Ocean County Site
This site has the best calendar of local events for visitors and Ocean County residents alike, a guide to Ocean County history, links to attractions and activities, parks and recreation and other general information about the County..
Ocean County Government Site
Provides information on budgets, grants, bids & contracts, planning, employment, Freeholder Meeting Agendas and a directory other county government departments. Information includes Ocean County Freeholder minutes, Ocean County Disabilities Resource Guide, Ocean County 2010 Census information, the Ocean County Housing Resource Guide and much more.
Ocean County Government Directory
The Ocean County Government Directory is your guide to the resources of county government. Here you can find information such as phone numbers to county offices and listings of all municipalities with town officials. It also includes useful local information from County Business Associations, Chambers of Commerce, County Departments and Commissions, County Department Websites, how to do business with Ocean County, Contact information for local hospitals, libraries, museums and more. Just click on the links on the left side of the page.
Ocean County Senior Services
The Office of Senior Services offers a wealth of information for older adults and their families regarding services and programs. Find caregiver resources along with information about Medicare, energy assistance and HealthEASE, an initiative to promote healthy lifestyles for seniors. Also be sure to check out the latest Office of Senior Services Newsletter.
Ocean County Consumer Affairs
The Department of Consumer Affairs protects the public by ensuring that businesses comply with consumer protection laws. Go to their website to download a complaint form, find contact information, or even read tips about how to avoid scams and frauds.
Ocean County Tourism
Our wonderful beaches are not all Ocean County has to offer. Check out the Ocean County Tourism Advisory Council's website for a wealth of information about where to go and what to do whether you are interested in the arts, culture, history or just some old-fashioned recreation.
Connects county residents with services available at the county store located near JC Penney’s at the Ocean County Mall. The website includes the hours, contact information and a calendar of events. Ocean County Library is proud to be a participating county agency in the County Connection.
Ocean County Clerk
The county clerk has been the record keeper of Ocean County since 1850. The site provides access to passport services, online forms and records including land and tax records, election and voter information and small business assistance.
Ocean County Data Book
Part of the county planning department this site contains information on economic development, farmland preservation, coastal issues, maps, demographics, and adult communities in the county.
County Health Department
Provides information on adult immunization, nursing services, animal facilities, and consumer health services and county health statistics.
County Department of Human Services
This is the first place to look for information on Ocean County’s Human Services Advisory Council, Mental Health Board, Children's InterAgency Coordinating Council, Office for Individuals with Disabilities, Women's Commission, and Workforce Investment Board.
This site lists the commissioners,
assessors, tax rate summary, ratios, tax forms,
and tax records.
County Vocational Technical School
information on the mission of the school, its programs,
admissions and financial aid policies.
OCC, the county community college
provides courses leading to college degrees and
certificates but also continuing education and training.
A Catholic University affiliated
with the Sisters of Mercy of New Jersey the school
has a strong liberal arts foundation. Founded for
the education of women its evening and graduate
programs are coeducational.
Ocean County Schools Interlink
Links to individual county school districts, New Jersey Report Cards, and homework help.
Ocean County Historical Society & Museum
Includes county and township
histories, publications, programs & events and
a virtual tour of the museum.
History of Ocean County/County Site
A good summary of Ocean County
history and links to other sites including the Jersey
Devil, township history sites and historical organizations.
Tuckerton Seaport is an authentic
working seaport village encompassing 40 acres on
Tuckerton Creek. The mission is to preserve and
interpret the rich maritime history, artistry, heritage
and environment of the Jersey shore and the contributions
of the Baymen.
Navy Lakehurst Historical Society
Society dedicated to preserving
the Heritage of the Naval Air Station at Lakehurst
New Jersey, including airship history and hangars.
Historical Maps of Ocean County
Historical maps of Ocean County from
Rutger's Special Collections & Archives.
Ocean County Library’s genealogy
page, including a description of the Bishop Library
Collection and links to genealogy sites.
A brief history of Ocean County’s
lighthouse and links to other historical web sites.
Online site of the Neptune based
newspaper that features an Ocean County edition.
Berkeley, Brick, Jackson, Lacey-Barnegat, Manchester and Toms River Times
Micromedia Publications, Inc. was founded in 1995 by Stewart Swann and Robyn Weber for the purpose of publishing high quality local weekly newspaper within New Jersey.
Local news in Beachwood, Island Heights, Ocean Gate, Pine Beach and South Toms River.
NJN is New Jersey’s PBS station.
The site includes programming schedules for both
radio and television, features and links.
A soft rock station which claims
to be Ocean County’s “hometown radio station”.
105.7 Classic Rock
Jersey’s own classic rock FM station.
Ocean County’s oldies station.
WYRS Christian Radio
Southern Ocean County’s Christian
The WRAT (95.9) Rocks
Jersey Shore rock station.
Rockin’ Country for New Jersey.
*Free* concerts, lectures, author visits and more @ your local library branch!
Visit our events calendar for event listings all over the Ocean County Library system.
Ocean County College Fine Arts
A link to the schedule of performances
of the Ocean County College Community Chorus, Concert
Band and Theater Company, participation is open
to both students and the community.
Garden State Philharmonic Symphony
A professional level orchestra located
in Ocean County and dedicated to the promotion and
preservation of classical music.
Albert Music Hall
Live presentations of bluegrass,
country and pinelands music.
The theater opened in Lakewood in
1922 to provide summer residents with “Broadway
quality” theater. After recent restoration the
theater provides Ocean County with a variety of
theatrical productions year round.
Professional theatre company located
on Long Beach Island that offers seasonal productions.
Ocean County Cultural & Heritage Commission
Ocean County cultural site with links
to county museums, galleries, theaters and publications.
Visit our sports page for information about NJ teams.
How did Toms River get its name?
From Thomas Luker, who operated a ferry in the 1600s across "Goose Creek" at its narrowest point (where the Main Street bridge to Beachwood and points south is now located). The name of the river had an apostrophe originally ("Tom’s River") so we know it was named for a person. Mr. Luker married a local Lenape maiden, Princess Ann.
What were the original names for Route 37 and Route 70?
Route 37 in Toms River was called Locust Street until a March 1968 municipal ordinance made the change. Route 70 through Toms River and Lakewood was formerly known as Rockerfeller Memorial Highway.
Who were the Lenapes?
The Lenapes were Native Americans of the Delaware group who lived in Ocean County at the time settlers arrived in the 1600s. They fished, hunted and grew a few crops, building their lodges near the rivers and bays. Their peaceful way of life made them few enemies and they welcomed the settlers who wished to buy their land. By 1740, only about 200 Lenapes remained in the area, most having moved further west as the English and Dutch farms spread. Many local names like Manahawkin and Metedeconk remind us of them, as well as the roads which follow their original trails (Hooper Avenue, for one).
Were any Revolutionary War battles fought here?
Absolutely! Because Ocean County mariners were such skilled sailors, they excelled at hijacking British ships, then hiding out in the shallow creeks and rivers locally. In retribution, a group of loyalists and British soldiers attacked the Toms River Block House and burned most of the town in 1782. Re-enactments of the attack are held in Huddy Park usually as part of Founders Day festivities. The 2007 commemoration marked the 225th anniversary of the event. In addition to the Toms River attack, various other skirmishes occurred around Long Beach Island, Little Egg Harbor and the Affair at Cedar Bridge in Barnegat.
Who was Joshua Huddy?
Captain Huddy was the Revolutionary War officer in charge of the Toms River Block House at the time of its burning (see previous question). Since he was a well known patriot, he was captured by the British and taken to prison. Upon learning of the death of one of their own men, Phillip White, Huddy’s captors decided to hang him in retaliation. On April 12, 1782 Captain Huddy was transported from a guard ship to the shores of Gravely Point. After writing a brief will in which Huddy declared his innocence, he was hanged. The Americans were outraged by this act and demanded retribution. They petitioned General Washington to take action against the British. A young British officer, Captain Charles Asgill (already a prisoner of war), was to be executed to avenge Huddy’s death, but his anguished mother interceded on his behalf to the King of France. Reason won out, Congress granted Asgill clemency, and the young man was released. The whole Huddy incident made a lasting impression on the outcome of the Paris Peace Talk negotiations. Thomas Paine added to Huddy’s fame by writing about him in The American Crisis.
Did Ocean County people cause shipwrecks so they could steal the cargo?
Lots of stories about unscrupulous people putting donkeys with lights attached to them on the beach to confuse mariners are really just "stories". Many ships were wrecked on the beach during winter storms; suspicions fell on local people. In February 1846, during a blinding snow storm, the "John Minturn" was driven ashore near Seaside Park. Forty-two crew members and passengers died including the captain and his family. After the bodies were buried at West Point Pleasant, the State of New Jersey had an inquiry. The investigation revealed that the local people involved were heroes, not looters, and that they had saved, not taken, lives.
Did German spies really sink the "Lusitania" from Ocean County?
We don’t know but in 1912, an 820-foot tower was built just south of Tuckerton by the German radio corporation HOMAG using the designs of Dr. Rudolph Goldschmidt, an early wireless (when that meant radio) pioneer. When it opened in 1914, the radio tower had the highest voltage of any radio tower in the world. Supposedly, even before the United States entered World War I, the US Navy was monitoring the messages transmitted from the tower. Many say that the message "Get Lucy" was sent out in 1915 just before the Lusitania was sunk by an Imperial German submarine. According to the Encyclopedia of New Jersey, “the Navy closed the station for two months at the end of 1914, reopened it under navy supervision, and then in 1917 fired all the remaining German employees.” No proof exists that messages were sent concerning the Lusitania though it is theoretically possible that messages could have slipped through Navy censorship. The tower was taken over completely in 1917 by RCA and the US Navy, became the property of RCA after the war and was torn down in 1955 to make room for the Mystic Islands housing development.
What was the "Blue Comet"?
It was a luxury train that ran from 1929 to 1941, taking passengers from New York City to Atlantic City for $8.40 round-trip. It had Ocean County stops in Lakewood and Lakehurst. The locomotive was painted a combination of royal blue and “Packard blue” with gold striping and lettering. The cars were “Packard blue” with Jersey cream and navy details. There were several reasons for the ending of the Blue Comet but a strong decline in ridership in the late 1930s and the operating loss of revenues for the route were probably the leading reasons.
Was the German zeppelin "Hindenburg" really blown up at Lakehurst?
Yes and no, since no one has been able to prove exactly why it caught fire and burned on May 6, 1937 as it attempted to tie up to the mooring mast. We know that thirteen passengers, twenty-two crew members and one Navy ground person, Alan Hagaman, were killed. Whether it was lightning, the flammable gas or sabotage, the airship burned like a beacon in the Pines. Although we still see blimps used for advertising and promotion, the Hindenburg tragedy ended their use as transport.
Did German submarines really lurk off the Ocean County beaches in the 1940s?
Yes, they were in the waters off Ocean County. During the Second World War, patrols rode on horseback up and down the beaches to look for U-boats, and people living near the ocean used "blackout" drapes to avoid silhouetting our ships against shore lights. Even at the boardwalk, lights were dimmed. Gobs of tar and twisted metal washed up on the beaches to let bathers know that something had been sunk. The search for sunken submarines and ships still intrigues local divers.
Is it true that the murder in Blind Faith happened in Toms River?
Strictly speaking, the murder happened just off the Garden State Parkway in Lacey Township. The book (and then movie) Blind Faith told the story of Robert O. Marshall, a local insurance agent, who was convicted of hiring two men to kill his wife Maria. She was shot while sitting in a car that her husband had pulled over from the Parkway to the Oyster Creek picnic area. Marshall said he had driven into that Garden State Parkway rest area that night in check his tires. Marshall was convicted of hiring the killers to free himself from marriage and to get a large insurance payoff. When Joe McGinnis’s book Blind Faith came out, McGinnis used pseudonyms in the book for most of the local people. Speculation was strong on who was who for years. In 2002, Marshall refuted McGinnis’s version of events and exposed flaws in court proceedings in his book, Tunnel Vision: Trial & Error. Marshall was on death row in New Jersey from 1986 until 2004, when a federal appeals court judge threw out his death sentence on the grounds that Marshall’s attorney did not provide an adequate defense during the death penalty phase of the trial. Prosecutors decided not to seek the death penalty again, citing difficulties with producing witnesses and evidence two decades after the crime. Because of this in August 2006, Marshall received a life sentence and will be eligible for parole in 2014. In December 2012, Marshall sought to have his sentence reduced, claiming failing health and no major disciplinary problems while in prison. He was denied. Robert and Maria had three children, most famous of which is his son Rob, who is married to Tracey Gold, the television actress.
Was the movie "Amityville Horror" filmed inside the library?
Some scenes were filmed inside the former Bishop Memorial Library next door to the Ocean County Library headquarters in Toms River. The movie producers thought it looked like Long Island. The only problem was that staff members didn’t look enough like "librarians" for the casting director so ladies from a local retirement village were hired for those parts. Some pictures from the filming at Bishop Library can be seen here. Exterior scenes of the house were filmed in Toms River and a church scene was filmed in Point Pleasant Beach
Did Al Capone stay at the Royal Pines Hotel in Berkeley?
It has been often rumored that Al Capone, the famous Prohibition era gangster stayed at The Royal Pines, but these are just rumors. He never did. The Royal Pines Hotel has a very interesting history even without a Capone connection. Driving 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.
Unfortunately, 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.
Does Ocean County have any "firsts"?
- First retirement community in NJ. (Original Leisure Village in Lakewood, 1963)
- First county community college in NJ, (Freeholder resolution 1/15/64)
- Oldest perpetual sailboat racing trophy in the USA, going back to 7/27/1871.
- Third port of entry to the United States (Little Egg Harbor), commissioned by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson 3/21/1791. Philadelphia and New York were the first two. (Little Egg Harbor had easy access to the ocean at that time; the inlet filled up early in the 1800s and made it difficult to berth large ships.)
- The world’s first supersonic ram jet was fired from Island Beach on 6/3/1945
questions? We have answers!
Updated by M. Denigris, August 2010
and Compiled by L. Monore