My hometown, Toms River, is situated in northern Ocean County, NJ. It is truly a special town with a wonderful sense of community. Toms River’s beauty and charm has even been featured in a few different TV shows and in a movie. It was interesting to see the town I was raised in on shows like Made, Jersey Shore, and Boardwalk Empire. The 1979 classic “Amityville Horror” as well as 1988’s “X-Files” movies were both recorded in Toms River. Every year, our town hosts a huge Halloween parade and our little league team even managed to win the Little League World Series in 1998. I take pride in living and serving in my community.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF TOMS RIVER
European settlers arrived in the area between 1614 and 1685. In 1685, a British-born settler by the name of Thomas Luker settled down alongside the river bank called Goose Creek. Goose Creek will eventually become known as Toms River, named after Thomas Luker. Thomas Luker operated a small ferry service to cross the waterway which was important due to the unique geography.
Shrewsbury Township was founded in 1693 and Toms River could be found in its southern section. In 1767, the township received a royal charter allowing the town to secede from Shrewsbury and create Dover Township.
Toms River supplied colonial militias with salt and acted as a safe haven for privateer vessels that stole from Tory and British ships, during the American Revolution.
In March of 1782, Captain Joshua Huddy, a captain for the militia, was taken hostage by a group of loyalist soldiers. The soldiers burned down the block house that the militia was staying in. They also destroyed the salt works and burned many houses in the town. This incident caused tensions between the British, the loyalists, and the colonial people to rise and hindered peace negotiations happening in Paris.
During the 19th century, Toms River became popular for its iron production, lumber production, shipbuilding, whaling, and fishing. The town of Toms River tried in 1914 and 1926 to separate from Dover Township, but they were unsuccessful in their attempt.
Toms River made the news in the 1990s when their Little League Baseball team, "Beast from the East," won against Japan by a score of 12–9 in 1998. They competed 3 times in a span of 5 years. The town threw a parade in the team’s honor. Dover also holds several titles in National Champion Pop Warner Football and Cheerleading.
Dover township was original named after Dover, England, and the name Dover Township was replaced and changed to Toms River Township due to a referendum that was passed in 2006.
TOMS RIVER’S POPULATION GROWTH AND DEMOGRAPHICS
There are around 91,239 people living in the town of Toms River. There are 34,760 households located in the town, with 24,367 of them being occupied by families. Toms River has had a steady growth rate from 2014 to now. The median household income is around $71,934 and the median family income is around $83,924. Many people who live in Toms River commute into New York City or Philadelphia for work. New York City is 74 miles north of Toms River and Philadelphia is only 56 miles south of Toms River. Toms River is an enticing town to those that would prefer to live outside large cities like New York or Philadelphia. Toms River offers families a safe place to live with low crime rates and its excellent school system.
Toms River is a wonderful town to be a part of. It is the kind of town where you can enjoy a day at the beach, go on a hike, or spend the day shopping. The town’s charm draws in tons of tourists a year and even filmmakers have chosen to spotlight our little town. I am glad to have the opportunity to serve such an amazing town like Toms River, and of course, to help the fellow members of my community.