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Once travel became easier to the island areas of the marshland, the southern portion of Long Beach Island, owned by Reuben Tucker, became a popular destination. In 1765, Tucker decided better accomodations than beachfront tents would be a lucrative business.
Tucker's Beach now became a resort location. But, the New Jersey marshlands are unpredictable, and sometime around 1800, the ocean cut an inlet seperated Tucker's Beach. Now called Tucker's Island, a lighthouse was added in 1848, to guide navigators through the shallow marshlands. With an array of fifteen lamps set in 15-inch reflectors, Tucker's Island Lighouse was ridiculed for being completely insufficent for its use. In 1855, the lighthouse was upgraded to a fourth-order Fresnel lens, but nearby Ambrose Light, a newer more powerful beacon just offshore provided more reliable navigation, and Tucker's Island Lighthouse was discontinued in 1857.
The Lighthouse Board rethought it's decision in 1867, and reestablished Tucker's Beach Lighthouse. The lighthouse was converted to oil, and Eber Rider was the first lightkeeper. The Riders would continue operation for generations.
During a blizzard in 1920, the erosion of Tucker's Island became ominous. The island was slowly becoming a sandbar, and on October 12, 1927 the lighthouse toppled into the water. The Riders noticed a crack in the lighthouse and prepared for the photos of the inevitable. The dramatic pictures of the lighthouse falling in the water are on display in the Lighthouse at Tuckerton Seaport.
Other exhibits now housed in this replicated lighthouse include information about the resort town of Sea Haven, the locals pirates and mutineers and local industry and crafts.
Updated Jan 24, 2010
Address: 120 West Main Street, Tuckerton
This 40-acre open-air museum, once known as the Barnegat Bay Decoy and Baymen’s Museum, includes 17 historic and recreated buildings reflecting the nature, people and maritime history of the area. Exhibits include displays, recreations, demonstrations and media. Take a self-guided tour along the boardwalk connecting these buildings.
Begin your tour at the Visitor Center and Gift Shop. The third floor of the Visitor Center houses the "Life on the Edge Exhibit" and Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research\Reserve (JCNERR) Visitor Center. These informational displays highlight the Pinelands, Great Bay, Barrier Island and open ocean ecosystems that make up the South Jersey marshlands.
Purchase your Seaport entry ticket in the Gift Shop. Entrance is down the stairs in the Visitor Center. Before actually entering the Seaport, visitors will learn about the various trades of the seaport era, as well as a diorama of local wildlife.
Two examples of houseboats utilized by fisherman, bay-men and hunters along the Jersey Shore. The first, the Skinner-Donnelly Houseboat, from the 1880s, is visible just outside the Visitor Center. The second, the Periwinkle, was a tin-roofed houseboat built in 1930, made of Jersey cedar from Double Trouble State Park.
Joe Dayton's Sawmill was operating here, turning the south Jersey forests into lumber for ship building since 1699. The sawmill now houses the Wooden Boat School, offering demonstration of the craft to visitors, as well as professional repair services.
Next to the sawmill is the site of Heinrichs Boat Works and Marine Railway, now housing the Perrine Boatworks, reknown for its sailing "sneakboxes" of the 1920s and 1930s. J. Howard Perrine's original location was just 10 miles away in Barnegat. Here, visitors to the Seaport can see live demonstrations of traditional boat building and repair, as the builders make and restore sneakboxes. The sneakbox was an important factor in the history of southern Jerseys' port towns.
Next, follow the boardwalk passing duck blind exhibits and even a miniature golf course, until you reach Parsons Clam & Oyster House. Parsons is a replica of the clam house built by E. Walter Parsons, Jr. in 1935. Parsons once shipped five truckloads of clams five nights a week to the Campbell's Soup Factory in Camden. Now, this building houses displays of tools from this quintessential Tuckerton trade.
Decoys are a unique American folk art, and primary hunting tools of the 19th and 20th century. The role decoys played in the Barnegat Bay area warranted this re-created building of Hurley Conklin's Carving Shop. Conklin is one of the last old time Barnegat Bay carvers. Visitors will see exhibits of various decoys and their role in history. Jay C. Parker's Decoy Shop stands next door. This recreated shop is based on Parkers original, and now houses examples of Parkers award winning decoys.
The Hester Sedge Gun Club was built on Hither Island in 1926. Now located in the Tuckerton Seaport Museum, this elite gun club shows how members relaxed on hunting trips.
Tucker's Island Lighthouse is a reproduction of the lighthouse built on Tucker Island in 1868. On October 10, 1927, the Tucker's Island Lighthouse fell into the Ocean. This iconic piece of the museum offers exhibits of New Jersey maritime history and its people: including pirates, lighthouse keepers and the US Lifesaving Service.
The Crest Fishery is a re-created pound fishery from Long Beach Island. This hands-on exhibit lets you buy seafood as it was sold in the 1920s! Next door is the Hotel deCrab, a dockside hotel, frequented by local captains and hunters to the area. This was not your luxury resort-style accomodation,a s guests slept on iron cots just feet from one another.
Finish your day with a nature trail walk, just a 1/2 mile over south Jersey marshlands. A visit to the Seaport really brings the maritime history of Southern New Jersey to life and perspective.
Written Jan 23, 2010
Address: 120 West Main St, Tuckerton
Absegami Lake is something the locals do on a hot summer day. It is an alterntive to the beach. The lake is brackish water, almost tea-colored like. Its shallow, and goes deeper and deeper. There are floating booyes to aware you of the deepness. The park also has grills and picnic tables so you can have a BBQ. Its a good place for little chilren who like to sit in the water and not worry about waves. There may be snakes, turtles, etc. Sharing the lake with you. Its located in Bass River State Forrest. That was the very first forrest in new jersey in 1905. The lake was made in the 1930's and is still used today by many, MANY people. Parking gets tight through out the day, and so do the grills. Get there early and you can snag one.
You can get in on a weekday for $5.00 per car, Weekend $10.00 per car, and if you walk there, or ride your bike, there is a $2.00 fee. Now, Back when I used to go, the charge was per car, It might have changed. I havent been there in 2 years.
Written Aug 25, 2006
Address: 762 Stage Rd Tuckerton, NJ 08087
Phone: (609) 296-1114
While traveling on business I tripped across this family run gem. Authentic Italian cuisine. Exceptional velvet sauces and eggplant that melts in your mouth. Service was friendly and accomodating. Facilities were spotlessly clean and the aroma of fresh baking pizza from the moment you walk in the door are enticingly delicious. Wine list is decent. Local treasure - definitely worth exploration if you are a foodie.
Favorite Dish: Two favourite dishes - one for Lunch another for Dinner...
Prosciutto, Roasted peppers, Fresh Mozzarella & Arugula Panini - is soo beyond delicious it's heavenly good - warm toasted bagette with fresh (made on premises) mozzarella and arugula is sooo very tasty
Chicken Saltimbocca - chicken breast sautéed in a buttery white wine sauce covered with proscuitto and topped with melted fresh mozzarella cheese
Updated Apr 16, 2011
Address: 961 Radio Road, Tuckerton, NJ 0807
If your into seafood stay away from the Octopus Garden on route 9, The Dishes are very high and the food I'd have to say is awful, very salty and for preppen food to a desire of taste there is none. I had New England clam chowder and it is suppose to have clams and potatoes in it it had none, and for the cream there was none, My wife had french onion soup that had no Onions and the broth was again awful. And for the Main dish itself there no-excuse for the poor entries that they serve and the poor customer-service with bad attitudes. So, if your into Seafood stay far away from the Octopus Garden> I hhave warned you!
Written Aug 20, 2007
Address: North on Route 9
Allens Clam Bar, is by far, the best seafood resturant I have ever been to. Nothing is better than going into this small local seafood resturant, and eating off styrofoam plates! You laugh now, but just wait until you try their food! I llove the lobster, but If your not a lobster person, they also have broiled shrimp, flounder or scallops, sandwitches too. And its BYOB .. you can walk in with a 6 back or even bring your own wine.
Favorite Dish: My favorite dish is french fried lobster tail. It comes with fries and as much butter as you want. And folks - its the real butter, not that fake butter oil crap. This stuff if tasty ! Also while your waiting, munch down on some fresh oyster crackers with some homemade horshraddish. Your sinuses will clear out so quick, you wont know what to think!
Written Jul 24, 2006
Address: 5650 Route 9 Tuckerton, NJ
The swamp lands that surround the Great Bay offer fanastic views, and attracts a lot of wildlife. The State is doing what it can to keep ths area pristine, for future generations to enjoy.
If you love taking pictures of wildlife, shore birds and all, you will find them out here. Bring your zoom lens.
The Great Bay Wildlife Preserve spans out from Seven Bridges Road, and contains the Hummock and other smaller shell mounds.
Written May 21, 2009
Believed to be 1,500 years old, the Tuckerton Shell Mound is physical proof of activities of the Lenni Lenape peoples here, long before European explorers sailed these waters.
Covering one-tenth of an acre, this shell mound, or "hummock", is literally a man-made island. The Lenape Indians would cross through the New Jersey Pine Barrens and head to the shores of Tuckerton for fishing and clamming. The shells from these excursions, over centuries, were disposed of riht here, on this spot...created this mound that is believed to reach 14 feet below the marsh surface and stand 10 feet high in places! That's a lot of clam bakes!
Out in the marshes of Little Egg Harbor and Great Bay, these tidal marsh lands are home to many species of wildlife and aquatic life. The mound has created enough ground for the growth of cedar trees, which out in the flat, open marshes, definetly stands out.
The actual reasons for why the shells were disposed of in mass quantity in this fashion is unknown. Some believe that these shell mounds are actually Indian burial grounds. Bones of Indians have been found in some smaller hummocks in the area, some showing physical trauma.
To find the Tuckerton Shell Mound, turn onto Great Bay Boulevard, off of Route 9 in Tuckerton by the Tuckerton Seaport Museum. Also called Seven Bridges Road, the traveler will cross over seven bridges that span the swamplands. Th hummock is located on the right hand side, shortly before crossing the first bridge. You will know the mound, as the cedar trees growing out of the marshes will catch your eye.
For archeological reasons, access to the mounds is prohibited. The mound is only a couple hundred feet from the road, in the marsh, so with a good eye (or zoom lens) you can still see the mounds of shells. It has grown in a lot over the centuries.
Written May 21, 2009