Around 1500, the area that included the future Point Pleasant was the ceremonial meeting place of the Lenape Native Americans, who called it the "Land of Tall Timber." First settled in the seventeenth century by fishermen and farmers, the entire area was once part of Shrewsbury Township in Monmouth County.
On February 15, 1850, Governor Daniel Haines and the New Jersey Legislature separated Ocean County from Monmouth County, and created Brick Township, including the Point Pleasant area. Later in 1886, Point Pleasant Beach incorporated, and the present Point Pleasant Borough then incorporated independently in 1920. Until that time, the two towns were joined and shared a common community life. The town was initially a logging town, although logging was never a significant part of the local economy.
Point Pleasant had remained underdeveloped compared to some of its neighboring communities, because the Manasquan Inlet tended to silt up and did not provide a reliable harbor. It was difficult to reach the area by stage, and, until the railroad arrived in 1870, the main visitors were from the Philadelphia area.
The life of the town remained seasonal until a canal between the Manasquan River and Barnegat Bay was opened 1926. The inlet, which led from the river to the Atlantic Ocean, was bulkheaded in 1935. This made the area attractive to small boat owners and to the boat building industry. The final factor was the arrival of access to the shore by the Garden State Parkway in 1954. The area then became one of the numerous bedroom communities which sprang up along the Garden State Parkway’s route. In 1964, Senator Case introduced legislation that changed the canal's name to the Point Pleasant Canal.
Point Pleasant Borough has grown tremendously since its incorporation in 1920. Originally regarded as a summer resort community, it is now a bustling, year round community of approximately 19,000 residents, with two elementary schools, a middle school, and the Point Pleasant Borough High School.