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Borough of Beach Haven, New Jersey Celebrates 125 Years! (1890-2015)

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November 11, 2015 marks the 125th Anniversary of the incorporation of Beach Haven as a Borough. The part of Long Beach Island now known as Beach Haven was conceived in the 1850’s when Archelaus R. Pharo, a wealthy Tuckerton, New Jersey entrepreneur, went duck hunting from Bond’s Hotel at the southern end of Long Beach Island. He and several wealthy sportsmen from Philadelphia loved the Island, but craved more tasteful living quarters.
In 1867 he purchased 666 acres of undeveloped sand hills, brackish ponds, tidal creeks and marshes located 2 ½ miles north of Bond’s for $243. This area had a navigable creek that could be used to scow in the necessary building materials. In 1873, Pharo transferred the 666 acres for $6,666.66 to the Tuckerton and Long Beach Building, Land and Improvement Association. Charles Parry, one of the sportsmen from Bond’s and President of the Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia, was elected as the first president of this land association.
Development of Beach Haven began in 1874 and no seashore resort would be considered complete without the addition of luxury hotels. By 1876 Beach Haven would boast the Parry House, the Engleside, the Beach Haven House and, in 1883, the Baldwin Hotel. At this time, there were also a score of sprawling cottages, baymen bungalows, a church, a fire company, a school, a yacht club, a public wharf and several boarding houses. In 1890, the town incorporated as the Borough of Beach Haven, the first town to do so on Long Beach Island and William L. Butler was elected the first Mayor.
Today, Beach Haven is a thriving beach resort destination for tens of thousands of people in the summer and home to hundreds of year-round residents. The Borough boasts a thriving downtown district, the island’s only amusement park, the Borough’s own public school, a public library, two museums and a summer stock theatre. The historic district, which surrounds Veteran’s Memorial Park, is the only Certified Local Government in Ocean County. There are several parks, throughout our one-square mile, which are utilized to entertain thousands of concerts goers; beer, wine and food festivals; craft shows and sport camps. Surfers, fisherman and sun-lovers pay homage to the white sand beaches and waves of Beach Haven year round.
To commemorate this historic event the Borough of Beach Haven will be celebrating and promoting the wonders of its historic town. Beginning in January, 2015, the Borough will be promoting the 125th Anniversary by offering a commemorative beach badge, and offering many celebratory events including a Borough-wide open house, free family concerts at the bay and beach, stand up paddle races, a boat parade, a nostalgic baseball game and family picnic, and an Octoberfest celebration. The culminating event will be the rededication ceremony and Gala on the November 11th Anniversary. Throughout the year the Borough will be collecting items for the Time Capsule that will be enclosed in the new Borough Municipal Complex.
Today, the Borough is committed to bringing commerce back to Beach Haven and keeping the thriving for another 125 years. The new Visit Beach Haven website and Facebook page are signs of the changing times.

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