The Township of Ocean
was incorporated on April 13, 1876. At that time,
the major village, situated on what is now Route
9, was Waretown. Approximately seven miles to the
west lay the village of Millville, which became
Brookville in 1892, when the post office was established.
Since that post office no longer exists and there
is no municipal government in Brookville, Waretown
and the Township of Ocean are now one and the same.
Waretown was originally called Waier Creek or Waier
Mills, after Abraham Waier, who had come to the
area with a religious sect known as the Rogerines.
Expelled from Connecticut for their hostility to
the Puritan laws of New England, the Rogerines arrived
here in 1739. They moved on eleven years later,
but Waier stayed and built a mill.
From 1700 to 1900, Waretown was a shipbuilding center,
but by the end of the 19th century the main industries
had become lumbering, cutting pine and oak wood,
and the making of charcoal for the New York market.
As the timber sources were depleted, the residents
turned to gathering swamp moss, which found a ready
market among florists. When the moss supply was
exhausted, they began picking cranberries and huckleberries.
Until about 1920, oyster beds were plentiful, and
for many years Waretown was a focal point for the
clamming industry in Ocean County. Throughout most
of this century, fishing and crabbing have been
major activities, and in recent years charter boat
fishing and pleasure boating have become increasingly
popular with summer residents and weekend visitors.
Perhaps because of the unique nature of many of
its early industries, there is a strong sense of
community among Waretown's older families. However,
in the last 25 years the town has become a significant
retirement area, and while many of these retirees
have now been here for decades, they do not identify
with the town in the same way as the families who
have been here for generations. Their loyalties
are more to the developments they live in (Skippers
Cove, Pebble Beach, etc.) than to the Township of
Ocean as a whole.
Most residents who have moved into the township
since World War II came from either northern New
Jersey (especially Bergen and Hudson counties and
the Newark area), or from Greater Philadelphia,
but some have also relocated from New York City,
Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and the Trenton area.
According to the 2000 Census, population of the
township is 6,450. Of that total, 4,807 residents
were over the age of 18, while 1,743 were under
A more complete history of Waretown can be found
in the History
of Ocean Township, NJ.
Township of Ocean is generally flat, wooded area
lying between the Barnegat Bay and the Pinelands,
with Lacey Township to the north and Barnegat to
the south. It has a land area of 20.80 square miles
and a water area of 11.22 square miles. The township
is planning its growth around the Ocean County Fire
and First Aid Training Academy, off Volunteer Way,
and two senior housing developments to be built
off Routes 532 and 9. There are minimum lot sizes
in the entire township, but the area west of the
Garden State Parkway is under Pinelands regulations.
Waretown does receive summer visitors and vacationers,
due to its close proximity to the Barnegat Bay and
Long Beach Island. Ship Bottom is approximately
11 miles from Ocean Township. The Barnegat Lighthouse
is visible from Waretown's bayside shoreline.
for the Clayton Block Company, there is virtually
no industry in the Township of Ocean. Fishing remains
a major activity, but most fishermen work independently.
The small retail businesses are typical of a town
this size. There are no major retail chains, banks,
or fast food other than pizzerias. Of note are those
businesses related to fishing and boating: half
a dozen marinas, two seafood stores, a repair shop
for boat propellers, etc. In addition, there are
several home-based businesses in Waretown, such
as a framer, welder, an embroidery class and a beekeeper
that sells honey.
Along with the fishermen, the township has a wide
range of professions, with a significant number
of engineers, teachers, computer operators and programmers,
nurses, secretaries, municipal government employees
and construction workers. Waretown schools employ
over 100 people. Many residents work outside the
township, most commonly in Toms River, Barnegat
and Stafford, although many also travel to Monmouth
County, northern New Jersey and New York.
At its location on Main Street, the library lies
only one long block from the commercial center of
town on Route 9. Another focal point is the post
office, located on Main Street south of the library.
The post office, which employs 8 or 9 people, anticipates
an expansion of its staff upon the completion of
a new 1,400 home retirement community in Waretown.
major arteries are Route 9, north and south, and
Route 532, east and west. There are no buses that
run through the township to the library. On Wednesdays
an O.C.H.E.T.S. bus takes seniors to the Stafford
Mall. New Jersey Transit buses run along Route 9
from Atlantic City to New York, making local stops
in Waretown and in other townships in Ocean County.
One factor contributing to the volume of traffic
on Route 9 is the limited access to and from the
Garden State Parkway. At present there are ramps
for northbound traffic exiting at Waretown, and
for residents traveling the Parkway south from Waretown,
but none for those coming south on the Parkway or
for those wishing to go north from here. Over the
years there has been some discussion about adding
these ramps, but it remains an open issue.
has approximately 20 community organizations. There
are senior organizations (AARP, Old Guard, WWII
Veterans, etc.), Service organizations (Holly Auxiliary,
Ocean Township Historical Society, Friends of the
Waretown Library, etc.), and Recreational organizations
(Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, etc.). There is a fire
company, first aid squad, a first aid auxiliary,
and a coast guard auxiliary. There are also 5 churches
located in Waretown.
Township of Ocean has 4 public parks with a new
park planned for 2002-2003, and 1 county park: Waretown
Dock, Waretown, Tuomey Park, Faust Park, and Sands
Point Park, which is planned for 2002-2003 and will
be located on Dock Rd., Sands Point Harbor. Wells
Mills Park is owned and maintained by the county.
It hosts the Pine Barrens Jamboree each fall.
The Joseph A. Citta Scout Reservation (Brookville
Boy Scout Camp) is 600 acres of campsites and facilities
located in Ocean Township.
The township has a Community Center located on 11th
Street, which services the residents of the township
and community service groups. The Waretown Athletic
Association and the Township of Ocean Recreation
Department provide various athletic and recreational
activities throughout the year for various ages.
The Senior Citizens Advisory Group provides services
and trips for the senior citizens.
Boating and Fishing are the main interests of this
shore community. There are several marinas in Waretown
which help provide the opportunity to do both for
residents as well as seasonal visitors. It proximity
to Atlantic City provides the opportunity for regular
bus trips to the casinos enjoyed by the seniors
and used to provide a method of raising funds for
some of the local organizations.
Local events in Waretown include Waretown Athletic
Association's opening day parade and ceremony, Founder's
Day (125th Year Anniversary in 2001), The Skipper's
Cove Festival of Lights which features a summer
Saturday afternoon and evening parade of decorated
boats, and the Pine Barrens Jamboree.
There are two cultural institutions in Waretown.
The local branch of the Ocean County Library is
located on Main Street in Waretown. The famous Pinelands
Cultural Society, which has a music hall, located
at 125 Wells Mill Road in Waretown commonly known
as Albert Hall. This group offers country, folk,
and bluegrass music every Saturday night and has
2 Bluegrass Festivals throughout the year.
response to our 1993 questionnaire, the overwhelming
majority of residents said that what sets Waretown
apart from its neighbors to the north and south
is its rural, small-town character. On the other
hand, many also commented on the fact that there
is not the variety of community activities here
that might be found in other parts of the county.
There are not any nursing homes, hospitals, prisons,
military installations, or colleges here. The Ocean
County Vocational/ Technical School has a site on
Route 532 and there are two public elementary schools
in the township: Waretown Primary School (grades
K-2) and the Frederick A. Priff Elementary School
(grades 3-6). As of September 2001, kindergarten
classes will be all day. Ocean Township is a sending
district, so 7th through 12th grade students attend
Southern Regional Middle and High Schools, located
Most of the housing is detached, single-family homes,
but there are three substantial condominium developments
on the bay. Very few multiple-unit dwellings, apartments,
or rentals are available in the area. Apartments
are mostly located in private homes, as there are
no apartment complexes in the area. A new development
of single family homes will be completed soon. It
is called "The Woods at Oceana" and will be comprised
of 39 homes. The first senior citizen development,
"Greenbriar Oceanaire", a community complete with
a golf course and clubhouse, is planned to begin
construction some time in 2001. It will contain
1,400 homes for adults aged 55 +.
residents get their news from the Asbury Park Press,
The Beacon, or the Ocean County Observer, but they
may also the Barnegat Banner. The Times-Beacon is
a local paper published on Thursdays and carries
articles relating to Waretown and neighboring towns.
Other newspapers from Atlantic City, Philadelphia,
northern New Jersey and New York have gained in
popularity and are readily available in the area.
The Forked River Gazette, The Islander, The Sandpaper
and The Senior Scoop are examples of local pennysavers.
Many residents hear about local happenings through
various clubs to which they belong or through the
local paper. Township meetings also provide information.
The regular township meeting is held on the 2nd
Thursday of the month at 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall.
Special regular meetings with a caucus are held
at Town Hall on the 4th Thursday of the month at
7:30 p.m. Both meetings are open to the public.
A calendar of meeting dates for all committees is
posted at Town Hall by the clerk's office.
WOBM 92.7 am and WJRZ 100.1 fm are the local radio
stations. Comcast Cable offers complete Television
service to Waretown residents. Local Ocean County
news is available on Comcast 8 daily. CN18 is a
new channel providing New Jersey news and other
programming. Residents also find out about local
events through SNN Channel 21, the Southern News
Network. SNN shows school events, has a bulletin
board system, and also broadcasts a summer magazine
program that advertises programs at libraries in
Southern Regional's sending districts.