About Long Beach Island NJ

The island has been continuously settled since 1690, initially being a destination for hunters. Barnegat Inlet, to the north of the island, was an important path for freight shipments and whaling from the 17th century through the 20th century. Due to the inlet's importance and its turbulent waters, a lighthouse tower was constructed in 1835 to guide shippers through the area. Erosion claimed the tower in 1857, two years before the current Barnegat Lighthouse was completed in 1859. The United States Life-Saving Service built Station #17 in Barnegat Light (then known as Brownsville) around 1872, which continues today as a United States Coast Guard station.

A developing tourism sector prompted a railroad connection between the mainland and the island, which was completed to Barnegat Light in 1886. A severe winter storm in 1920 destroyed most of the beaches along the island as well as several hotels. A storm in 1923 further diminished the tourism sector, resulting in the discontinuation of train service to Barnegat Light between 1923 and 1926. In 1935, the railroad bridge to the mainland washed out, leaving the entire island without rail service.

Several storms throughout the island's history have resulted in the island being split in two, with the division occurring at the island's narrowest point in Harvey Cedars. Most famous of such storms, however, was the Ash Wednesday Storm of 1962, which split Long Beach Island into numerous pieces and nearly destroyed the island in its entirety. The storm caused the destroyer USS Monssen to run aground in Beach Haven Inlet, Long Beach Township. The existing Route 72 Causeway was erected in the late 1950s which replaced a low-level two-lane automobile bridge which in itself had replaced the previously-destroyed railroad bridge.

The Loveladies neighborhood (and increasingly, North Beach) is home to an assortment of large-scale homes which attract considerable attention from visitors and are often the source of rumors regarding vacationing celebrities during the summertime.


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