Seaside Park, New Jersey
Seaside Park, New Jersey
|Borough of Seaside Park|
Seaside Park beach
"The Family Resort"
Map of Seaside Park in Ocean County. Inset: Location of Ocean County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Seaside Park, New Jersey
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|Incorporated||March 3, 1898|
|• Body||Borough Council|
|• Mayor||Robert W. Matthies Jr. (R, term ends December 31, 2019)|
|• Administrator||Bob Martucci|
|• Municipal clerk||Karen Barna|
|• Total||0.768 sq mi (1.989 km2)|
|• Land||0.650 sq mi (1.683 km2)|
|• Water||0.118 sq mi (0.305 km2) 15.35%|
|Area rank||524th of 566 in state|
28th of 33 in county
|Elevation||3 ft (0.9 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Rank||511th of 566 in state|
26th of 33 in county
|• Density||2,429.4/sq mi (938.0/km2)|
|• Density rank||254th of 566 in state|
12th of 33 in county
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (Eastern (EDT))|
|Area code(s)||732 Exchanges: 793, 830, 854|
|GNIS feature ID||885391|
Seaside Park is a borough in Ocean County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 1,579, reflecting a decline of 684 (-30.2%) from the 2,263 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 392 (+21.0%) from the 1,871 counted in the 1990 Census. Seaside Park is situated on the Barnegat Peninsula, a long, narrow barrier peninsula that separates Barnegat Bay from the Atlantic Ocean.
The first inhabitants of the barrier island were Lenape Native Americans who came in search of fish, crabs, clams, and scallops. They called this area "Seheyichbi," meaning land bordering the ocean. The Atlantic Ocean provided more than food; these people began using shells in place of wooden beads as their form of currency. These Native Americans, who stayed during the summer and went inland for winter, were part of the principal Algonquian tribe that lived mainly on and around the North American Seaboard. The Algonquians in New Jersey called themselves "Lenni Lenape", which means "original people."
What is now Seaside Park was a section of Dover Township (now known as Toms River Township) until the creation of Berkeley Township in 1875. The area then became known as the Sea Side Park section of Berkeley Township. Over the next 25 years, lots were sold, houses and roads were built, and the population of Seaside Park began to grow.
On March 3, 1898, New Jersey Senate President Foster M. Voorhees, the acting Governor of New Jersey, signed a bill incorporating "Sea Side Park" as an independent borough, created from portions of Berkeley Township. Originally, the town ran from 14th Avenue to North Avenue, about half its present size. An area known as the Berkeley Tract, north of the original area of the borough, was annexed on or about May 12, 1900. The borough was named for its location on the Atlantic Ocean.
As the community grew, the name of the borough lost a space. In 1914, a newly appointed municipal clerk wrote the name of the borough as "Seaside Park" in the council minutes, combining the first two words. This practice continues to this day.
While Sea Side Park was going through the process of being incorporated, the Senate Amusement Company of Philadelphia was working on plans to build an oceanside attraction in Seaside Heights within feet of the border to Sea Side Park. Their plan was to build a covered pier to house a carousel. The structure was built in 1915 under the direction of Joseph Vanderslice of Senate Amusement Company. Budget issues caused the business to not open in 1916, and the amusement ride and building was subsequently sold to Frank Freeman. The combination of the completion of the Toms River Bridge on October 23, 1914, and the DuPont Avenue carousel and boardwalk are what likely led to the 219% population growth shown between the 1910 and 1920 censuses in Sea Side Park.
On June 9, 1955, a malfunctioning neon sign component caused a fire at a shop on the corner of Ocean Terrace and DuPont Avenue. The fire was driven by winds estimated at 50 miles per hour (80 km/h), blowing the fire south and engulfing the entire pier. The fire was stopped at Stockton Avenue due in part to the fact that the boardwalk and pier ended there. In what became known as Freeman's Fire, a total of 85 buildings were destroyed with an estimated $4 million in damage from the conflagration.
On March 8, 1962, Seaside Park was affected by a nor'easter that had churned offshore for two days. The storm, which destroyed a large section of the borough's boardwalk, is variously referred to as the Ash Wednesday Storm, the Five High Storm and the Great March Storm of 1962.
On September 12, 2013, a ten-alarm fire swept from the Funtown Pier northward. The fire is believed to have started under the boardwalk, below the Kohr's Kustard stand at the southern end of the pier. The wind pushed it northward, and fire crews were able to make a stand at Lincoln Avenue by tearing up the newly replaced boardwalk which was destroyed less than a year before by Hurricane Sandy. Jack & Bill's Bar and Kohr's Kustard were two businesses that were both destroyed in the 1955 and 2013 fires.
On September 17, 2016, a suspected pipe bomb was placed in a trashcan and detonated, causing a small explosion, but no injuries or deaths. It is currently unclear who placed the bomb and under what motivation, but it is believed the bomb's intended target was the Seaside Semper Five, a 5K run taking place in the surrounding area. The run had been delayed due to unforeseen circumstances regardless, but was canceled soon after details of the explosion became clear.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 0.768 square miles (1.989 km2), including 0.650 square miles (1.683 km2) of land and 0.118 square miles (0.305 km2) of water (15.35%).
|Population sources: 1900-2000|
1900-1920 1900-1910 1910-1930
1930-1990 2000 2010
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 1,579 people, 833 households, and 404.838 families residing in the borough. The population density was 2,429.4 per square mile (938.0/km2). There were 2,703 housing units at an average density of 4,158.7 per square mile (1,605.7/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 97.02% (1,532) White, 0.95% (15) Black or African American, 0.00% (0) Native American, 0.38% (6) Asian, 0.00% (0) Pacific Islander, 0.89% (14) from other races, and 0.76% (12) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.42% (54) of the population.
There were 833 households out of which 12.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.7% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 51.4% were non-families. 44.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.90 and the average family size was 2.60.
In the borough, the population was spread out with 12.0% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 19.4% from 25 to 44, 34.4% from 45 to 64, and 26.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 52.1 years. For every 100 females there were 93.0 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 92.5 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $39,271 (with a margin of error of +/- $13,400) and the median family income was $59,865 (+/- $24,222). Males had a median income of $61,019 (+/- $17,364) versus $52,083 (+/- $2,854) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $30,423 (+/- $6,397). About 19.1% of families and 24.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 59.2% of those under age 18 and 7.0% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 2,263 people, 1,127 households, and 606 families residing in the borough. The population density was 3,481.5 people per square mile (1,344.2/km2). There were 2,811 housing units at an average density of 4,324.6 per square mile (1,669.7/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 97.79% White, 0.27% African American, 0.35% Native American, 0.62% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 0.18% from other races, and 0.71% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.30% of the population.
There were 1,127 households out of which 16.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.3% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.2% were non-families. 38.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.01 and the average family size was 2.61.
In the borough the population was spread out with 14.4% under the age of 18, 6.2% from 18 to 24, 26.5% from 25 to 44, 27.9% from 45 to 64, and 25.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 47 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.6 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $45,380, and the median income for a family was $58,636. Males had a median income of $42,813 versus $27,333 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $30,090. About 6.4% of families and 8.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.3% of those under age 18 and 1.5% of those age 65 or over.
Seaside Park is governed under the Borough form of New Jersey municipal government. The governing body consists of a Mayor and a Borough Council comprising six council members, with all positions elected at-large on a partisan basis as part of the November general election. A Mayor is elected directly by the voters to a four-year term of office. The Borough Council consists of six members elected to serve three-year terms on a staggered basis, with two seats coming up for election each year in a three-year cycle. The Borough form of government used by Seaside Park, the most common system used in the state, is a "weak mayor / strong council" government in which council members act as the legislative body with the mayor presiding at meetings and voting only in the event of a tie. The mayor can veto ordinances subject to an override by a two-thirds majority vote of the council. The mayor makes committee and liaison assignments for council members, and most appointments are made by the mayor with the advice and consent of the council.
As of 2016[update], the Mayor of Seaside Park is Republican Robert W. Matthies Jr., whose term of office expires on December 31, 2019. Borough Council Members are Council President Michael Tierney (R, 2018), Gail Coleman (R, 2018), Jean M. Contessa (R, 2017), Nancy Koury (D, 2016), Faith Liguori (R, 2016) and Frank "Fritz" McHugh (R, 2017; elected to serve an unexpired term).
In July 2015, the Borough Council selected Frank "Fritz" McHugh from three candidates nominated by the Republican municipal committee to fill the seat expiring in December 2017 that had been held by Dave Nicola until his resignation; McHugh served on an interim basis until the November 2015 general election, when he was elected to serve the remaining year of the term of office.
Federal, state and county representation
Seaside Park is located in the 3rd Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 9th state legislative district. Prior to the 2011 reapportionment following the 2010 Census, Seaside Park had been in the 10th state legislative district.
For the 116th United States Congress, New Jersey's 3rd Congressional District is represented by Andy Kim (D, Bordentown). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Democrats Cory Booker (Newark, term ends 2021) and Bob Menendez (Paramus, term ends 2025).
For the 2018–2019 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 9th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Christopher J. Connors (R, Lacey Township) and in the General Assembly by DiAnne Gove (R, Long Beach Township) and Brian E. Rumpf (R, Little Egg Harbor Township). The Governor of New Jersey is Phil Murphy (D, Middletown Township). The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Sheila Oliver (D, East Orange).
Ocean County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders consisting of five members, elected on an at-large basis in partisan elections and serving staggered three-year terms of office, with either one or two seats coming up for election each year as part of the November general election. At an annual reorganization held in the beginning of January, the board chooses a Director and a Deputy Director from among its members. As of 2019[update], Ocean County's Freeholders (with party affiliation, term-end year, residence and department directorship listed in parentheses) are Freeholder Director Virginia E. Haines (R, 2019, Toms River; Parks and Recreation and Natural Lands), Freeholder Deputy Director John P. Kelly (R, 2019, Eagleswood Township; Law and Public Safety), Gerry P. Little (R, 2021, Surf City; Roads), Gary Quinn (R, 2021, Lacey Township; Human Services and Transportation) and Joseph H. Vicari (R, 2020, Toms River; Senior Services and County Operations). Constitutional officers elected on a countywide basis are County Clerk Scott M. Colabella (R, 2019, Barnegat Light), Sheriff Michael Mastronardy (R, 2019; Toms River) and Surrogate Jeffrey Moran (R, 2023, Beachwood).
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 1,349 registered voters in Seaside Park, of which 245 (18.2%) were registered as Democrats, 535 (39.7%) were registered as Republicans and 569 (42.2%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were no voters registered to other parties. Among the borough's 2010 Census population, 85.4% (vs. 63.2% in Ocean County) were registered to vote, including 97.1% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 82.6% countywide).
In the 2012 presidential election, Republican Mitt Romney received 65.3% of the vote (484 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 33.3% (247 votes), and other candidates with 1.3% (10 votes), among the 747 ballots cast by the borough's 1,375 registered voters (6 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 54.3%. In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 62.2% of the vote (665 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 34.4% (368 votes) and other candidates with 1.9% (20 votes), among the 1,069 ballots cast by the borough's 1,479 registered voters, for a turnout of 72.3%. In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 62.2% of the vote (716 ballots cast), outpolling Democrat John Kerry with 36.1% (416 votes) and other candidates with 0.8% (12 votes), among the 1,151 ballots cast by the borough's 1,544 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 74.5.
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 80.6% of the vote (561 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 17.7% (123 votes), and other candidates with 1.7% (12 votes), among the 732 ballots cast by the borough's 1,299 registered voters (36 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 56.4%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 66.2% of the vote (546 ballots cast), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 25.2% (208 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 4.8% (40 votes) and other candidates with 1.2% (10 votes), among the 825 ballots cast by the borough's 1,383 registered voters, yielding a 59.7% turnout.
After the Seaside Park School District, which had served public school students in kindergarten through sixth grade, closed in 2010, a sending/receiving relationship was established with the Toms River Regional Schools for Seaside Park students in grades K-6.
In 2015, the Seaside Park district submitted a petition to the New Jersey Department of Education to allow Seaside Park to establish a second send / receive relationship with the Lavallette School District, under which Seaside Park students would have the choice of attending K-6 school in either Toms River or Lavallette. A number of students from Seaside Park had already been attending Lavallete Elementary School, including four of the five board of education members who voted in favor of the petition. The Lavallete district actively supported the proposal and the Toms River Schools had posed no objection when Seaside Park had originally submitted the petition. In 2017, the Appellate Division affirmed a decision by the Commissioner of Education to allow Seaside Park to establish the dual send / receive relationship with the Lavallette district, rejecting the claims made by the Toms River Schools and noting the fact that the district had posed no objection when Seaside Park had submitted a petition to advance the proposal in 2015.
Students in public school for seventh through twelfth grades attend the schools of the Central Regional School District, which also serves students from the municipalities of Berkeley Township, Island Heights, Ocean Gate and Seaside Heights.. Schools in the district (with 2014-15 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Central Regional Middle School for grades 7 and 8 (669 students) and Central Regional High School for grades 9 - 12 (1,333 students).
Roads and highways
As of May 2010[update], the borough had a total of 17.27 miles (27.79 km) of roadways, of which 10.77 miles (17.33 km) were maintained by the municipality, 4.62 miles (7.44 km) by Ocean County and 1.88 miles (3.03 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
New Jersey Route 35 is the main highway serving Seaside Park. It extends south to Island Beach State Park and north to New Jersey Route 37, which in turn provides access to the mainland and the Garden State Parkway.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Seaside Park include the following:
- Gary Michael Cappetta (born 1952), professional wrestling ring announcer, author, voice over artist, screenwriter and stage performer.
- Lawrence Dentico (born 1923), mobster, former captain and consigliere in the Genovese crime family.
- John J. Horn (1917-1999), labor leader and politician who served in both houses of the New Jersey Legislature before being nominated to serve as commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Industry.
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- The Toms River Bridge, Discover Seaside Heights. Accessed January 25, 2015.
- Boardwalk History, Some Seaside Heights' Firsts three ladies in front of the carousel, Seaside Heights, NJ This picture was taken in 1926 and is one of the earliest photos of Freeman's carousel. A Carousel on the Beach, Disocver Seaside Heights. Accessed January 25, 2015.
- Chang, David. "Boardwalk Fire Brings Back Memories of Devastating Seaside Blaze Nearly 60 Years Ago", WCAU, September 16, 2013. Accessed September 18, 2013. "On June 9, 1955, a fire broke out at a shop on the corner of Ocean Terrace and DuPont Avenue in Seaside Heights. Driven by 50 mile per hour winds, the fire spread south, until it was finally placed under control at Stockton Avenue in Seaside Park..."
- Rose, Lisa. "50 years later, N.J. remembers the storm that swallowed the Jersey Shore", The Star-Ledger, March 8, 2012. Accessed September 23, 2013.
- Salvini, Emil R. "The Great Atlantic Storm of 1962", NJTV News, March 6, 2012. Accessed July 27, 2016.
- Staff. "Seaside Park Fire 100 Percent Contained; No Word on Cause", WPVI-TV, October 7, 2013. Accessed July 27, 2016. "The fire that consumed much of the Seaside Park boardwalk Thursday was contained but some hot spots flared up on early Saturday. Officials say this is to be expected and they are on top of any minor flare ups. Now, the investigation into what caused the massive inferno is about to begin."
- Rose, Lisa; and Augenstein, Seth. "Christie promises to rebuild, as firefighters continue to knock down hot spots at Seaside Boardwalk", The Star-Ledger, September 13, 2013. Accessed July 27, 2016.
- Miele, Christopher; Baker, Al; and Barbaro, Michael. "Powerful Blast Injures at Least 29 in Manhattan; Second Device Found", The New York Times, September 17, 2016. Accessed August 22, 2018. "Officials said the New York explosion was not connected to a blast that happened 11 hours before when an improvised device exploded in a garbage can near the course of a charity race that was about to start in a small town on the Jersey Shore. That device went off around 9:30 a.m. near the boardwalk in Seaside Park, N.J., according to the Ocean County sheriff, Michael G. Mastronardy."
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- Mayor and Council Regular Meeting Minutes, July 30, 2015, Borough of Seaside Park. Accessed July 27, 2016. "Borough Clerk Barna read correspondence from the municipal Republican Committee for the selection of a candidate to fill Mr. Nicola's unexpired term.... Motion was made by Ms. Contessa, seconded by Ms. Koury nominating Fritz McHugh to fill the vacant council seat pending the November 2015 General Election by the following vote: For: Mr. Tierney, Ms. Koury, Ms. Contessa, Ms. Coleman, Ms. Liguori. MOTION CARRIED."
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- 2009 Governor: Ocean County, New Jersey Department of State Division of Elections, December 31, 2009. Accessed January 1, 2013.
- Miller, Patricia A. "Seaside Park Confirms: High Schoolers Will Attend Toms River Regional; Borough discussing with attorneys who picks up $10,000 tab for each student", Toms River Patch, June 3, 2011. Accessed January 1, 2013. "Seaside Park closed the Seaside Park Elementary School last year and now has a sending arrangement for K-6 students with Toms River Regional. Former County Schools Superintendent Bruce Greenfield recommended in 2008 that Seaside Park align itself with a K-12 district. Central Regional accepts grades 7-12."
- Wall, Karen. "Seaside Park Seeking Approval To Send Elementary Students To Lavallette; Borough students attend K-6 in Toms River; the move would relieve parents -- including 4 school board members -- of tuition to Lavallette.", Toms River Patch, May 20, 2015. Accessed November 22, 2017. "The Seaside Park Board of Education is seeking state approval to send its elementary students to Lavallette Elementary School -- a move the Toms River Regional Board of Education is not opposing....Seaside Park has been sending its elementary students to Toms River since it closed the borough's elementary school in 2010. This year, 27 students are covered under that agreement, according to Seaside Park's tentative budget for the 2015-16 school year.But several Seaside Park students already are attending Lavallette -- a K-8 school -- with their parents paying tuition for them to do so."
- Dev, Sanmathi (Sanu). "Appellate Division Approves Dual Send-Receive Relationship", The NJ School Law Blog, May 9, 2017. Accessed November 22, 2017. "In 2009, Seaside Park entered into a send-receive agreement with Toms River to educate its K-6 students after Seaside Park closed its elementary school. In March 2015, Seaside Park initiated a petition with the Commissioner requesting it to enter into a second sending-receiving relationship – this time with Lavallette – while maintaining its existing agreement with Toms River. Seaside Park argued that the send-receive relationship with Lavallette would provide greater educational choice to its families. Seaside Park never sought to end its send-receive relationship with Toms River."
- In the Matter of the Petition for Authorization to Enter into a Sending-Receiving Relationship with the Board of Education of the Borough of Lavallette, Ocean County, Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, decided May 4, 2017. Accessed November 22, 2017.
- Central Regional School District 2016 School Report Card Narrative, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed July 14, 2017. "The Central Regional School District is located in the Bayville section of Berkeley Township and draws from the constituent districts of Berkeley Township, Island Heights, Ocean Gate, Seaside Heights, and Seaside Park."
- School Data for the Central Regional School District, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed July 14, 2017.
- Central Regional Middle School, Central Regional School District. Accessed July 14, 2017.
- Central Regional High School, Central Regional School District. Accessed July 14, 2017.
- Our Schools, Central Regional School District. Accessed July 14, 2017.
- New Jersey School Directory for the Central Regional School District, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed December 29, 2016.
- Ocean County Mileage by Municipality and Jurisdiction, New Jersey Department of Transportation, May 2010. Accessed July 18, 2014.
- Ocean County Bus / Rail Connections, NJ Transit, backed up by the Internet Archive as of July 26, 2010. Accessed January 1, 2013.
- Cappetta, Gary Michael. Bodyslams!: Memoirs of a Wrestling Pitchman, p. xvii. ECW Press, 2006. ISBN 9781550227093. Accessed October 2, 2015. "As a child, my family lived every summer in the shore community of Seaside Park. The month I graduated from Kearny High School in Northern New Jersey, my family moved to Ocean County, where my father established a lucrative amusement business on the local boardwalk."
- "Lawrence Dentico Indicted - US Attorney's Office: Fourteen Arrested with Unsealing of RICO Indictment Against Genovese Crime Family Members, Associates", GET NJ, August 17, 2005. Accessed October 2, 2015. "The lead defendant, Lawrence 'Little Guy' or 'Little Larry' Dentico, allegedly shared ultimate authority in the management and supervision of the Genovese Family's criminal activities, including the gambling and loansharking operations in New Jersey, according to the 19-count Indictment.Dentico, 81, of Seaside Park, N.J., was among a small group of individuals comprising the Genovese 'Administration,' which ran the crime family enterprise in the absence of boss Vincent 'The Chin' Gigante, following his racketeering conviction in New York in 1997, according to the Indictment."
- Hagenmayer, S. Joseph. "John J. Horn, 81, Labor Activist, Former N.j. Government Official", The Philadelphia Inquirer, January 11, 1999. Accessed October 6, 2016. "Mr. Horn had lived in Seaside Park, Ocean County, for the last 20 years. Raised in Camden, he graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School, where he was an end on the football team."
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Island Beach State Park