earliest inhabitants of the area now known as Berkeley
Township were the Unalachtigo (the People who live
near the ocean), a sub-tribe of the Lenni Lenape.
The People were nomadic and moved about in
small bands of about a dozen families. The Cedar Creek was a great source of oysters for them.
Europeans from England and Holland first settled
near waterways, making a living by fishing and boating
on the rivers, the bay, and the ocean, and sometimes
less legitimately in privateering and smuggling
and by looting shipwrecks.
Cedar Creek was the center of a timber industry,
and sawmills used the creeks and tributaries of
the Toms River.
At one time, the Berkeley cranberry bogs
produced the largest crops in the state, two of
which still remain in Double Trouble State Park.
was a post office designation assigned in 1870,
and on March 31, 1875, the State of New Jersey officially
set off the Township of Berkeley from the Township
of Dover. The coming of the railroad around 1881 accelerated development
in Pine Beach, Beachwood, Ocean Gate, and Seaside
Park, which began as development communities.
Prospective buyers there received free train
rides from Newark, Philadelphia, and New York.
Barnegat Park, later called Pinewald, was
also planned, but did not develop until the 1920s
when the Royal Pines Hotel was built, only to fail
during the Great Depression.
1975, Berkeley Township celebrated its centennial
anniversary, and the book, Berkeley Township:
the First 100 Years, published by the Berkeley
Township Centennial Commission, is the source for
the historical information above.
This book is available at the Berkeley Branch
of the Ocean County Library and from the Berkeley
Township Historical Museum at 630 Route 9 in Bayville
consists of an area of approximately 41.9 square
miles, or 26,816 acres, located in the central part
of Ocean County.
It is geographically divided into three communities:
One runs along the Barnegat Bay and along both sides
of Route 9 from the Toms River in the north, to
Cedar Creek, the borderline with Lacey Township
to the south.
Another community in the far northwest corner
of the township includes two large older adult housing
developments, Holiday City and Silver Ridge.
The third community includes the southern
half of Pelican Island in Barnegat Bay, South Seaside
Park, and Island Beach State Park along the Atlantic
area east of Route 9 is considered wetlands, and
the land west of the Garden State Parkway is in
Both, therefore, fall under federal and state
requirements for development in such areas.
All areas zoned residential are nearly completely
built, and any further development is limited.
In 1950, the State
Office of Demographic and Economic Analysis recorded
Berkeley Township’s population at 1,550.
According to 2000 census figures (U.S.
Bureau, Profile of General Demographic Characteristics)
the total population was 39,991, with more than
50% of Berkeley Township’s population over the
age of 60.
Township is primarily a residential community, and,
despite the relatively recent construction of many
of its 22,291 homes
Census Bureau, Profile of Selected
Housing Characteristics) provides some
of the most affordable housing in Ocean County.
Affordable housing in addition to the predominant
over-60 population could be the cause and the effect
of the number of adult communities that have been
developed in the area.
Census Profile for Selected Economic
shows 33.2% of the population in the labor force,
and that the median household income as $32,134.
2000 Tract/BNA Median Family Income in Berkeley
is $57,528, up from $42,500 in 1990.
The unemployment rate in 1999 was 5.7%, with
5.48% living below the poverty line.
see the chart for employment information, 1999
Ocean County and Municipalities,
created by the State of New Jersey.
main types of businesses in Berkeley Township are
retail stores along both sides of Route 9. In addition
to various independent stores and restaurants, there
are three shopping centers and six strip malls in
varying stages of age and condition. The largest
employers in Berkeley Township include two nursing
and convalescent homes, Crystal
Lake Healthcare & Rehabilitation and Tall
Woods Care Center, two supermarkets, Foodtown
Food Circus and ShopRite
of Bayville, and several restaurants. There
are also numerous health practitioners located here,
including doctors, dentists, chiropractors, veterinarians,
and a home health service, quite a few attorneys,
and construction and maintenance companies. Business
for the marinas along Barnegat Bay is seasonal,
and tourist activity has given way to year-round
The main thoroughfares
through Berkeley Township are the north/south routes
of the Garden State Parkway, State Highway No. 9,
and east/west routes of State Highway No. 37, and
Ocean County Route 530 and 618 (Pinewald Keswick
development has increased, Route 9 has become more
and more congested due to the increased amount of
late 2002, Exit 77, a new exit/access ramp for Berkeley
was opened to help alleviate this condition and
to serve the increasing local population.
in Berkeley is provided by New
Jersey Transit buses #137 (Toms River
to New York), #139 (Lakewood to New York), and #559
(Lakewood to Atlantic City).
County Transportation and Vehicle Services Department
also provides a fixed-route service and a handicapped
and elderly transportation service (Ocean Ride),
arrangements for which can be made by telephone
operates a golf course and several athletic fields,
neighborhood playgrounds and parks, and the Ocean
County Department of Parks and Recreation
operates four regional parks within the township.
are also several private recreational facilities,
such as Thunderbowl Bowling and Blackbeard’s
Cave, as well as numerous marinas and restaurants.
serving the Berkeley Township/Ocean Gate area:
Asbury Park Press (daily)
Auto Shopper of New Jersey (monthly)
Berkeley Times (weekly)
Ocean County Observer (daily)
Free weekly newspapers
distributed in the Berkeley Township/Ocean Gate
Forked River Gazette
Channel 21 – Central
Regional High School
B 98.5 Radio – 98.5FM,
WJRZ – 100.1 FM, Manahawkin (Oldies)
WOBM – 92.7 FM, Bayville (Adult Contemporary)
WRAT – 95.9 FM, Pt. Pleasant
WYRS – 90.7 FM, Manahawkin (Christian Perspective)
WWNJ – 91.1 FM, Toms River (NJ Classical Network)
Township’s extensive and informative
website contains information about the township
and links to the various departments in the township,
township events and history, printable forms for
applications for permits, and information that will
be useful for students’ class assignments.
Berkeley Head Start
is a nonprofit school for children between the ages
of three and five who have special medical, social,
or financial needs.
They have been serving the Berkeley area
for more than 38 years and are licensed for 20 children.
Township Elementary Schools provide education
to children from kindergarten through sixth grade.
All schools in the Berkeley Township School
District send students to the Central Regional High and Middle Schools.
New Jersey Department of Education
provides extensive information about each school
district in the New Jersey Report Card and the Comparative
Spending Guide that can be found at NJ
by Linda Feaster, Berkeley Young Adult Librarian
north on the Garden State Parkway, look toward the
east just after Exit 74, and you can see the top
of a concrete building peeking over the tops of
the trees. Back in the 1930's, this was a popular
getaway known as the Royal Pines, an eight-story,
lavishly decorated hotel featuring a supper club,
a roof garden, and solarium. Surrounded by acres
of forest, the Royal Pines Hotel was intended to
be the focal point of an up-and-coming resort community
that would include a championship golf course, a
game preserve, and beautiful homes.
It has been reputed that Al Capone, the famous
Prohibition era gangster stayed at The Royal Pines,
but these are just rumors. He never did.
the stock market crash and the growing popularity
of beach resorts brought the glorious days of the
Royal Pines to an end. After years of declining
business, the hotel finally closed and became a
hospital and then a sanitarium. Since 1974 it has
been a nursing home, and is now known as Crystal
Lake Healthcare & Rehabilitation.