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Lakewood Township, New Jersey facts for kids

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Lakewood Township, New Jersey
Township
Township of Lakewood
Beth Medrash Govoha, the largest yeshiva outside of Israel.
Beth Medrash Govoha, the largest yeshiva outside of Israel.
Map of Lakewood Township in Ocean County. Inset: Location of Ocean County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Map of Lakewood Township in Ocean County. Inset: Location of Ocean County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Lakewood Township, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Lakewood Township, New Jersey
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Coordinates: 40°04′37″N 74°11′55″W / 40.077069°N 74.19851°W / 40.077069; -74.19851Coordinates: 40°04′37″N 74°11′55″W / 40.077069°N 74.19851°W / 40.077069; -74.19851
Country  United States
State  New Jersey
County Ocean
Incorporated March 23, 1892
Government
 • Type Township
 • Body Township Committee
Area
 • Total 25.08 sq mi (64.95 km2)
 • Land 24.68 sq mi (63.92 km2)
 • Water 0.40 sq mi (1.03 km2)  1.59%
Area rank 108th of 565 in state
12th of 33 in county
Elevation
49 ft (15 m)
Population
 • Total 135,158
 • Rank 5th of 566 in state
1st of 33 in county
208th in U.S. (2020)
 • Density 5,389/sq mi (2,081/km2)
 • Density rank 165th of 566 in state
5th of 33 in county
Time zone UTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−04:00 (Eastern (EDT))
ZIP Code
08701
Area code 732, 848
FIPS code 34-38550
GNIS ID 882076

Lakewood Township is the most populous township in Ocean County, New Jersey, United States. A rapidly growing bedroom community of New York City, as of the 2020 United States Census, the township had a total population of 135,158 representing an increase of 41,415 (+45.5%) from the 92,843 counted in the 2010 Census. The township ranked as the fifth-most-populous municipality in the state in 2020, after having been ranked 7th in 2010 and 22nd in 2000. The sharp increase in population from 2000 to 2010 was led by increases in the township's Orthodox Jewish and Latino communities.

Lakewood is a hub of Orthodox Judaism, and is home to the largest yeshiva outside of Israel, the 6,500-student Beth Medrash Govoha, which was founded by Rabbi Aharon Kotler. The large Orthodox population, which comprises more than half the township's population, wields considerable political clout in the township as a voting bloc.

History

The earliest documented European settlement of the present Lakewood area was by operators of sawmills, from about 1750 forward. One such sawmill – located at the east end of the present Lake Carasaljo – was known as Three Partners Mill from at least 1789 until at least 1814. From 1815 until 1818, in the same area, Jesse Richards had an iron-smelting operation known as Washington Furnace, using the local bog iron ore. The ironworks were revived in 1833 by Joseph W. Brick, who named the business Bergen Iron Works, which also became the name of the accompanying town. In 1865, the town was renamed Bricksburg in 1865, and in 1880 it was renamed Lakewood and became a fashionable winter resort.

Lakewood's developers thought that "Bricksburg" didn't capture their vision for the community, and the names "Brightwood" and "Lakewood" were proposed. After reaching out to area residents, "Lakewood" was chosen, and the United States Postal Service approved the name in March 1880. The name "Lakewood" was intended to focus on the location near lakes and pine forests.

Lakewood was incorporated as a township by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 23, 1892, from portions of Brick Township. Portions of Howell Township in Monmouth County were annexed to Lakewood Township in 1929.

Lakewood's three greatest hotels were the Laurel House (opened in 1880; closed in 1932), the Lakewood Hotel (opened January 1891, closed in 1925), and the Laurel-in-the-Pines (opened December 1891, burned down in 1967). Lakewood's promoters claimed that its winter temperature was usually about ten degrees warmer than that of New York City and were warmer than points located further south, but this claim is not substantiated by official records of the United States Weather Bureau. During the 1890s, Lakewood was a resort for the rich and famous, and The New York Times devoted a weekly column to the activities of Lakewood society. Grover Cleveland spent the winters of 1891-92 and 1892-93 in a cottage near the Lakewood Hotel, commuting to his business in New York City. Mark Twain also enjoyed vacationing in Lakewood. George Jay Gould I acquired an estate at Lakewood in 1896, which is now Georgian Court University. John D. Rockefeller bought a property in 1902 which later became Ocean County Park. Lakewood's hotel business remained strong in the 1920s and 1950s, but went into severe decline in the 1960s. In the 1960s, much of the woods and cranberry bogs in the township were replaced by large housing developments. Leisure Village, a condominium retirement development on the south side of Route 70, opened for sale in 1963.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 24.982 square miles (64.703 km2), including 24.577 square miles (63.653 km2) of land and 0.405 square miles (1.050 km2) of water (1.62%). Lakewood is a fairly flat place, being as it is on the Coastal Plain; three-quarters of its area is between 20–80 feet above sea level, and its highest point is about 150 feet.

The North Branch of the Metedeconk River forms the northern boundary and part of the eastern boundary of the township, while the South Branch runs through the township. A southern portion of the township is drained by the north branch of Kettle Creek. The township has four man-made lakes; three of them - Lake Carasaljo, Manetta, and Shenandoah - are on the South Branch of the Metedeconk River, whereas the fourth - Lake Waddill - is on Kettle Creek.

Lakewood CDP (2010 Census population of 53,805), Leisure Village (4,400 as of 2010) and Leisure Village East (4,217 as of 2010) are unincorporated communities and census-designated places (CDPs) located within Lakewood Township.

Other unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the township include Greenville, Lake Carasaljo, Seven Stars and South Lakewood.

The township borders the municipalities of Brick Township, Jackson Township and Toms River Township in Ocean County; and Howell Township in Monmouth County.

Arts and culture

The Strand, a local theater established in 1922, was designed by architect Thomas W. Lamb.

Parks and recreation

Sister Mary Grace Burns Arboretum, on the campus of Georgian Court University.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 1,044
1900 3,094
1910 5,149 66.4%
1920 6,110 18.7%
1930 7,869 28.8%
1940 8,502 8.0%
1950 10,809 27.1%
1960 16,020 48.2%
1970 25,233 57.5%
1980 38,464 52.4%
1990 45,048 17.1%
2000 60,352 34.0%
2010 92,843 53.8%
2020 135,158 45.6%
Population sources:
1880 1900-2000 1900-1920
1900-1910 1910-1930
1930-1990 2000 2010

The percentage of Jewish people in Lakewood is one of the highest for incorporated areas in the U.S., at an estimated 59%.

2010 Census

As of the census of 2010, there were 92,843 people, 24,283 households, and 17,362 families residing in the township. The population density was 3,777.7 per square mile (1,458.6/km2). There were 26,337 housing units at an average density of 1,071.6 per square mile (413.7/km2)*. The racial makeup of the township was 84.33% (78,290) White, 6.35% (5,898) Black or African American, 0.30% (276) Native American, 0.84% (777) Asian, 0.02% (14) Pacific Islander, 6.68% (6,199) from other races, and 1.50% (1,389) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 17.30% (16,062) of the population.

There were 24,283 households out of which 43.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.5% were married couples living together, 9.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.5% were non-families. 24.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.73 and the average family size was 4.49.

In the township, the population was spread out with 41.8% under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 24.6% from 25 to 44, 11.1% from 45 to 64, and 12.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 23.9 years. For every 100 females there were 98.7 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 94.0 males.

The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $41,527 (with a margin of error of +/- $1,797) and the median family income was $45,420 (+/- $2,296). Males had a median income of $39,857 (+/- $4,206) versus $32,699 (+/- $2,365) for females. The per capita income for the township was $16,430 (+/- $565). About 21.9% of families and 26.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 36.0% of those under age 18 and 5.7% of those age 65 or over.

Transportation

Roads and highways

As of May 2010, the township had a total of 193.15 miles (310.84 km) of roadways; of which 135.26 miles (217.68 km) were maintained by the municipality, 43.28 miles (69.65 km) by Ocean County, 11.22 miles (18.06 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation, and 3.39 miles (5.46 km) by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.

Major county routes that pass through are CR 526, CR 528 and CR 547. The state and U.S. routes that pass through are Route 70, Route 88 and US Route 9. The Garden State Parkway passes through the eastern part of the municipality , connecting Toms River Township in the south to Brick Township in the north with one major interchange serving Lakewood at exit 89. Drivers can access Route 70 from exit 89, after exit 88 was permanently closed in November 2014.

Public transportation

The Lakewood Bus Terminal is a regional transit hub. NJ Transit provides bus service on the 137 and 139 routes to and from the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan, to Philadelphia on the 317 route, to Newark on the 67 and to Atlantic City on the 559.

The Lakewood Shuttle is a bus with two routes: one in town, and one in Industrial Park.

Ocean Ride local service is provided on the OC3 Brick / Lakewood / Toms River and OC4 Lakewood - Brick Link routes.

Lakewood Airport is a public-use airport located 3 miles (4.8 km) southeast of the township's central business district. The airport is publicly owned.

Twinnings

Economy

Portions of the township are part of an Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ), one of 32 zones covering 37 municipalities statewide. Lakewood was selected in 1994 as one of a group of 10 zones added to participate in the program. In addition to other benefits to encourage employment within the UEZ, shoppers can take advantage of a reduced 3.3125% sales tax rate (half of the 6+58% rate charged statewide) at eligible merchants. Established in November 1994, the township's Urban Enterprise Zone status expires in October 2025. The UEZ is overseen by the Lakewood Development Corporation, which works to foster the UEZ and the businesses that operate inside it through loan and grant programs.

Education

The Lakewood School District serves students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade, and is broken up into three different stages of schooling. As of the 2018–19 school year, the district, comprised of eight schools, had an enrollment of 6,767 students and 492.5 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 13.7:1. Schools in the district (with 2018–19 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Lakewood Early Childhood Center with 206 students in PreK, Ella G. Clarke School with 606 students in grades 2-5, Clifton Avenue School with 365 students in grades 2-5, Oak Street School with 794 students in grades 1-5, Piner Elementary School with 509 students in grades PreK-1, Spruce Street School with 479 students in grades PreK-1, Lakewood Middle School with 1,334 students in grades 6-8 and Lakewood High School with 1,243 students in grades 9-12.

In recent years, the Lakewood School District has had budgetary issues, shutting down briefly in 2019 due to a funding deficit. The district spends more money on special education programs than any other district in the state and has a high bill for mandatory busing to non-public schools. Town leaders also cite imbalanced state funding formulas as the root of the district's financial problems.

Georgian Court University is a private, Roman Catholic university located on the shores of Lake Carasaljo. Founded in 1908 by the Sisters of Mercy as a women's college in North Plainfield, New Jersey, the school moved to the former estate of George Jay Gould I in Lakewood in 1924. Women made up 88% of the student population in Fall 2006.

There are many yeshivas and Jewish day schools serving the Orthodox Jewish community, with the school district providing busing to 18,000 students enrolled at 74 yeshivas as of 2011, and 25,000 by 2016. Beth Medrash Govoha has an enrollment in excess of 5,000, making it one of the world's largest yeshivas; the yeshiva is a post high school institution for higher education, where students primarily focus on the study of the talmud and Jewish Law.

The non-denominational Calvary Academy serves students in kindergarten through twelfth grade.

The Roman Catholic-affiliated Holy Family School served youth from pre-school through 8th grade under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton. In 2014, the diocese announced that the school was closing at the end of the 2014-2015 school year, as fewer students were enrolling.

Sports

FirstEnergy Park, home of the Jersey Shore BlueClaws, is a 6,588-seat stadium constructed at a cost of $22 million through funds raised from the township's Urban Enterprise Zone.

The High-A East's Jersey Shore BlueClaws, the High-A Minor League Baseball affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, play at FirstEnergy Park. The BlueClaws, previously known as the Lakewood Blue Claws, have led the league in attendance every year since its formation in 2001 up until 2011, with more than 380,000 fans in the 2001 season, representing an average attendance of more than 6,200 fans per game.

Notable people

People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Lakewood Township include:

  • Allen L. Rothenberg Esq. (born 1951), president of the National Jewish Commission on Law and Public Affairs(COLPA).
  • Rabbi Yitzchak Abadi (born 1933), posek.
  • Morton I. Abramowitz (born 1933), diplomat.
  • Val Ackerman (born 1959), first president of the Women's National Basketball Association.
  • Jay Alders (class of 1996), fine artist, photographer and graphic designer, best known for his original surf art paintings.
  • Joe Baum (1920–1998), restaurateur.
  • Spider Bennett (born 1943), professional basketball player in the ABA with the Dallas Chaparrals and Houston Mavericks.
  • Rabbi Yisroel Pinchos Bodner, author of books on various topics of halakha.
  • Brandon Carter (born 1986), offensive lineman for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
  • Haakon Chevalier (1901–1985), author, translator, and professor of French literature at the University of California, Berkeley, best known for his friendship with physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer.
  • Rabbi Simcha Bunim Cohen, posek and author.
  • Michael Cudlitz (born 1964), actor who has appeared in Southland and Band of Brothers.
  • Ngo Dinh Diem (1901–1963), first president of South Vietnam.
  • Marc Ecko (born 1972), founder and CEO of Eckō Unltd.
  • Rabbi Shimon Eider (died 2007), author on halakha and expert on the construction of eruvin.
  • Dick Estelle (born 1942), pitcher who played for the San Francisco Giants.
  • Mike Gesicki (born 1995), tight end who plays for the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League.
  • Hazel Gluck (born 1934), politician and lobbyist who served in the New Jersey General Assembly and held several posts in the cabinet of Governor Thomas Kean.
  • George Jay Gould I (1864–1923), financier and railroad executive, whose estate became Georgian Court University.
  • Virginia E. Haines (born 1946), politician who serves on the Ocean County Board of chosen freeholders and had served in the New Jersey General Assembly from 1992 to 1994 and as Executive Director of the New Jersey Lottery from 1994 to 2002.
  • Rabbi Yehudah Jacobs (c. 1940–2020), mashgiach ruchani at Beth Medrash Govoha.
  • Serge Jaroff (1896–1985), conductor, composer and founder of the Don Cossack Chorus.
  • Stan Kasten (born 1952), president and part-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and former President of the Washington Nationals, Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Thrashers.
  • Edith Kingdon (1864–1921), actress wife of George Jay Gould I.
  • Rabbi Aharon Kotler (1891–1962), founder of the Beth Medrash Govoha yeshiva and a pre-eminent authority on Torah in the 20th Century among Haredi Jews.
  • Rabbi Shneur Kotler (1918–1982), rosh yeshiva of Beth Medrash Govoha.
  • Rabbi Malkiel Kotler, (born 1951) current rosh yeshiva of Beth Medrash Govoha.
  • Cliff Kresge (born 1968), professional golfer.
  • Meir Lichtenstein, first Haredi mayor of a U.S. municipality with a significant non-Jewish population.
  • Joseph Mayer (1877–1942), mayor of Belmar, New Jersey who later served on the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders.
  • Sonia Handelman Meyer (born 1920), photographer best known for her street photography as a member of the New York Photo League.
  • Charles W. Morse (1856–1933), Wall Street speculator.
  • Loren Murchison (1898–1979), Olympic athlete who won gold medals in 1920 and 1924 in the 4x100m relay event.
  • Rabbi Yisroel Neuman, (born 1947) current rosh yeshiva of Beth Medrash Govoha.
  • Rabbi Yerucham Olshin, current rosh yeshiva of Beth Medrash Govoha.
  • Arthur Newton Pack (1893–1975), naturalist and writer who founded the American Nature Association and the periodical Nature Magazine.
  • Haydn Proctor (1903–1996), member of the New Jersey Senate.
  • Rabbi Yosef Reinman, author who has written about inter-community dialogue within Judaism.
  • Richard Roberts (born 1957), pharmaceutical executive, philanthropist and political activist.
  • John D. Rockefeller (1839–1937), industrialist and philanthropist, had an estate in Lakewood, as well as other homes in Ohio, New York, and Florida. His family donated a large tract of land it owned in Lakewood to Ocean County, where the County built the current Ocean County Park on Route 88, Lakewood.
  • Robert Schmertz (1926–1975), founder and CEO of Leisure Technology Corp. and former owner of the Portland Trail Blazers and Boston Celtics.
  • Rabbi Dovid Schustal, (born 1947) current rosh yeshiva of Beth Medrash Govoha.
  • Armin Shimerman (born 1949), actor, best known for playing the Ferengi bartender Quark in the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
  • Betsy Sholl (born 1945), poet who was poet laureate of Maine from 2006 to 2011
  • Arthur Siegel (1923–1994), songwriter.
  • Robert Singer (born 1947), member of the New Jersey Senate and former Mayor of Lakewood Township.
  • J. R. Smith (born 1985), NBA basketball player who plays for Cleveland Cavaliers.
  • Lew Soloff (born 1944), jazz trumpeter.
  • Yisroel Taplin, author of The Date Line in Halacha.
  • Penina Taylor, counter-missionary speaker.
  • Steve Tisch (born 1948), film producer and chairman of the New York Giants.
  • Harry Lancaster Towe (1898–1991), politician who represented New Jersey's 9th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 1943 to 1951.
  • Marc Turtletaub (born 1946), CEO of The Money Store and film producer and director
  • Jake Turx (born 1986), senior White House correspondent and chief political correspondent for Ami magazine.
  • Charles Waterhouse (1924–2013), artist.
  • Mookie Wilson (born 1956), baseball player, mostly notably with the New York Mets.

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