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1358 Hooper Ave Suite 217


Early Settlement and Indigenous Heritage

Long before European settlers arrived, Barnegat was inhabited by the Lenape Native American tribe. These indigenous people thrived along the shores of Barnegat Bay, relying on fishing, hunting, and agriculture to sustain their communities. Today, you can still find evidence of their presence in the form of ancient artifacts and shell middens scattered throughout the region.

Colonial Era and Maritime Legacy

In the 17th century, European settlers arrived in Barnegat, bringing significant changes to the area. Dutch and English colonists were attracted to the fertile lands and abundant natural resources, establishing small farms and trading posts along the coast. However, it was the maritime industry that truly shaped Barnegat’s early economy.

Fun fact: in 1792, one of the last battles of the American Revolutionary War was fought near the side of the Cedar Bridge Tavern.

Thanks to its strategic location along Barnegat Bay, the town became a bustling center for shipping, fishing, and shipbuilding. Schooners and sloops filled with goods sailed the bay waters, connecting Barnegat to thriving ports along the East Coast. Skilled shipwrights crafted sturdy vessels from local timber, while fishermen cast their nets in search of bountiful catches.

The History of Barnegat Lighthouse

Barnegat Lighthouse, also known as “Old Barney,” is a beloved symbol of the area’s maritime history. Since its establishment in 1859, this towering structure has guided ships safely through Barnegat Inlet. Originally lit by whale oil, the lighthouse has seen many changes over the years, but its importance as a beacon of the past remains unchanged.

Industrial Expansion and Growth

The late 19th and early 20th centuries brought further development and industrialization to Barnegat. The opening of railroads and improved transportation networks facilitated the movement of goods and people, spurring economic growth and urban expansion. Industries such as cranberry farming, boat building, and tourism flourished, transforming Barnegat into a vibrant coastal community.

Outdoor Fun and Natural Wonders

For those who love the outdoors, Barnegat offers a wealth of activities to enjoy. The Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge is a paradise for birdwatchers, hikers, and wildlife lovers. With its vast expanse of salt marshes, dunes, and estuaries, the refuge is home to a variety of bird species, from ospreys to herons to migratory waterfowl.

The Barnegat Municipal Dock and Bay Beach are perfect spots for swimming, fishing, and picnicking, offering stunning views of Barnegat Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Boaters can explore the waterways on sailboats, kayaks, or paddleboards, while fishing enthusiasts can try their luck at catching striped bass, fluke, and bluefish.

Modern-Day Barnegat: A Thriving Community

In recent decades, Barnegat has evolved into a desirable residential destination while retaining its small-town charm and maritime heritage. The township boasts a diverse population of year-round residents, as well as seasonal visitors drawn to its pristine beaches, recreational opportunities, and family-friendly atmosphere.

Today, Barnegat offers a wealth of amenities and attractions for residents and visitors alike. Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the expansive Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, home to diverse ecosystems and abundant birdlife. Meanwhile, history buffs can delve into the town’s past at the Barnegat Historical Society Museum, which showcases artifacts and exhibits detailing Barnegat’s fascinating heritage.

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