1609— Voyage of Captain Henrik Hudson on the Half Moon passes Long Beach Island.
1640-1776 — The desolate, nearly treeless barrier island known in colonial times as Long Beach was of little use to any but sportsmen and those coastal farmers who allowed their cattle to roam the sand hills. There was plenty of fresh surface water in the numerous bogs and ponds.
1850—Ocean County is created out of the southern half of Monmouth, by New Jersey Legislature. At the south end of the island (now Holgate), Captain Thomas Bond owned and operated a hotel called the Long Beach House. Wealthy Philadelphians along with men from Tuckerton and the vicinity around Mount Holly came for fishing and duck hunting. It was here that they began planning a nearby resort for their families. These adventurous men visited sites north of Holgate looking for suitable ground and a natural creek that could be used to ease the transport of building materials.
1871—U.S. Life Saving Service instituted in Ocean County. Captain Tilton Fox buys the Harvey Cedar Life Saving Station and a year later, scows it down to Beach Haven on Mud Hen Creek and names it Hotel de Crab.
1871—Tuckerton businessman Archelaus Pharo successfully completes his branch railroad to Philadelphia providing this coastal community with a direct rail link to the big city. At the same time, this visionary developer buys 666 acres of Long Beach Island land for $243. Eventually this acreage becomes the community of Beach Haven. A year later he builds a railroad spur from Tuckerton to Edge Cove on Little Egg Harbor for the convenience of passengers to sail across the bay.
1873—The Tuckerton & Long Beach Building, Land, and Improvement Association is incorporated and Pharo completes the transfer of his 666 acres to the Association for $6,666.66. Newly elected president Charles Parry presides over the first Commission meeting in Tuckerton.
1874— Beach Haven is officially founded when the state approves the charter. Pharo’s daughter chooses the name, ‘Beach Haven” for the resort. First two cottages are built on Second Street by Archelaus Pharo.Charles Parry, also president of the Philadelphia based Baldwin Locomotive Works builds the Parry House hotel on Centre Street. Lloyd Jones builds the Beach Haven House at the end of Mud Hen Creek ( Dock Road). It stands until 1967 and is now the site of Buckalews Restaurant.
1876— Robert Engle and his cousin Samuel, Quakers from the vicinity of Mt. Holly buy land between South Street (now Engelside Avenue) and Amber Street to build the Engelside Hotel. It stood until 1943 when it was demolished due to non-payment of taxes. Thomas Sherbourne, land owner of the entire south end of Beach Haven, builds the farmhouse that will eventually form the nucleus of the sprawling, three-story building on Liberty Avenue, now known as the “Beck Farm.” Streets were laid out, leveled, and graveled.
1877—The Magnolia House on Centre Street is established. Hiram Lamson is its owner and operator. It is later sold to the Conklin family.
1878-1881—The resort grows as additional summer and year-round houses are built. Quaker inspired houses are constructed on Third Street. Beach Avenue becomes the heart of the business area as small stores are erected along it. Cottage construction does not cross to the protected lands between Atlantic Avenue and the ocean.
1880- Census shows 7 families with 33 individuals living on Long Beach Island.
1881—In August, the Parry House burns to the ground. No one is injured, but it reemphasizes the town’s need for a fire company. Mrs. Charles Parry sponsors the construction of the Holy Innocents Episcopal Church (now the Long Beach Island Historical Association Museum) in gratitude that no lives were lost in the Parry House fire. First service is conducted on July 9, 1882. “Portia Cottage” (123 Coral Street) was built for the Dr. Edward Williams and his family. Both are Shingle style buildings with Stick style embellishments designed by notable Philadelphia architect John Allston Wilson.
1882—Beach Haven Yacht Club founded as a sailing society with Charles Gibbons III as Commodore. A public wharf is built at the end of Mud Hen Creek (Dock Road to accommodate passengers arriving on catboats and steamboats.
1883—The Beach Haven Volunteer Fire Company is established on April 28, 1883. The Baldwin Hotel (1883-1960) is built on land between Pearl and Marine Streets. Named for the founder of the Baldwin Locomotive Company, it had a capacity for 400 guests. It was designed by John A. Wilson and commissioned by Charles Parry. The Baldwin Hotel owners operated a small train from the hotel to the bay named the Mercer B and nicknamed the “Beach Haven Flier.” Hotel Baldwin’s horse-drawn trolley.
1884—The first Beach Haven School is erected on Third Street and Miss Lilly Bates becomes the first teacher. The building is the present day Baptist Church.
1885—Baymen’s cottages are being built on Second Street between Bay and Beach Avenues. The owners make a living by raising oysters, clamming, and fishing for the markets. During duck and geese season, they guide sportsmen out to points around the meadows and maintain boats, decoys, and duck blinds. Others operate large catboats, party boats, or yachts. Work begins on the grading and trestle for the railroad approach over Barnegat Bay from Manahawkin to Ship Bottom. The Pennsylvania Railroad Company lays tracks on Long Beach Island after the company executives become part of the Beach Haven community. The following year, the railroad starts running trains from Philadelphia to Beach Haven—as many as ten trains a day during the summer months.
1885-1887—Most of the seaside cottages are completed on Coral Street for the Philadelphia railroad executives of the Baldwin Locomotive Works. Dr. Edward Williams and John Converse complete their mirror-image “Onion Dome” houses designed by John A. Wilson on Atlantic Avenue. Most of the Queen Anne style houses are built on Centre Street on the former site of the Parry House hotel. Most of the houses facing the Hotel Baldwin are completed on Pearl Street. Dr. Henry Drinker who became the President of Lehigh University buys “Curlew Cottage” located at 112 Coral Street. Daughter Catherine Drinker Bowen is a celebrated biographer and one of Drinker’s sons developed the “iron lung.” Famed Impressionist and portraitist Cecilia Beaux often visits her relatives, the Drinker family, and she paints a number of family portraits while here. Curlew Cottage was sold in 1994, after nearly 105 years of Drinker family occupancy. New businesses include Spackman’s Seaside Pharmacy, Cox’s General Store, Hopper’s Ice Cream Parlor, Thomas Cale, Butcher, Burn’s Bakery, Penrod’s Store, Ward’s Barbershop, Potter’s New stand and Hall’s Clothes Store.
1890—On November 11, the new Borough of Beach Haven is established by the New Jersey Legislature. William L. Butler is elected as the first mayor. The original Kynett Methodist Church was built by G.S. Butler. It is destroyed by fire on Palm Sunday, 1932. A new brick church is built on the same lot and dedicated in August of 1933.
1893— The first chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Church, designed by Philadelphia architect Edward Durang is built and consecrated at Fourth Street and Beach Avenue The Beach Haven Water Works is established. A 75-foot wooden water tower is erected consolidating the town’s water system.
1904—The Corinthian Yacht & Gun Club is built on the northwest corner of Marine Street and Beach Avenue. It is unabashedly aristocratic and used for gunning, shooting, and other social activities. The club folds in 1911, but was the precedent of the Little Egg Harbor Yacht Club founded by Elmer F. Weidner in 1912. John Cranmer builds the Acme Hotel and Bar (present day Ketch) on Dock Road at the end of the public docks.
1905—The 1905 New Jersey census indicated that there were 301 residents living in 78 Beach Haven dwellings.
1909 -1911— Sandlot baseball flourishes between Marine and Ocean Streets. Charles Beck buys the old Sherbourne farmhouse on Liberty Avenue. He is a Philadelphia printer and engraver and the man who coined the phrase “Six Miles at Sea,” so closely associated with Long Beach Island.
1912- Little Egg Harbor Yacht Club is founded. Clubhouse built in 1916.
1914— A huge celebration is held in June in honor of the construction of a drawbridge and causeway over the Barnegat Bay and the completion of a boulevard to Beach Haven. Festivities include a luncheon at the Engleside Hotel, baseball games, and a dinner at the Baldwin Hotel followed by fireworks.
1920s—The present Beach Haven Library, a Colonial Revival design by R. Brognard Okie, is built in 1924. It is presented to the Borough by Mrs. Elizabeth Pharo in memory of her late husband, W. W. Pharo and his parents. Bungalows are constructed on Belvoir and Berkeley Avenues and on Fourth Street. In 1923, Floyd L. Cranmer establishes a small building company. This company would go on to build many of the mid-20th century Colonial Revival style beach houses. The first of the “Seven Sisters” cottages is built on the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Berkeley Street . Designed by architecture student Henry Reed, Cranmer’s company would build six additional houses based on this design by 1936. Beach Haven Inlet is formed by nature.
1935—Southern branch of the railroad ceased operation when the bridge was washed out by a storm in November.
1940s— On September 14th, 1944, a destructive unnamed hurricane hits southern Ocean County and more than 28 houses are destroyed in Beach Haven. Joe Hayes opens his Surflight Theater on Engleside Avenue in what had once been a tin-roofed garage. This building, later used as a scenery shop is torn down in 2007 to make way for an actors’ dormitory.
1941-1945-World War II submarine attacks and Dirigibles, causing troops to be stationed on the island.
1954-Opening of the Garden State Parkway.
1962— A devastating March storm results in losses of both life and property. The damage prompts a significant change to local building codes and construction practices. From this time on, new houses would be built on stilts with parking areas, either open or enclosed, at the ground level.
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