About Barnegat Light NJ

In 1881 the Barnegat City Improvement Company was formed. That organization had as its objective the development of the area for recreation and tourism. The Barnegat City Improvement Company laid out the present pattern of streets, blocks and lots. Barnegat Light is probably unique in owning all of the town's beaches and dunes. Thus, forever public open space! At that time, Barnegat City was an outpost of Long Beach Township. In 1904 the community seceded from the Township and became independent. The town was incorporated as a separate political entity in 1904. The name Barnegat City held for another 44 years when, in November of 1948, the community, by referendum, elected to identify with it's major landmark by officially taking the name Barnegat Light.

At the turn of the century, the town had two big Victorian hotels, The Oceanic and The Sunset. These hotels were managed by the Archer family, who were also principals of the Barnegat City Improvement Company. The Oceanic Hotel, located on East 4th Street, was washed away in 1919. The Sunset Hotel, located on West 5th Street, burned down in 1932.

The Borough, too, was touched by war, having had two oil tankers sunk just off-shore in the Spring of 1942.

The Borough is justifiably proud of its heritage and rich history as one of New Jersey's leading commercial fishing ports, it's small town family ambiance, its extraordinarily beautiful beaches, its protected anchorage, and its immediate access to the sea via Barnegat Inlet. It is, for those who love the sea and the immediate shore, a very special place.

Today Barnegat Light has a winter population of about 730, with about 50% retirees. Generally, these folks had maintained a summer residence here in Barnegat Light during their working years. The remaining 50% are younger, working families, engaged in the commercial fishing industry, construction, banking, real estate, small retail businesses, restaurants, and health care services. We have about 1100 residences, many used as second homes for folks,for career reasons, having primary residences elsewhere but keep their balance by their ties to Barnegat Light and the feel of sand between their toes.


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