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Home | About Us | Branches | Manchester Branch | Community Profile
Manchester Community Profile manchester branch

Community Profile

Manchester Township is 82.5 square miles and is the third largest Township in central New Jersey's Ocean County. The Township is located approximately 70 miles from the New York-New Jersey metropolitan region and approximately 60 miles from the Philadelphia-New Jersey metropolitan region.

Manchester Township is one of the best-known communities in the northeastern United States for its extensive retirement communities, which made the Township one of the fastest growing communities in New Jersey during the period 1965 through 1988. The 1990 census recorded a population of 35,976.

In contrast, a successful effort was made by the community to manage and control growth. The 2000 census reported that the population of Manchester was 38,928.

History of Lakehurst

Known as a posh resort town at the turn of the century, beautiful Lakehurst became famous all over the world when the Hindenburg crashed on May 6, 1937. Thereafter, Lakehurst was known as "The Airship Capital of the World." In fact, it was.

From 1919 until 1962, the United States Navy conducted its Lighter-then-Air Program at Lakehurst. Some of the largest machines created by men were launched into the air from the base at Lakehurst, which is also the home of the nation's first international airport.

Known as Manchester until 1921, Lakehurst had its beginnings in 1821, when Samuel Whittemore gave one square mile of land (640 acres) to his daughter, Adeline, and her husband, William Torrey. Torrey mapped the tract of land, while Adeline named most of the streets after trees.

The area rose as an industrial center during and following the Revolutionary War. It was the site of Federal Forge, a major producer of iron products, including cannon balls for Washington's troops. A Rope Mill was powered by an elaborate water flume which ran underground from nearby Lake Horicon to the factory. The town had a railroad roundhouse, turntable, maintenance shops, and boiler shops.

The Luxurious Blue Comet train stopped at Lakehurst, delivering passengers to the stately Pine Tree Inn, a resort of considerable fame in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Though most of the sites are gone, visitors to Lakehurst can still see Hangar One, a National Historic Landmark recalling the crash of the Hindenburg. The Borough of Lakehurst Historical Society conducts Walking Tours around the town, its knowledgeable staff pointing out interesting sites and telling stories of the past.

Old Saint John's Church was built in 1874. It was Ocean County's first Roman Catholic Church. Today it houses the Historical Society Museum. Small, but quite complete, the Museum houses a collection of artifacts, books, and pictures which combine to illustrate the history of Lakehurst. Visitors can see charred remnants of the Hindenburg, as well as an array of items from the Navy's rigid airship program.


 The Hindenburg disaster was one of the world's most tragic occurrence ever. The Hindenburg was a rigid airship built by a firm in Friedrichshafen, Germany and was kept overhead by 200,000 cubic meters of hydrogen in 16 cells. Completed and tested in 1936, it was the world's first transatlantic commercial airliner. In May of 1936, the Hindenburg underwent the first scheduled air service across the Atlantic between Frankfurt am Main, Germany and Lakehurst, NJ. More than 70 passengers were onboard this great airship with a library, dining room, and an exquisite lounge. 

 However, the Hindenburg was struck with disaster on May 6, 1937. The hydrogen of the airship was ignited while maneuvering to land at Lakehurst, NJ. The Hindenburg was destroyed by the fire caused by the invisible gas and 35 passengers and crew died. 

 Today a plaque laying in a chain-outlined area is all that is left of the "lighter-than-air" craft known as The Hindenburg @ The Lakehurst Naval Air Base. Also still standing is the Historical Hangar #1 where the airship was docked.



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