trail, barbeque areas and picnic tables, and the historic town of Ocean Grove. The celebrities Jack Nicholson and Danny DeVito spent their childhood years as friends in Neptune.

Ocean Grove

Incorporated in 1869, Ocean Grove is a National Historical District. Founded by Bishop Francis Asbury, Ocean Grove (a sister to Cape May) has the largest number of Victorian homes in the nation and today maintains Methodist traditions. The Great Auditorium was built in 1875 and still is host to Sunday worship services and many concerts during the summer. Tents were the first structures in Ocean Grove and today 114 tents still provide summer residence for families many of which descend from original Ocean Grove settlers. The beautiful beach, boardwalk, quaint village, many shops and restaurants make Ocean Grove a truly memorable place to live and to visit.

Ocean Township

From Waretown to Brookville, Ocean Township is a diverse mix of natural beauty, history, recreational opportunities and large variety of retail venues including the Seaview Square mall. With approximately 7,400 residents and covering 21 square miles Ocean Township is one of the largest municipalities in Monmouth County.

Oceanport

Located between Red Bank and West Longbranch, Oceanport has a population of approximately 6,000. Oceanport is a peaceful residential community most famous for the Monmouth Park Racetrack. Racing at Monmouth Park began in 1870 and was an immediate success. In 1893 it was forced to close down due to legislation preventing gambling in New Jersey. Amory Haskell from Red Bank was able to garner support in 1939 to legalize "wagering" in New Jersey once again and re-construction of the track began. Due to World War II, the track was not completed until 1946 and is still one of the most popular racetracks in the country.

Point Pleasant

Like many Jersey Shore towns, Point Pleasant enjoys a rich history. Quaker settlers arrived in the 1700s and in the early 1800s farmers began to rent rooms to visitors. In the 1870s Sea Captain John Arnold purchased land and built a road to the ocean - still know today as Arnold Avenue. In 1886, the borough of Point Pleasant was established. In the late 1920s the boardwalk was enhanced by Orlo Jenkinson who built a swimming pool and amusement pavilion. Today, Jenkinson's is still a hot spot for entertainment. Point Pleasant is a summer playland with shopping, amusements, live music and many restaurants.

Red Bank

In 1736 Red Bank was named when it was sold to Joseph French. It is said that in the deed the property was defined as "that which goes to the red bank". Originally part of Shrewsbury, Red Bank became a commercial center in the mid 1800's and a port for commuters to New York City. Today Red Bank is a hip city and vibrant town with great shops, galleries, numerous gourmet restaurants and clubs.

Sea Girt

Founded in 1875 and incorporated in 1917, Sea Girt has a population of approximately 2,148 and covers 1.05 square miles. Unlike many other Jersey Shore communities, Sea Girt's residents are predominantly year round. Know for its elegant homes, Sea Girt features one of the oldest lighthouses in the nation. The Sea Girt Lighthouse tower's peak is 60 feet above sea level and was completed in 1896. Don't miss Rod's Steakhouse for fun, drink & good eats!

Shrewsbury

Settled in 1667 by English settlers, and incorporated as a borough in 1926, Shrewsbury is a residential community covering approximately 2.3 square miles with a population of approximately 3,600. At one time, Shrewsbury was the largest township in New Jersey running from the Navesink River south to Little Egg Harbor. Many historic sites are in Shrewsbury including: Christ Episcopal Church, Friends Meetinghouse, Allen House, and Wardell House. The Grove, an exclusive shopping mall, brings people to Shrewsbury from all over Monmouth County. Shrewsbury is also the home of The Guild of Creative Art, which is an important and popular center for the arts in Monmouth County.

West Long Branch

In 1908, West Longbranch was formed by a group of residents choosing to secede from Shrewsbury. Consistently a residential town, West Longbranch has been home to several people of notoriety including Murry & Leonie Guggenheim who eventually donated their home to, which later became the library, for Monmouth University.

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