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History

History

Waterways attracted the first Brick inhabitants, Native Americans who arrived during the Paleolithic age over 10,000 years ago. Later called the “people” or “Delawares” by colonists, they named themselves the Lenni Lenape. They camped along shorelines with abundant food, depending on rivers, streams, salt marshes, and shallow bay waters for existence. Later, the Lenape settled in small homesteads close to the rivers.

Attracted by unsettled woodlands, the first European settlers arrived around 1740. As the numbers of colonists grew, the Lenape moved from their ancestral homelands near the sea. A few hundred remaining in 1758 relocated to the Brotherton Reservation in Burlington County – barely numbering 50 by 1774. Roughly 25 years later, they joined other Native Americans in New York, eventually dispersing throughout reservations in the West.

Settlers arrived in the Brick Township region in the early 1740s to establish iron, charcoal and sawmill industries. Others came to increase their land ownership, arriving from the region that is now Monmouth County, in addition to Europe, Rhode Island, and Long Island.

Brick Township, named for its most prominent citizen, Joseph W. Brick, was incorporated in 1850. Previous to that, the economy was fueled in large part from the agriculture and fishing industries. However, towards the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th, the New Jersey shoreline became a prime moneymaker via the growing resort and tourism industries.

The completion of the Garden State Parkway in 1954 provided a major thoroughfare sparking a population boom. The Parkway allowed them to live in Brick and commute to work in New York City and other surrounding big cities. The residential and commercial development that ensued started the area on the path it is currently on today: a thriving residential and resort area that contains 53 miles of waterfront property – including three ocean beaches, private community beaches, a river beach and over 26 marinas.

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