began in 1914 as a purposely-created summer resort
on the Toms River. In a project backed by the New
York Tribune, 1,763 acres of Berkeley Township
were sectioned on a “grid pattern” into lots
of 20’ x 100’, and sold for $19.60 each
to those who also bought a six-month subscription
to the newspaper. Most of the early houses were
summer cottages, owned by doctors, writers, teachers,
theatrical people and police officers from both
the Philadelphia and New York City areas. In 1916,
the Pennsylvania Railroad joined the Jersey Central
Line in making Beachwood a regular stop. The town
became an official Borough in 1917. Churches and
schools were established for year-round residents,
but recreation and camping remained top priorities.
In 1924, the first library was established, and
the Polyhue Yacht Club, for many years a focal point
in the borough, was built.
the Great Depression, growth slowed and use of the
community as a summer resort declined. In the latter
half of the 1930s, with the slow but steady build-up
of the local military installations in Ocean County,
Beachwood began to see an increase in the year-round
population. Throughout this time, the borough remained
a close-knit community. The large number of community
activities, fund-raisers, and summer entertainment
contributed to the “family” atmosphere. Borough
residents reached out to help one another in good
times and bad, and in 1942, they entered wholeheartedly
into the war efforts.
the 1940s, many clubs and churches were active in
the community. Among them were the Women’s Civic
Club, the Beachwood Rifle and Pistol Club, scout
troops, the Polyhue Yacht Club, the Beachwood Players
(a drama group), the Beachwood Chamber of Commerce,
St. Paul Lutheran Church, and the Beachwood Athletic
Club. By then the police force, fire department,
and first aid squad were well established. There
was a dance hall for young adults, and residents
enjoyed weekly square dances at the old Borough
Hall (near the intersection of Beachwood and Atlantic
City Boulevards). Most of the businesses were small
and often family-owned. Borough law prohibited garages,
diners, cabins, and motor courts, and service stations
could only be located on Atlantic City Boulevard
1946, major changes began taking place in Beachwood.
The two railroads serving the community discontinued
their runs. The opening of the Garden State Parkway,
which by-passed downtown Toms River, cut some of
the route 166 traffic by the library, but funneled
other potential library users down Route 9, the
Parkway access road which runs near the other side
of the library. The expansion of Toms River Chemical
Company (later bought and known as Ciba Geigy) also
helped to increase the year-round population.
the early 1950s and the mid-1960s, Beachwood had
changed from being
a summer resort for the urban affluent to
a year-round home for middle class workers. The
1960 census recorded 2,765 permanent residents,
and the population continued to grow through the
1960’s and 70’s.
early 1980s brought change once again. With the
major downsizing of Toms River Chemical Company,
which employed some 400 Beachwood residents, and
the skyrocketing cost of real estate, Beachwood
underwent a population shift.
Locally employed blue-collar workers began
to be replaced by blue- and white-collar workers
who commuted to the urban centers north and west
of Beachwood. The 1990 census revealed a population
increase to 9,324 and that of 2000 showed 10,375.
Beachwood attracts many young families, especially
commuters to jobs further north of Ocean County.
Only 2.8 square miles in size, Beachwood
is a densely populated community, with 3,700 persons
per square mile and 3,623 housing units. It is nearing
its maximum growth potential with few available
lots left for building.
strong sense of community pride has carried over
from the past; houses are generally well maintained
and attractively landscaped. Most streets are tree-lined.
Newly built houses remain in character with older
homes, retaining an attractive diversity of style.
1995 the original 1924 municipal building on Rte
166, housing the Borough Hall and fire department,
was replaced by a new facility on Pinewald Road.
It was named the William T. Hornidge Municipal Complex
in honor of this mayor’s twenty years of service
to the community.
land in Beachwood is very flat and the soil is sandy.
Two main roads, Routes 166 (Atlantic City Blvd.)
and 9, funnel heavy traffic through the northeast
end of the borough. A new bridge over the Toms River
will impact on future traffic passing through Beachwood.
9 and 166 divide the older neighborhood north and
east of these roads from the newer one to the west.
Most new construction is in the western area, although
new families have also bought and updated homes
in the older section.
main commercial “strip” in Beachwood covers
about a 20- block stretch of Route 9/166 (Atlantic
City Boulevard), at the northeast end of the borough.
Most of the businesses are small family-owned retail
stores and services. The library is on Beachwood
Blvd., half a block west of Atlantic City Boulevard.
The Post Office is two blocks west of the library
on Locker Street, just before Route 9.
Nursery School and the Candle Factory (http://www.candlefactoryproducts.com/)
are on the western side of the Borough. Residents
also use grocery stores, the Ocean County Mall and
the other stores in Toms River and nearby area.
businesses in Beachwood, among 267 cited in Reference
USA, an online business database, include small
manufacturing companies, a commercial caterer, a
CPA firm, a landscaping company, and an underground
utility trenching corporation. The largest employer
is the Borough of Beachwood. Most of the population
is employed outside the area.
9 (the Parkway access road) and Route 166 are the
main arteries, carrying traffic north/south through
the northeast end of the borough. These roads merge
just before they exit into Berkeley Township. Pinewald
Road runs along the western perimeter. All other
streets in Beachwood cross on a grid pattern, and
most connect with one of these arteries.
are two bus routes through Beachwood. NJ Transit
Route #559 runs from Lakewood through Toms River
and Beachwood to points south, terminating in Atlantic
City. It follows Route 9/166, stopping in Beachwood
at the merger of Routes 9 and 166 (a few blocks
down Atlantic City Boulevard from the library).
About 22 daily trips run each way; passengers can
connect in Toms River for other destinations. Ocean
County Transportation bus Route #7, operates on
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, covering some of
the residential streets of the borough. It connects
the towns of Bayville, Ocean Gate, Pine Beach, Beachwood,
and South Toms River. This bus passes the Beachwood
Branch Library, and stops about a block away. Taxi
service is also available in the borough. Seniors
and physically challenged residents may book transportation
for medical appointments and occasional shopping
through O.C.H.E.T.S. (Ocean County Handicapped and
Elderly Transportation Service).
and organizations in Beachwood include the Democratic
Club of Beachwood, the Republican Club of Beachwood,
the Young Republicans of Beachwood, the Beachwood
Chapter of AARP, the Beachwood Men’s Seniors
Club, and the Women’s Senior Auxiliary Club.
Both Beachwood and Pine Beach Elementary Schools
have parent teacher organizations.
Service organizations include Beachwood Volunteer
Fire Co. #1, Beachwood First Aid Squad, Beachwood
Fireman’s Relief Association, the Beachwood/Berkeley
Rotary, and the Friends of the Beachwood Library.
Three churches, St Paul Lutheran Church,
Community Bible Fellowship, and Community Christian
Church serve the community’s spiritual needs.
Beachwood residents also participate in other
special interest organizations in Ocean County.
people, ages 8 to18, belong to local scout troops
and the Beachwood/Pine Beach Little League. The
Recreation Department sponsors the Beachwood Dazzlers,
NJ Devils Street Hockey, and a children’s summer
camp program. The Beachwood Yacht Club, formerly
the Polyhue Yacht Club, sponsors a children’s
sailing camp and participates in area regattas.
community center, at 147 Compass Avenue along the
Toms River, can be rented from the Borough by individuals
and groups and is regularly used for scout meetings,
senior and political club meetings, practice sessions
of the Emerald Society Pipers and the Beachwood
Dazzlers, and for library programs requiring more
space than the current building affords. A boardwalk
extends southeast along the river from the Community
Center to the beach. Borough-owned boat slips and
a launch ramp provide limited boating access to
There are some benches for those who choose
to sit and enjoy the view of the river and the opposite
residents and guests may swim in the Toms River
at a small beach with picnic tables and a pavilion.
Above the beach is a gazebo, often the site for
wedding photos. Mayo Park, across the street from
the gazebo, is the largest of Beachwood’s three
parks. It has a baseball field, basketball and tennis
courts, picnic areas, barbeque pits, bocce ball
courts, playground equipment, and a large kitchen.
Groups and individuals can rent the park for private
or public functions.
smaller park at the corner of Birch and Surf has
a Little League ball field and a playground.
“Kiddie Park”; at the corner of Ocean
Avenue and Birch Street has playground equipment
for children 12 and under. There is a soccer field
at the southwest tip of Beachwood on Hickory Street.
A bike path stretches from Beachwood Elementary
School along Berkeley Avenue to the soccer field.
There are no skating rinks, movie theaters, or other
commercial recreational facilities in the borough.
Ocean County has plans to develop land on the western
edge of Beachwood as Jake’s Branch County Park.
It will feature hiking trails, small game courts,
and fishing facilities.
Beachwood Recreation Department hosts an annual
Easter Egg Hunt, the Memorial Day picnic, the Christmas
Tree Lighting Ceremony and Christmas House Decorating
Contest. Their staff run a six-week summer day camp
for children, aged 5/6 to 12 featuring crafts and
outdoor activities. The Department also sponsors
the NJ Devils Street Hockey for children ages 6-16
and the Beachwood Dazzlers. This latter program
provides instruction in baton and flag twirling;
members participate in area parades and competitions.
Borough sponsors an annual fireworks display over
the Toms River with festivities along the beach
area and a Harvest Halloween Bonfire. Special anniversaries
in the town’s history are commemorated.
by the Women’s Club in 1923 and incorporated
in a building provided by Nathan Pulsifer in 1944,
the Beachwood Library became a branch of the Ocean
County Library system in 1973.
It is a popular local source for books, nonprint
materials, circulating magazines, and computer Internet
access. The branch offers regular sessions of pre-school
story time, programs for older age groups, and the
Ocean County Library’s summer reading program.
The Friends of the Beachwood Library sponsor and
support library activities.
Elementary School, run by the Toms River Regional
School District, serves children in grades K to
6. Children on the eastern side of Rte. 166 attend
Pine Beach Elementary, also part of the Toms River
system. Children in grades 7-8 currently attend
Toms River Intermediate School West, although a
new intermediate school for local children will
be soon built on Pinewald Road in Beachwood; grades
9 to12 attend Toms River High School South.
three schools may be found on the Internet at www.tomsriver.k12nj.us/elem/Beachwood/index.html;
The library was founded in the summer of
1923 by the Women's Club of Beachwood. At that time
the Beachwood Borough was a seasonal small town
and most of the club members returned in the fall
to their city homes.
During the winter months they collected books
for the library at the shore. At the spring opening
several thousand books were on the shelves. The
members of the club took turns running the library
which was then housed in the Beachwood Chapel.
When the women's club was disbanded five
years later, the Beachwood Library moved to the
Interdonominational Church in the borough.
The Beachwood Library became incorporated
in 1944 and was first known as the Pulsifer Memorial
Library. The building and land were donated by Mr.
Nathan Trowbridge Pulsifer in memory of his wife
Mrs. Almira Pulsifer.
In February 1973, the library joined the
Ocean County Library system as the Beachwood station.
A three way contract was signed by the Borough of
Beachwood, which owns the building, the Pulsifer
Memorial Library Board of Trustees, who became the
Friends of the Beachwood Library, and the Ocean
Mrs. Ethel Gaunt became the
station librarian and the Borough of Beachwood renovated
the interior, The Library was called
Beachwood Station until 1979 when the name
was changed to the Beachwood Branch of the Ocean
by Emily Holman,
Beachwood's Branch Manager