Lakehurst Historical Society
300 Center Street
Lakehurst, NJ 08733
(732) 657-8864

Places Nearby:
Robert J. Novins Planetarium
Popcorn Park Zoo
Ocean County Historical Society
Ocean Gate Museum
Toms River Maritime Museum
Allaire Village
Sea Girt Lighthouse
More in:

Other States:

Known as a posh resort town at the turn of the century, beautiful Lakehurst became famous all over the world when the Hindenburg crashed on May 6, 1937. Thereafter, Lakehurst was known as "The Airship Capital of the World." In fact, it was.

From 1919 until 1962, the United States Navy conducted its Lighter-than-Air Program at Lakehurst. Some of the largest machines created by men were launched into the air from the base at Lakehurst, which is also the home of the nation's first international airport.

Known as Manchester until 1921, Lakehurst had its beginnings in 1821, when Samuel Whittemore gave one square mile of land (640 acres) to his daughter, Adeline, and her husband, William Torrey. Torrey mapped the tract of land, while Adeline named most of the streets after trees.

The area rose as an industrial center during and following the Revolutionary War. It was the site of Federal Forge, a major producer of iron products, including cannon balls for Washington's troops. A Rope Mill was powered by an elaborate water flume which ran underground from nearby Lake Horicon to the factory. The town had a railroad roundhouse, turntable, maintenance shops, and boiler shops.

The Luxurious Blue Comet train stopped at Lakehurst, delivering passengers to the stately Pine Tree Inn, a resort of considerable fame in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Though most of the sites are gone, visitors to Lakehurst can still see Hangar One, a National Historic Landmark recalling the crash of the Hindenburg. The Borough of Lakehurst Historical Society conducts Walking Tours around the town, its knowledgeable staff pointing out interesting sites and telling stories of the past.

Old Saint John's Church was built in 1874. It was Ocean County's first Roman Catholic Church. Today it houses the Historical Society Museum. Small, but quite complete, the Museum houses a collection of artifacts, books, and pictures which combine to illustrate the history of Lakehurst. Visitors can see charred remnants of the Hindenburg, as well as an array of items from the Navy's rigid airship program.

Fire Department Memorabilia, items and furnishings from the Pine Tree Inn, original paintings and other items can be seen. The Museum also contains an old Jail Cell.

Throughout the year the Museum presents a number of special exhibitions, including a beautiful Christmas display of old toys.

Though no specific programs are offered, the Museum welcomes School and other Groups, grades 2 and above, and promises a rewarding, educational visit. Recommended maximum group size is 25, though larger groups may be accommodated.

Hours: Wednesday and Sunday 12pm - 3pm. Groups can visit at other times by appointment.
Admission: Donation.
Group Reservations: About 3 weeks in advance.
Lunch: Local restaurants.
Handicapped Access: Accessible.
Directions: Rt. 30 East to Rt. 70 East into Lakehurst. Turn south onto Center Street. About 500 feet to Museum.

Copyright © 1996-2014 by Patrick Tadeushuk. All Rights Reserved.