Long Beach Island
Long Beach Island (colloquially known as LBI) is a barrier island and
summer colonyalong the Atlantic Oceancoast of Ocean County, New Jerseyin the United States. Aligned north-south, the northern portion is generally slightly higher end, low-density residential; whereas the southern portion possesses more economical, higher-density housing and considerable commercial development. The primary industries include tourism, fishing, and real estate, with the primary access points to the island being by the single bridge connection to the mainland or by water transport. Among the most significant of landmarks on the island is the Barnegat Lighthouse, located on the northern tip.
Long Beach Island is approximately 18 miles (~30 kilometers) in length, which includes three miles of
nature reservelocated on the southern tip. [ [http://www.oceancountyhistory.org/OCHistory/long_beach_island.htm Long beach island] , Ocean County Historical Society. Accessed July 20, 2007. "Long Beach Island lies off the New Jersey Coast about 65 air miles south of Manhattan and 57 miles east and slightly south of Philadelphia. The Island follows the coast for a distance of 18 miles in a roughly northeast-to-southwest direction. Barnegat Bay, which separates it from the mainland, is approximately two to six miles wide. The width of the Island ranges from more than a mile to less than 200 yards."] [Nguyen, Lan N. [http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/travel/2002/06/09/2002-06-09__seven_in_heaven__a_week_awa.html "SEVEN IN HEAVEN A week away but close to home is just the thing to help you relax and recharge"] , " New York Daily News", June 9, 2002. Accessed July 7, 2008. "Long Beach Island is 18 miles long, from the historical Barnegat Light on the north end (in a huge state park), past Surf City and Ship Bottom in the middle to Beach Haven to the south."] The island is about a half-mile wide (800 meters) at its widest point in Ship Bottom, and spans a fifth of a mile (300 meters) at its narrowest point in Harvey Cedars.
Bisecting the middle of the developed region is the sole access point for road vehicles, via (State Route 72), which consists of the Dorland J. Henderson Memorial Bridge (locally known simply as "The
Causeway", though the term is incorrect in its application). The bridge is known for its "String of Pearls", a row of lights mounted on the railings lining the length of the bridge. A $155 million plan unveiled by the New Jersey Department of Transportationin 2005 would replace the existing bridge and add a second span. ["State unveils plan to add 2nd span over bay to island -- PROJECT MAY START IN 2009", " Asbury Park Press", July 26, 2005. "STAFFORD - With the Dorland J. Henderson Memorial Bridge literally coming apart at the seams, the state Department of Transportation on Monday unveiled plans to rebuild the existing Route 72 causeway to Long Beach Island and add a second span beside it at a total cost of $155 million."]
The presence of the bisecting roadway, located in Ship Bottom, results in the division of the island into a northern portion and a southern portion. From the bridge northward, the island includes the communities of Surf City, North Beach (a section of Long Beach Township), Harvey Cedars, Loveladies (the northernmost section of Long Beach Township), High Bar Harbor, and Barnegat Light. From the bridge southward, the island includes the communities of Long Beach Township (including the census-designated place of North Beach Haven) and Beach Haven, with the Holgate section of Long Beach Township at the southernmost tip of the island.
There are six separate municipalities on Long Beach Island (with Long Beach Township breaking into multiple neighborhoods), listed from north to south:
*Barnegat Light (2000 population of 764)
*High Bar Harbor (Long Beach Township)
*Loveladies (Long Beach Township)
*North Beach (Long Beach Township)
*Surf City (1,442)
*Long Beach Township (3,329)
**Brant Beach (Long Beach Township)
**Beach Haven Park (Long Beach Township)
**Spray Beach (Long Beach Township)
**North Beach Haven (Long Beach Township; 2,427)
*Beach Haven (1,278)
*Holgate (Long Beach Township)
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 Servicebuilt Station #17 in Barnegat Light (then known as Brownsville) around 1872, which continues today as a United States Coast Guardstation.
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 destroyerUSS 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.
As of the
United States Census, 2000, a total of 8,556 people in six separate municipalities declared Long Beach Island home on a year-round basis. However, the population in these communities swells significantly with part-time residents and tourists during the summer. The island's close knit communities are largely affluent and contain many vacation homes for wealthy residents in New York, Philadelphia, Connecticut, and suburban North and South Jersey. In the 1970s, an article in " Philadelphia Magazine" quipped that the "haves turn right and the have mores turn left." Nominally accurate, the "down island" community of Beach Haven features historic and elegant Victorian homes that have survived the many storms. The south end of the island contains significantly more commercial zoning, which generally decreases north of the bridge. Year-round residents and businesses in operation are more common toward the southern end of the island, particularly in the larger cities of Beach Haven and Ship Bottom.
Long Beach Island typically attracts a family-oriented crowd during the summertime, deviating from more hectic beach vacation destinations such as nearby
Belmarand Seaside Heights. The island does not contain a boardwalkand the night life is limited to a few quality bars. Visitors generally take part in such activities as miniature golf, parasailing, jet skiing, walking and shopping, and relaxing on the beaches. The island is known as a base for many long-range recreational fishing and charter boats, whose trips can range from 10-100 miles from one of the island's two inlets (at Barnegat Bay, in the north, and Beach Haven in the south.)
Barnegat Lighthouseis located in Barnegat Lighthouse State Parkat the northern tip of the island, along the Barnegat Inlet. The conical tower stands 165 feet (50 meters) tall and the park includes several trails through native foliage as well as along the jetty constructed in the 1990s.
Loveladies is home to the [http://www.lbifoundation.org/ Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences] , established in 1948 by artist Boris Blai. The organization provides arts, science and recreation programs to area residents and visitors. The Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences offers an After School Arts Education Program to area schools, an Artists Residency and Retreat Program for New Jersey Artists, Visiting Artists in Ceramics during the summer season, and ceramics scholarships and residency opportunities.
Ron Jon Surf Shopwas located in Ship Bottom. Its current building along Route 72 -- the third building to house the business in Ship Bottom -- is a large store immediately apparent to all travelers onto and off of Long Beach Island. To the south, in Beach Haven, the [http://www.fantasyislandpark.com/ Fantasy Island Amusement Park] is the only location on the island with standard-fare amusement rides (including a classical-design carousel). Lucielle's Oh Fudge! Candies has a large salt water taffydisplay in front of the shop, a candy which was first created in nearby Atlantic City.
Two significant commercial establishments include Bay Village, in Beach Haven, and also Viking Village, in Barnegat Light. The latter includes numerous family-owned shops generally oriented toward the local fishing industry and many fishing charter boats set sail there, though a variety of handmade crafts can also be found. The former is geared specifically toward the tourism industry, featuring a variety of eateries and more mainstream shops. Across from the [http://www.thunderingsurfwaterpark.com/ Thundering Surf Water Park] , Bay Village began in 1965 when John Maschal purchased a half-block around his shop "Country Kettle Fudge" -- which opened four years earlier -- and developed it into the existing shopping area. The annual Chowderfest is held here every October, drawing a significant influx of tourists during the off-season and featuring a
clam chowdercompetition called the "Chowderfest". [http://www.chowderfest.com/] [http://www.nj.com/munchmobile/ledger/index.ssf?/munchmobile/ledger/stories/njshore_05.html]
Fantasy Island Amusement Park is one of Long Beach Island's big attractions for families, featuring arcades, rides, games and food. Located on the south end of Long Beach Boulevard, this amusement park sees lots of activity on a typical summer evening.
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caption = Looking southward from Barnegat Lighthouse
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*The movie "Jaws" is based on the Peter Benchley book of the same name, which is based on the
Jersey Shore shark attacks of 1916, a real life series of shark attacks which began on Long Beach Island.
*The scallop boat "Lindsay L", docked near Viking Village in Barnegat Light, was used in the movie "The Perfect Storm". [Genovese, Peter. [http://www.nj.com/munchmobile/ledger/index.ssf?/munchmobile/ledger/stories/njshore_05.html "Today's special: Jersey Shore"] , "
The Star-Ledger", July 17, 2005. Accessed October 10, 2007.]
*The band Lifter Puller referred to Long Beach Island in their song "To Live and Let Die in LBI."
* [http://www.oceancountyhistory.org/OCHistory/long_beach_island.htm History of Long Beach Island]
* [http://www.livingocean.org/ Alliance for a Living Ocean]
* [http://www.lbimemories.com/ Photography by Local Photographer Sandra Anton]
* [http://www.ilovelbi.net/ ilovelbi.net:Long Beach Island, NJ]
* [http://www.lbi.net/ LBInet:Long Beach Island, New Jersey]
* [http://www.longbeachisland.com/ longbeachisland.com:Long Beach Island, NJ]
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