Picture taken from the book “Images of America Point Pleasant” by Jerry A. WoolleBorough History

Borough History

Around the year 1500 this area was the ceremonial meeting place of the friendly Lenape Indians and was called the “Land of Tall Timber”. In approximately 1665, the first anglo settlers came to live in the greater Point Pleasant area.

The Borough is bounded on the north by the Manasquan River, on the east by Point Pleasant Beach and Bay Head, on the south by Beaver Dam Creek and on the west by Brick Township. While the Borough does not front on the ocean, its’ history is literally spiced with tales of the sea. Fisherman have long made this their home; and many found their final resting place here. February 15, 1846 was New Jersey’s “Day of Terror” for sailing ships. A terrific northeast gale wrecked 9 ships from Sandy Hook to Chadwick, including the “Alabama” at Point Pleasant and the “John Minturn” with a cargo valued at $84,000. A twenty foot marker in the White Lawn Cemetery, at the intersection of Borden and Trenton Avenues, is inscribed “Unknown Dead of the Sea”. Buried there are victims of shipwrecks off the coast. The White Lawn Cemetery dates back to 1727.

On February 15, 1850 Ocean County was set aside from Monmouth County by the New Jersey legislature, and Brick Township, including the Point Pleasant area, was created by the same law, signed by Governor Daniel Haines. The Borough became independent of Brick Township in 1920 under Chapter 299, laws of 1920. J.H. Harvey was elected the first Mayor but declined to take office. Mr. Melville B. Parker was then chosen and thus became the first Mayor of the Borough of Point Pleasant. Also in that year Point Pleasant Fire Co. #1 was founded by a few public minded citizens followed by the establishment of Fire Co. #2 in 1954. The Point Pleasant First Aid Squad was organized in 1968 to serve the needs of the community.

In 1924 the Manasquan River-Bay Head canal was completed as part of the inland waterway. The canal provides a waterway for pleasure boats and is the northernmost leg of the Inland Waterway which traverses the Atlantic coast all the way to Florida. The Borough is divided in half by the canal and motorists use either the Rt. 88 or the Lovelandtown bridges. In 1964, Senator Case introduced Senate Bill #2654, which was subsequently adopted and changed the name of the canal to the Point Pleasant Canal.

Visitors find it hard to believe that this once was a logging town. Only a few old-timers recall when freighters traveled up the Beaver Dam Creek to haul away pine, oak, and cedar logs for the paper industry, although the logging industry was never a significant part of the local economy. Early settlers here were mainly farmers and boat builders.

Until 1956 the post office carried the designation “West Point Pleasant”. Many longtime residents still find it hard to drop the designation. As a result, many people unfamiliar with this area believe that the Borough of Point Pleasant is part of adjacent Point Pleasant Beach. The Point Pleasant Post Office is currently located on Bridge Avenue, directly next door to the municipal building. Point Pleasant and Point Pleasant Beach are two separate and distinct communities.

Point Pleasant Borough has grown tremendously since it’s incorporation in 1920. Originally regarded as a summer resort community we are now a bustling, year round community of approximately 19,000 residents, with two elementary schools, a middle school, and the Point Pleasant Borough High School. Since our boundaries are set and the availability of open land is diminishing, the basic atmosphere of the Borough of Point Pleasant will remain unchanged and we will retain our identity as a place near the sea, a healthful, clean, and pleasant community in which to raise a family.