A "Little Treasure by the Bay," according
to the newly unveiled township motto, Little Egg
Harbor is both seeking to preserve its history while
advancing into the 21st century.
Originally part of Burlington County, Little Egg
Harbor took its name from the portion of the bay
called Egg Harbor by Dutch sailors because of the
great quantities of sea gull eggs found in nests
along the shore. Little Egg had its share of privateers,
smugglers, pirates and other ruffians that were
part of early Jersey Shore history. The first recorded
account of the area was made by Capt. Cornelius
Jacobsen Mey who sailed the harbor area in 1614.
Early settlers of the township were the Andrews,
Falkinburgs, Shourds, Ongs, Willets and Osborns.
Edward Andrews settled on the east side of Pohatcong
Creek, while is brother, Mordecia, settled on the
Henry Jacobs Falkinburg, Sr. was the first white
man to settle in the township. He arrived sometime
prior to 1698 and began trading merchandise with
the local Indians, securing the properties later
known as Osborn and Wills Islands and a number of
farmlands. Later, Falkinburg, who could speak fluent
Lenni-Lenape, acted as an interpreter between the
Indians and settlers in the area.
Within the township are sites where both Archaic
and Woodland material has been found that prove
that prehistoric man was in the area for over 5,000
Early settlers in Little Egg who did not farm began
building boats, getting timber from the surrounding
forest for hulls. One of the first recorded ships
of the township was a sloop belonging to Thomas
Ridgway Sr. John Mathis Sr. was also an early ship
owner. His vessel was commanded by his son Daniel
and sailed the West Indies routes.
The gathering of clams and oysters was also profitable
and it was not long before Philadelphians and New
Yorkers were dining on shellfish harvested in Little
The township eventually broke from Burlington County
and became part of Ocean County, and the Tuckerton
section of Little Egg became an entity unto itself.
Little Egg Harbor is famous for two historic sites:
the Pulaski monument, marking a 1778 Revolutionary
War skirmish; and the location of the former Great
Tuckerton Wireless, an 865-foot structure built
by a German company in 1912.
Today, Little Egg Harbor Township surrounds Tuckerton
on three sides with a land area of 45 square miles.
It includes West Tuckerton, Parkertown, Osborn Island,
and large developments like Atlantis, Mystic Island,
Holly Lake Harbor, Deerfield Park, Tuckerton Gardens,
Spring Valley Lakes, as well as a part of Warren
The township has an elementary school and intermediate
school and is home to Pinelands Regional High School
and Middle School, which also accept students from
Tuckerton, Eagleswood and Bass River.
This year, the Township Committee made strides
in establishing the Little Egg Harbor Recreation
Complex, which, when completed off Route 539 and
Tuckerton Manor, will include baseball, Little League,
football, softball and soccer fields as well as
a band shell, gazebo, roller hockey rink and passive
Also accomplished in 1998 was the formation of
the township Historical Preservation Society. The
commission will assess historic properties in the
township and help tailor the municipality's master
plan in light of these structures to protect them
for future generations.
Published in the Southern Ocean Community Guide
Little Egg Harbor Branch Library is located on Mathistown
Road, a zoned business area one mile east of Route
9. A directional sign is located one Route 9 leading
people to the library.
Little Egg Harbor is bordered by Great Bay. A number
of the houses in Mystic Islands are situated on
lagoons. This suggests an interest in water activities
and, by implication, an increased summer population.
This community is zoned primarily residential.
Major developments include: Atlantis, Bay Harbor;
Bear Hollow; Colonial Terrace; Eagle Bay; Fairway
Bay; Harbor House Apartments; Harbourtown; High
Ridge; Holly Lake Park and Estates; Little Egg Partnerships;
Mystic Islands; Mystic Shores (seniors); Nugentown;
Oak Hill; Osborn Island; Park Plaza Apartments;
The Sanctuary; Sea Oaks (a senior golf course community);
Sunnyside Development; Sunrise Bay (seniors); Tall
Timbers; and Tavistock.
Development constraints in Little Egg Harbor include
the Pinelands Preservation and Forest Area, which
covers about one-third of the total area. Another
16 percent of the township are environmentally sensitive
on the bay front, which is under state ownership
and control. Despite the large amount of public
land, Little Egg Harbor maintains a significant
amount of land for development, and is projected
to continue its high rate of growth into the near
of the geography of Little Egg Harbor surrounding
Tuckerton on the three sides, Little Egg has no
real town center. It is part of the town’s
Master Plan to develop one near the new MUA building
on Radio Road, thereby creating somewhat of a “downtown.”
Business in Little Egg Harbor is primarily made
up of small independent entrepreneurs, involved
in areas of the service industry, and over the last
decade there has been much growth in this area.
There are two major grocery stores to serve the
almost 16,000 population. There are a number of
banks, restaurants, craft and gift shops, and realtors.
The majority of local companies are related to the
building and construction industries, as well as
to the boating and fishing industries.
Community influence from the building/construction
industry is evident by the increased number of residential
housing units. Little Egg Harbor alone authorized
a yearly average of 90 residential building permits
over the past decade, with a sharp increase in the
last four years (avg. 125/yr.), ranking it the tenth
highest in the county.
Owner occupied homes make up 81% of housing units.
This is slightly lower than the Ocean County average,
which is 2.2% higher. Many of these are apartments,
condominiums, and smaller rental homes in the Mystic
Islands section of town. Homes that are occupied
only seasonally make up 17.1% of the total units.
With the growth of the population in Little Egg
Harbor, this is a number that is most likely to
decrease over the next decade.
The 2000 Census reports that Ocean County saw an
increase of 17.9% in the total population, while
Little Egg Harbor saw a 19.6% increase over the
1990 Census. This places Little Egg Harbor as the
8th fastest growing town in the county for these
past ten years.
Due to the proximity of the area to the Bay, all
types of boating and fishing businesses are available
to residents and visitors. A large number of area
residents own boats for private, recreational use.
Therefore, there are a large number of marinas,
bait and tackle shops, and businesses for boat maintenance
The Garden State Parkway is the area's major artery.
It provides direct service between major cities
and larger towns. Route 9 is the area's principal
artery. It is the north/south roadway that connects
to other local towns in Ocean County. Route 539
is designated the major collector for the area.
Route 539 is an east/west roadway allowing major
areas that connects Rte. 9 and the Parkway. In addition,
Route 539 collects the traffic from local roads.
New Jersey Transit provides public transportation
to the area. The local bus service runs hourly and
travels along Route 9 between Lakewood and Atlantic
City. The bus route deviates off of Rte. 9 carrying
passengers down Center Street to Radio Road and
to Mathistown Road, with a stop at the medical facility
across from the library, before heading back out
to Rte. 9. This provides easy access to the library
for people using public transportation. A reduced
fare is available to senior citizens and riders
The Ocean County Department of Transportation also
provides local bus service through two programs.
The Ocean County Area Transportation program (O.C.A.T.)
is a fixed route bus service for rural areas of
Ocean County. The routes give accessibility to shopping
areas, town halls, post offices, and mass transit.
This service operates twice a day, Monday through
Friday, with the exception of legal holidays. A
small fare is required. \
The Ocean County Handicapped Elderly Transportation
Service (O.C.H.E.T.S.) is also available five days
a week for senior and disabled residents. The purpose
of this service is to transport area residents from
their homes to nearby hospital and doctors' offices
for medical appointments.
There are also two taxi/limousine services in this
area: Eagle Transportation and Express Taxi and
Limo Service. Both serve the Southern Ocean County
are several organizations in Little Egg Harbor,
including social, political and recreation groups.
There is the Great Bay Woman’s Club, the Italian-American
Club, the Mystic Island Civic Organization (MICA)
Club, the Polish-American Social Club and the Sand
and Pines Garden Club. Both the Great Bay Democratic
Club and the Republican Club of Little Egg Harbor
are very active in the community. Sports and recreation
groups include the
Soccer Association, Pinelands
Pop Warner Football, the Little
Egg Harbor Yacht Club and a very busy
Township Recreation Committee.
Volunteerism in the Township is substantial with
the showing of such groups as Great Bay EMS, three
Fire Companies, the local PTA, the Police Athletic
League, the local VFW, American Legion, and the
Friends of the Little Egg Harbor Branch Library.
are a good deal of recreation opportunities for
the residents of Little Egg Harbor for those people
looking to take advantage of these. This has been
an area that the town has worked on improving these
past few years. In 2001, a newly constructed recreation
complex opened, complete with inline hockey rink,
football fields, soccer fields, and will soon finish
the construction of Little League and Softball fields.
The Township has received approval from the State
for the installation of lights so these fields can
be accessible both day and evening. It is located
off Rte. 539 approximately one mile east of the
Garden State Parkway and will soon be a neighbor
to a County recreation complex. No date has been
set for this as yet.
There is an active Recreation Committee in town.
They are responsible for several activities held
each year, including Little Egg Harbor Family Day,
the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting, sporting event
trips (i.e. Atlantic City Surfs), Dinner Theater
for the seniors, summer concert series, Earth Day
clean-up, Miss Little Egg Harbor contest, and Memorial
Day and 4th of July parades. All of these events
are free to the residents.
The Recreation Committee is also working closely
with the newly formed Police Athletic League. Events
they have held and plan to hold include Breakfast
with Santa, a Teen Summer Basketball League, and
5th and 6th grade dances.
There is also a committee exploring all the different
avenues to provide the residents with a Community
Center here in town. They are looking into grants
and other funding to make this possible. They have
already received an $80,000 Community Development
Grant and a resolution has been passed to allow
them to purchase land for this project.
In December of 2000, the Little Treasures Playground
was completed after months of fund-raising. A committee
solicited donations and support from local businesses
and individuals. Volunteers handled the actual construction.
It is located at Mystic Ball Field where Bay Shore
Little League plays.
There is a Senior Center in town located on Radio
Road. This building is used by several organizations
and various activities are held here, including,
Bingo, tax help for seniors, and as a polling location.
There are two golf courses in town, Atlantis Country
Club (a county-owned course) and Sea Oaks, which
opened in 2000. Sea Oaks is a golf course community
for people over the age of 55, but the course and
restaurant are open to the public. It is located
off Rte. 539 approximately two miles east of the
Garden State Parkway.
Mystic Beach is located at the end of Radio Road
on the Bay. There is also a beach in Parkertown.
Mystic Beach includes Graveling Point, a popular
fishing area. Other well-used fishing areas are
located on Great Bay Blvd., also known as Seven
Bridges Road to the locals. Vehicles can be found
parked along this road at various sites where people
fish and crab.
Little Egg Harbor is a growing community which
has seen an increase in population of 19.6% over
the last ten years, which is higher than Ocean County
as a whole, which saw a 17.9% increase. We have
a smaller percentage of senior citizens than the
county, and the median age of residents is just
slightly lower (39.9 compared to 41.0 for the county).
Little Egg Harbor is a diverse town as far as age
breakdowns go: 5.8% of the population is under the
age of five; 14.5% is between the ages of five and
fourteen; 5.8% is from fifteen to nineteen; 56.2%
are from the ages of twenty to sixty-four; and 17.7%
are ages sixty-five and over.
Less diverse is the ethnic make-up of Little Egg
Harbor. Over 96% of the population are classified
as White, while .8% is classified as Black or African-American.
The largest minority group in town is the Hispanic
or Latino people who make up 3.3% of the 15,945
residents read the Atlantic City Press, the Asbury
Park Press, the Ocean County Observer, the Tuckerton
Beacon, the Newark Star-Ledger, the Philadelphia
Enquirer, the New York Times and the Wall Street
Journal. All of these are dailies with the exception
of the Beacon. Other papers arrive free of charge
in the mail and include the MailBag and the Tuckerton-Little
Egg Harbor Leader. Another free paper that residents
can pick up at the Library is the Sandpaper.
Local television programming is provided by the
Pinelands High School on Comcast channel 21. New
Jersey news is provided by News 12 New Jersey and
most residents watch the Philadelphia TV stations
for news and weather.
There are several radio stations residents listen
to for their news and entertainment. Some of these
are B98.5 out of Manahawkin, WOBM which broadcasts
from Bayville, WJRZ from Toms River, WYRS in Manahawkin,
and WPUR (Cat Country) from Atlantic City.
Kathy Erikson, Branch Manager, Little
Egg Harbor, January 2003